01 Aug


Sentence improvement questions that are a part of Banking and SSC exams can be dealt with confidently only when you understand the relevant grammatical concepts. It is important that you don’t neglect adjectives. You must pay close attention to learn the application of adjectives. Doing so will assist you in cracking a significant number of grammar based questions asked in the English language section of the exam.

In this regard, the institute for Best IBPS PO Coaching in Delhi has put together this compendium that will be of great benefit in understanding adjectives.

What are Adjectives?


Adjectives are the words that modify nouns and pronouns. They provide us with more detail about nouns and pronouns. In general, adjectives help us answer questions such as:

  • Which? – The naughty boy is troubling his classmates. (Which boy? – naughty)
  • What kind of? Retrogressive laws concerning marriage need to be changed soon. (What kind of laws? – retrogressive)
  • How many? Most of my friends like cartoon films. (How many friends? – most)

Position of Adjectives

As a general rule, adjectives are placed before the nouns they modify. However, there are some adjectives that are an exception to this rule. These adjectives are placed after the nouns they modify and usually follow a verb from the list given below:

  • Be (is/am/are/was/were) – My pen is expensive.
  • Feel – I felt tired after a long day’s work.
  • Taste – These mangoes taste sweet.
  • Smell – The bread smells foul.
  • Sound – World music sounds awkward to a lot of people.
  • Look – The birthday cake looks delicious.
  • Appear – The attitude of the local police appears casual to say the least.
  • Seem – The boys seem indifferent towards their career.

Degrees of Adjectives

There are 3 degrees of adjectives: Positive, Comparative and Superlative. A few important points regarding them are:

(I) Comparative degree is used for comparing 2 items/persons. However, for comparing more than two items/persons, we use the superlative degree.

(II) The comparative degree is usually formed by adding the suffix “-er” (Eg. taller, higher, smarter, richer)

(III) The superlative degree is usually formed by adding the suffix “-st” (Eg. tallest, highest, smartest, richest)

(IV) However, some adjectives have irregular forms in comparative & superlative degrees. Examples are:

Many / MuchMoreMost

NOTE: Certain adjectives are such that they don’t have any comparative degrees. Some common examples are: unique, absolute, complete, final, main, entire, ideal, whole, sufficient, adequate, chief, universal etc.

Adjectives & Corresponding Adverbs

“Adjective + ly = Adverb” is a thumb rule expressing the relationship between an adjective and its corresponding adverb. Therefore, many adverbs end in (-ly). However, this misconception should not be there that an adverb will always end in (-ly).

A word ending in (-ly) may not be an adverb. Examples of such words are: lovely, costly, friendly, hilly, lonely, silly, daily, curly, oily, holy, heavenly, ugly, jolly etc. These are some adjectives ending in (-ly).

Noteworthy Points – Use of Adjectives

(I) Much vs. Many 

‘Much’ must be used for describing only uncountable nouns.

  • There isn’t much water in the overhead tank.
  • He does not pay much attention to my words.

‘Many’ must be used for describing only countable nouns.

  • He has saved the lives of many animals.
  • There are many apples in the basket.

(II) Little vs. Few

‘Little’ must be used to modify only uncountable nouns.

  • The British had little understanding of the Indian subcontinent.
  • The expert seems to have little knowledge of his own field.

‘Few’ must be used to modify only countable nouns.

  • Finding a few tigers in this wildlife sanctuary will not be a difficult task.
  • Roger has few friends left in the music industry.

(III) Less vs. Fewer

‘Less’ should be used while comparing uncountable things.

  • Ram has less courage than his elder brother.
  • Compared to the last century, now-a-days people have less regard for social niceties.

‘Fewer’ should be used while comparing countable things.

  • Fewer people are working on this project now.
  • The fewer runs they score, the better will be our chances of winning the match.

However ‘less’ is often used when we refer to numerical or statistical expressions:

  • The horse was less than 6 feet tall.
  • They spend less than 500 dollars a month on grocery items.
  • The budget allocation for IT sector is less than 3% percent of the GDP.

(IV) Enough

‘Enough’ can modify both countable & uncountable nouns.

  • We don’t have enough money to purchase a palatial house.
  • She has enough problems to last her a life time.

(V) Plenty of

‘Plenty of’ can modify both countable & uncountable nouns.

  • Our town has plenty of water.
  • I have plenty of options to choose from.

(VI) No

‘No’ modifies both countable & uncountable nouns.

  • We have no time to waste.
  • No mangoes are there in the basket.

(VII) Good vs. Well

‘Good’ is used as an adjective and ‘well’ is the adverbial form of ‘good’.

  • Alice is a good girl.
  • Alice swims well; she is being considered to represent her school at the state level.

However, pls. note that when we use sense verbs (verbs related to 5 five human senses), ‘good’ must be chosen, instead of ‘well’.

  • The new offer sounds good to me.
  • Despite the service, my car does not look good.

(VIII) Bad vs. Badly

The same concepts that we apply in case of ‘good’ vs. ‘well’ should be applied in case of ‘bad’ vs. ‘badly’. ‘Bad’ is the adjective, whereas ‘badly’ acts as an adverb.

  • Bad reputation can destroy even the most profitable of businesses.
  • In the game of cricket, a single shot played badly is enough to get you out.

However, we will choose ‘bad’ instead of ‘badly’ when we are dealing with sense verbs.

  • The wound looks bad and his leg must be operated upon without any delay.
  • This room smells bad and we require a quality air freshener to make things better.

After learning these concepts, you must make an effort to take your preparation to the next level. To do so, it is required that you attempt sufficient number of practice questions, preferably from the study material offered by a Top Bank Coaching Center.


This article has been contributed by English language faculty teaching Bank PO Coaching Classes at Vidya Guru Institute for SSC, Banking & Govt. job exam preparation. To learn further from these faculty members and to get your doubts and queries answered, pls. feel free to write to vidyagurudelhi@gmail.com.

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