Wordwatch Towers

A plain language guide to punctuation, grammar and writing well.

Technical stuff – part 8: adjectives (regular and irregular)

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I'm so adjective...
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Adjectives can be regular or irregular.

Regular adjectives

These are adjectives which can be used to show a difference in degree, for example:

Beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful (‘More’ and ‘most’ are, technically, called ‘premodifiers’ but you don’t need to worry about that unless you like filing away long words.)

and…

Thin, thinner, thinnest (‘Er’ and ‘est’ are ‘inflections’. Again, not a detail to worry about.)

Irregular adjectives

These are adjectives which do not take ‘premodifiers’ or ‘inflections’ to show a difference in degree because the word itself changes instead. For example:

Bad, worse, worst (We would not write ‘badder’ or ‘baddest’, or ‘more bad’ or ‘most bad’.)

Good, better, best (We would not write ‘gooder’ or ‘goodest’, or ‘more good’ or ‘most good’.)

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Written by Wordwatch

16/01/2010 at 3:25 pm

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