The Order of Adjectives in English:
The Order of Adjectives in English:
Blog No 25 – Responsibly Sourced Adjectives
My local supermarket sells everything these days; eggs, TVs, socks, ‘freshly cut sandwiches’, car insurance, spatulas, holidays, ‘freshly cut sandwiches’ … you name it, it even has a brand new all-singing, all-dancing ‘information hub’ so I visited it recently to get some clarification on their ‘freshly cut sandwiches’, this is what happened (verbatim).
“Can I help sir?”
“Yes, these ‘freshly cut sandwiches’ of yours, can you tell me exactly when they were cut?”.
“Well sir, we prepare all our sandwiches at first light using only our own finest range of cold meats, fresh salads …”
“Yeah, I’m not really interested in what’s in them, I just want to know when the two pieces of bread with whichever filling, were actually, physically sliced diagonally into two halves?”.
“Is that important sir?”
“Yes I think it is, you have a twelve foot neon sign next…
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Many languages, including English, distinguish between adjectives, which qualify nouns and pronouns, and adverbs, which modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. Not all languages have exactly this distinction and many languages, including English, have words that can function as both. For example, in English fast is an adjective in “a fast car” (where it qualifies the noun car), but an adverb in “he drove fast” (where it modifies the verb drove).
In Dutch and German, adjectives and adverbs are usually identical in form and many grammarians do not make the distinction, but patterns of inflection can suggest a difference:
Eine kluge neue Idee. A clever new idea.Eine klug ausgereifte Idee. A cleverly developed idea.
Whether these are distinct parts of speech or distinct usages of the same part of speech is a question of analysis. It is worth noting that while German linguistic terminology distinguishes adverbiale from adjektivische Formen, school German refers to both as Eigenschaftswörter.
Year Five have been learning about Narratives. A Narrative tells a story and is mainly used to entertain, motivate or teach. They also aim to get the attention of the reader and maintain their interest.
Inspired by the Narrative in One Small Island, we have been writing our own interesting orientations. We have also been practising using a range of adjectives in our orientations.
There are many different types of adjectives:
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Comparison with determiners and adjectives
Possessive determiners (possessive adjectives) have features of both determiners and adjectives:
Possessive determiners, as used in English and some other languages, imply the definite article. For example, my car implies the car that belongs to me/is used by me; it is not correct to precede possessives with an article (*the my car) or other definite determiner such as a demonstrative (*this my car), although they can combine with quantifiers in the same ways that the can (all my cars, my three cars, etc.; see English determiners). This is not the case in all languages; for example in Italian the possessive is usually preceded by another determiner such as an article, as in la mia macchina (“my car”, literally “the my car”).
Possessive determiners may be modified with an adverb, as adjectives are, although not as freely or as commonly as is the case with adjectives. Such modification is generally limited to such adverbs as more, less, or as much … as (comparative) or mostly (superlative), for example in This is more my team than your team, This is less my team than your team, This is as much my team as your team, and This is mostly my team.
While some classify the words my, your, etc. as possessive adjectives, others, due to the differences noted above, do not consider them adjectives – at least, not in English – and prefer possessive determiners. In some other languages the equivalent parts of speech behave more like true adjectives, however.
The words my, your, etc. are sometimes classified, along with mine, yours etc., as possessive pronouns or genitive pronouns, since they are the possessive (or genitive) forms of the ordinary personal pronouns I, you etc. However, unlike most other pronouns, they do not behave grammatically as stand-alone nouns, but instead qualify another noun – as in my book (contrasted with that’s mine, for example, where mine substitutes for a complete noun phrase such as my book). For this reason, other authors restrict the term “possessive pronoun” to the group of words mine, yours etc. that substitute directly for a noun or noun phrase.
Some authors who classify both sets of words as “possessive pronouns” or “genitive pronouns” apply the terms dependent/independent or weak/strong to refer, respectively, to my, your, etc. and mine, yours, etc. For example, under this scheme, my is termed a dependent possessive pronoun and mine an independent possessive pronoun.
Possessive determiners in English
The basic pronominal possessive determiners in modern English are my, your, his, her, its, our, their and whose (as in Whose coat is this? and the man whose car was stolen). As noted above, they indicate definiteness, like the definite article the. Archaic forms include thy and mine/thine (for my/thy before a vowel). For details, see English personal pronouns.
Other possessive determiners (although they may not always be classed as such, though they play the same role in syntax) are the words and phrases formed by attaching the clitic -‘s (or sometimes just an apostrophe after -s) to other pronouns, to nouns and to noun phrases (sometimes called determiner phrases). Examples include Jane’s, heaven’s, the boy’s, Jesus’, the soldiers’, those men’s, the king of England’s, one’s, somebody’s.
For more details of the formation and use of possessives in English, see English possessive. For more details about the use of determiners generally, see English determiners.
howjsay is a free online pronunciation dictionary. Type in a word and it will give you the English pronunciation, in both British and American English. Try typing “advertisement” to see how it’s done.
There is also an app, but it costs ¥300 (iOS) and ¥257 (Android), as of today.
Some quite interesting things you’ll be able to find out about:
There’s a search box, and you can click on the cloud to refresh your choices or click on “Lucky Dip” to find a random page:
Learning new vocabulary can be a bit tricky when you’ve had so much other English-y stuff drummed into you all week. Some of it just falls out. The way to aid students with information retention is by making the lessons more personalised – allowing the students to make a connection between the new vocab and a personal feeling, memory or in this case, taste! Our words du jour were chewy, fizzy, bitter, sweet, ripe, bland, chewy, savoury/salty and ripe. I elicited as much as I could and offered examples during class, and we completed a gap fill exercise. The next day I prepared the classroom for an impromptu revision session on what they had (hopefully) learnt. It looked a little something like this:
My suitably concerned students piled into the classroom with trepidation as I revealed they would be blindfolded and led into class one by one, sample some drink…
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