Exercises on adjectives in English (with commented feedback)

Test your knowledge of the order in which adjectives are placed in a sentence, the comparative and superlative forms, and much more.

Check out our commented feedback with detailed explanations and consolidate your learning!

question 1

Check the alternative that completes the sentence correctly:

She is a __________________.

a) girl beautiful
b) beautiful girl
c) awesome girl
d) awesome girl

Correct alternative: b) beautiful girl

She is a beautiful girl. (She is a beautiful girl.)

a) WRONG. In the English language, adjectives are placed before nouns. Consequently, beautiful (beautiful) cannot be after the noun girl (girl).

b) CORRECT. In English, adjectives are placed before nouns. Note that the adjective beautiful (beautiful) is used before the noun girl (girl).

c) WRONG. Before words that start with a vowel sound, the article should be used an. therefore, we say an awesome girl.

d) WRONG. The alternative d) it is incorrect under any circumstances due to the fact that the adjective is placed after the noun. Even if it was correctly positioned, before words that start with a vowel sound, the article is used

an. So we would have an awesome girl.

question 2

(PM-SC/2018)

From nail bars to car washes: how big is the UK's slavery problem?

by Annie Kelly

Does slavery exist in the UK?

More than 250 years since the end of the transatlantic slave trade, there are close to 41 million people still trapped in some form of slavery across the world today. Yet nobody really knows the scale and how many victims or perpetrators of this crime there are in Britain.

The data that has been released is inconsistent. The government believes there are about 13,000 victims of slavery in the UK, while earlier this year the Global Slavery Index released a much higher estimate of 136,000.

Statistics on slavery from the National Crime Agency note the number of people passed on to the government's national referral mechanism (NRM), the process by which victims of slavery are identified and granted support. While this data gives a good snapshot of what kinds of slavery are most prevalent and who is falling victim to exploiters, it doesn’t paint the whole picture. For every victim identified by the police, there will be many others who are not found and remain under the control of traffickers, pimps and gangmasters.

There are also many potential victims who don't agree to go through the mechanism because they don't trust the authorities, or are too scared to report their traffickers. Between 1 November 2015 and 30 June 2018, the government received notifications of 3,306 potential victims of modern slavery in England and Wales who were not referred to the NRM.

[…]

The police recorded 3,773 modern slavery offences between June 2017 and June 2018.

[…]

(Source: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/ oct/18/nail-bars-car-washes-uk-slavery-problem-anti-slavery-day. Access: 10/20/2018)

In the following excerpt: “(…) the government received notifications of 3,306 potential victims of modern slavery in England and Wales (…)”, the underlined words are, respectively:

a) The noun; an adjective; to noun; an adjective.
b) An adjective; an adjective; to noun; to noun.
c) An adjective; to noun; an adjective; to noun.
d) The noun; to noun; an adjective; an adjective.
e) An adjective; to noun; to noun; to noun.

Correct alternative: c) An adjective; to noun; an adjective; to noun.

Note that in all alternatives, only two grammatical classes are available: adjective and noun

To arrive at the correct answer for this exercise, you must first know two things:

  • In the English language, adjectives are placed before nouns.
  • Adjectives attribute characteristics to nouns.

In potential victims, the word potential (potential) is attributing a characteristic to the noun victims (victims) and thus playing the role of an adjective.

The same occurs in modern slavery, where the word modern (modern) characterizes the noun slavery (slavery).

Note that in both cases adjectives are placed before nouns.

Also check out: Adjectives in English (adjectives)

question 3

Note the sequence of words and order them correctly

a) a - big - black - dog - fat

Right answer: the big fat black dog
Translation: a big fat black dog

When a sentence has two or more adjectives, they must respect the following order:

opinion > size > weight > age > shape > color > origin > religion > material > purpose > name

Therefore:

  • big: size
  • fat: Weight
  • black: color

b) an - French - interesting - old - song

Right answer: an interesting old French song
Translation: An Interesting Old French Song

The position of adjectives in a sentence follows the following order:

opinion > size > weight > age > shape > color > origin > religion > material > purpose > name

  • interesting: opinion
  • old: age
  • French: origin

c) a - new - jacket - green

Right answer: the new green jacket
Translation: a new green jacket

If there is more than one adjective in the sentence, you should organize them according to the following order:

opinion > size > weight > age > shape > color > origin > religion > material > purpose > name

  • new: age
  • green: color

question 4

Mark the correct alternative.

a) Adjectives in English vary in gender, number and degree.
b) Adjectives in English only vary in gender and number.
c) Adjectives in English only vary in gender.
d) Adjectives in English only vary in degree.

Correct alternative: d) English adjectives vary only in degree.

In English, there is no male and female form for adjectives, so they don't vary in gender. The same word that is used to refer to the feminine gender is used to refer to the masculine gender.

Examples:

  • she is very tired. (She is very tired.)
  • he is very tired. (He is very tired.)

It is also correct to state that adjectives in English do not vary in number (singular/plural).

Examples:

  • I'm tired. (I'm tired.)
  • they are tired. (They are tired.)

Adjectives in English only vary in degree (comparative/superlative), as they have a different way of indicating each one of them.

  • I am more tired than my brother. (I'm more tired than my brother.) - comparative superiority
  • my brother is less tired than me. (My brother is less tired than I am.) - comparative inferiority
  • i am as tired as my uncle. (I'm as tired as my uncle.) - comparison of equality
  • My cousin is the most tired person in class today. (My cousin is the most tired person in the class today.) - superlative

Note that to express each of the degree ideas a specific sentence formation structure was used.

5. Rewrite the sentences using the correct possessive adjective. Follow the model.

Model: Ann's house is really big.

Reply: her house is really big.

a) Mr. Johnson's cat is black.

Reply: his cat is black. (His cat is black.)

Mr. means Lord, therefore, Mr Johnson's equivalent to the possessive adjective his (from him).

b) The kids’ teacher is sick.

Reply: their teacher is sick. (Their teacher is sick.)

kids means children and is an inflected plural word. So the corresponding possessive adjective is their (their their).

c) My dog's name is Duke.

Right answer: Its name is Duke. (His name is Duke.)

Its it is the possessive adjective used to refer to things, objects, places and animals, whether they are related to the masculine gender or the feminine gender.

See too: The genitive case - The genitive case ('s) and Possessive Pronouns

question 6

Identify the option that indicates the correct use of adjectives in English:

a) Adjectives must be placed before the indefinite pronouns (undefined pronouns) in a sentence.
b) Adjectives cannot be used in sentences that have indefinite pronouns (Indefinite Pronouns).
c) In one sentence, the indefinite pronouns (undefined pronouns) are placed after the adjectives.
d) When a sentence has a indefinite pronoun (undefined pronoun), the adjective must be placed after it.

Correct alternative: d) When a phrase has an indefinite pronoun (indefinite pronoun), the adjective should be placed after it.

You indefinite pronouns they are: someone, somebody, something, somewhere, anybody, anyone, no one, anything, nothing, anywhere and nowhere.

See an example of a sentence with an adjective and indefinite pronoun in English:

There is something rotten in the fridge. (There is something rotten in the fridge.)

See too: indefinite pronouns

question 7

Choose the alternative that fills the sentence below correctly:

She is __________________ girl I know.

a) more beautiful than
b) the most beautiful
c) as beautiful as
d) less beautiful than

Correct alternative: b) the most beautiful

She is the most beautiful girl I know. (She is the most beautiful girl I know.)

In the sentence, a girl is being compared to all the girls the message sender knows. When we compare a person to a group, we have a case of a superlative.

The superlative of long adjectives, that is, with many characters, follows the following formation:

the most + adjective

question 8

Complete the sentence properly:

Mary is 10 years old. Jean is 10 years old.

Mary is _____________________ Jean.

a) younger than
b) the youngest
c) the young as
d) less young than

Correct alternative: c) as young as

mary is as young as jean. (Mary is as young as Jean.)

mary and Jean have the same age: 10 years. So, to establish a comparison between the ages of the two, we use an equality comparison. In English, this comparison follows the following formation:

at + adjective + at

question 9

(Colegio Naval/2018)

TEXT I

Social media 'destroying how society works'

A former Facebook executive has said social media is doing great harm to society around the world. The executive is a man called Chamath Palihapitiya. He ___________ Facebook in 2007 a n d ___________a vice president. He was responsible for increasing the number of users Facebook had. Mr Palihapitiya said he feels very guilty about getting more people to use social networks. He said the networks are destroying society because they are changing people's behavior. Twenty years ago, people talked to each other face to face. Today, people message each other and do not talk. People also really care about what other people think of them. They post photos and wait to see how many people like the photo. They get very sad if people do not like the photo.

Mr. Palihapitiya said people should take a long break from social media so they can experience real life. He wants people to value each other instead of valuing online "hearts, likes, and thumbs-up". Palihapitiya also points out how fake news is affecting how we see the world, it is becoming easier for large websites to spread lies. It is also becoming easier to hurt other people online. Anyone can hide behind a fake user name and post lies about other people. Palihapitiya said this was a global problem. He is worried about social media so much that he has banned his children from using it. However, he did state that Facebook was a good company. He said: "Of course, it's not all bad. Facebook overwhelmingly does good in the world."

All the underlined words in text I are adjectives, EXCEPT:

a) social
b) global
c) long
d) executive
e) former

Correct alternative: d) executive

Every adjective attributes characteristic to a noun.

a) WRONG. Social (social) is an adjective, as it characterizes the word average (media).

b) WRONG. Global (worldwide) is an adjective, as it expresses the characteristic of the word problem (problem).

c) WRONG. long (long) is an adjective, as it attributes character to the word break (break).

d) CORRECT. The word executive (executive) can act as an adjective or a noun. However, the text speaks of a former Facebook executive (a former Facebook executive).

In this context, executive it has a noun function, as it refers to the person who has administrative functions in a company.

e) WRONG. former (old one; previous) assigns a characteristic to the noun executive (executive). As we read the sentence, we know that this is a specific executive: the former/previous Facebook executive.

question 10

(EPCAR/2018)

WHAT IS MODERN SLAVERY?

Slavery did not end with abolition in the 19th century. Slavery continues today and harms people in every country in the world.

Women forced into prostitution. People forced to work in agriculture, domestic work and factories. children in sweatshops1 producing goods sold globally. Entire families forced to work for nothing to pay off generational debts. Girls forced to marry older men.

There are estimated 40.3 million people in modern slavery around the world, including:

  • 10 million children
  • 24.9 million people in forced labor
  • 15.4 million people in forced marriage
  • 4.8 million people in forced sexual exploitation Someone is in slavery if they are:
  • forced to work – through coercion, or mental or physical threat;
  • owned or controlled by an 'employer', through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse;
  • dehumanised, treated as a commodity or bought and sold as 'property';
  • physically constrained or have restrictions placed on their freedom of movement.

Slavery has been a disgraceful aspect of human society for most of human history. However, Anti-Slavery International has refused to accept this bloody status quo should be allowed to persist (Aidan McQuade, former director).

Forms of modern slavery

Purposes of exploitation2 can range from forced prostitution and forced labor to forced marriage and forced organ removal. Here are the most common forms of modern slavery.

  • Forced labor – any work or services which people are forced to do against their will3 under the threat of some form of punishment.
  • Debt bondage or bonded labor – the world's most widespread form of slavery, when people borrow money they cannot repay and are required to work to pay off the debt, then losing control over the conditions of both their employment and the debt.
  • Human trafficking– involves transporting, recruiting or harboring people for the purpose of exploitation, using violence, threats or coercion.
  • Descent-based slavery – where people are born into slavery because their ancestors were captured and enslaved; they remain in slavery by descent.
  • Child slavery – many people often confuse child slavery with child labour, but it is much worse. whilst4 child labor is harmful for children and hinders5 their education and development, child slavery occurs when a child is exploited for someone else's gain. It can include child trafficking, child soldiers, child marriage and child domestic slavery.
  • Forced and early marriage – when someone is married against their will and cannot leave the marriage. Most child marriages can be considered slavery.

Many forms of slavery have more than one element listed above. For example, human trafficking often involves advance payment for travel and a job abroad, using money often borrowed from the traffickers. Then, the debt contributes to control of the victims. Once they arrive, victims cannot leave until they pay off their debt.

Many people think that slavery happens only overseas, in developing countries. In fact, in country is free from modern slavery, even Britain. The Government estimates that there are tens of thousands of people in modern slavery in the UK.

Modern slavery can affect people of any age, gender or race. However, contrary to a common misconception6 that everyone can be a victim of slavery, some groups of people are much more vulnerable to slavery than others.

People who live in poverty7 and have limited opportunities for decent work are more vulnerable to accepting deceptive job offers that can turn exploitative. People who are discriminated against on the basis of race, caste, or gender are also more likely to be enslaved. Slavery is also more likely to occur where the rule of law is weaker and corruption is rife.

Anti-Slavery International believes that we have to tackle8 the root causes of slavery in order to end slavery for good. That's why we published our Anti-Slavery Charter, listing comprehensive measures that need to be taken to end slavery across the world.

(Adapted from https://www.antislavery.org/slavery-today/modern-slavery/)

Glossary:

  1. sweatshop – the factory where workers are paid very little and work many hours in very bad conditions
  2. exploitation – abuse, manipulation
  3. will - wish, desire
  4. whilst – while
  5. to hinder - obstruct, stop
  6. misconception – wrong idea/ impression
  7. poverty - the condition of being extremely poor
  8. to tackle - attack

Considering the use of possessive adjectives, mark the alternative that completes the sentence below correctly

modern slavery includes

a) an employee who has her work abused her.
b) children who have their lives affected.
c) the girl who has her marriage forced.
d) people who have your freedom restricted.

Correct alternative: c) a girl who has her marriage forced.

a) WRONG. the possessive adjective its indicates that a thing, an animal, or a child whose sex is not specified has something. The possessive adjectives that correspond to the noun employee (employee/employee) are her (her is his (from him).

b) WRONG. children (children) is a plural noun and corresponds to the personal pronoun they (they). Therefore, the corresponding possessive adjective is their (their their).

the possessive adjective his matches the personal pronoun he (he).

c) CORRECT. Alternative c) is correct because girl is a feminine noun that corresponds to the pronoun she (Is it over there). The possessive adjective of the pronoun she é her (her).

d) WRONG. The word people (people) is a plural noun that corresponds to the personal pronoun they (they) and, therefore, the word possessive as a possessive adjective their (their their).

question 11

Choose the correct degree variation to complete the sentence.

I thought it would take me 10 minutes to get to the park, but it actually took me only 5 minutes. It was _____________________ I thought.

a) more distant than
b) the most distant
c) the distant
d) less distant than

Correct alternative: d) less distant than

I thought it would take me 10 minutes to get to the park, but it actually took me only 5 minutes. It was less distant than I thought. (I thought it would take 10 minutes to get to the park, but actually it only took 5. It was less distant than I imagined.)

a) WRONG. more distant than (further than) is the comparative of superiority of the adjective distant (distant). The speaker of the sentence thought it would take 10 minutes to get to the park, however it only took 5. So, he says in the last sentence that the trip to the park was any less far from what he thought.

b) WRONG. the most distant (the farthest) is the superlative degree of the adjective distant. It can be said that the superlative establishes a relationship between a thing and a group. In the sentence, the relationship is one of comparison between two periods of time (10 minutes and 5 minutes), so the comparative, and not the superlative, should be used.

c) WRONG. the distant (as far as) is the comparison of equality of the adjective distant. In the last sentence, the speaker of the message states that the trip to the park was any less far from what he thought, therefore, it is a comparative of inferiority.

d) CORRECT. In the sentence, a relationship is established between the time the interlocutor judged necessary to go to the park (10 minutes) and the actual time it took place (5 minutes). So we have a comparison.

As the interlocutor concluded that it took less time than he had imagined, it is a comparative of inferiority which, in English, follows the following structure:

less + adjective + than

question 12

Complete the sentence with the comparative of superiority.

Ohio is ____________________ New Jersey.

a) more cold than
b) holster than
c) as cold as
d) less cold than

Correct alternative: b) holster than

Ohio is colder than New Jersey. (Ohio is cooler than New Jersey.)

The comparative of superiority of short adjectives, that is, with few characters, is formed according to the following structure:

adjective + -er + than

In the sentence, the adjective is cold (cold). So, we started to have holster than (Coldier than).

See too:Comparative and superlative

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