Adjectives are words, or phrases naming an attribute, added to or grammatically related to a noun to modify or describe it.

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“Are they American?” or “Are they Americans?”

What is the difference bewteen Are they American and Are they Americans?
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“How large is your hard-drive” vs “How big is your hard-drive?”

When referring to a hard-drive's capacity (In GigaBytes), is it correct to use any of the following: How large is your hard-drive? How big is your hard-drive? Or is there any better way for terming ...
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What adjective describes incorrect assumptions?

I wanted to apologise for making incorrect assumptions in some correspondence and wrote "I apologise for my presumptive wording". Then I looked up "presumptive" and see it means: Providing a ...
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-ed and -ing adjectives

What is the difference? I am interesting in mathematics. versus I am interested in mathematics. Murphy intermediate grammar Unit 97 tells me that I cannot use the former. Extended and ...
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Are there differences between “all-day lunch” and “all day lunch”?

What are the differences between: All-day lunch All day lunch for example: all-day lunch from 12.00-18.00 The dictionary say all-day means available throughout the day, but is the hyphen ...
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What are general rules to form this superlatives: “adjective + most”?

I happen to find superlatives with the structure below: Adjective + most, which are: the rearmost, the frontmost, the uppermost, the headmost, the outermost, the topmost, etc. What are the ...
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Verbed color names and “-en”

"whitened", "blackened", and "reddened"; but "yellowed", "grayed", and "blued". Is there some rule or is it just one of those things? "Greened" makes sense; no one is going to say "greenened". ...
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“Bride” is to “bridal” as “groom” is to …?

Instead of taking a bridal portrait, my niece and her fiancé had photos taken together which she insisted on calling groomals. While I guess this term is the accepted name for this new trend, I ...
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Adj + Noun + Verb to be + Same Adj

Is this a natural grammar or some kind of joke/internet meme? Cute girl is cute. Poor child is poor. Troll topic is troll.
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Adjective of “heritage”

I want to say that my city has a great combination of _ structures and an ever growing urban life. What adjective of heritage (or other word if suitable) can I use here?
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Difference between “classical” and “classic”

What's the difference between classical and classic? Should we say classic content in textbooks or classical content in textbooks?
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“Free bacteria!” on mineral water bottles [closed]

When I was traveling in Vietnam 15 years ago, I had great fun discovering on mineral water bottles the proud advertisement Free bacteria!. Is it common in English that the position of the adjective ...
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Why can’t one be “trepid”?

Why can someone be intrepid but not trepid ? The Free Dictionary and Merriam-Webster both consider trepid to be a real word, but my computer’s little spell-checker program does not recognize it as ...
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What alternatives are there to 'de-facto?'

I'm looking to describe something that people use for no particular reason, other than that other people use it. It is popular because it is popular. De-facto seemed like a good fit at first, but my ...
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Genitive case or noun as adjective

Is there any rule for when it is better to use genitive case or noun as adjective? I'm not sure if there is any difference in meaning in this example: The department of accounting The ...
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What's the opposite of “envious”? [closed]

What's the opposite of envious? For instance, I felt X when I got accepted into MIT and my sister did not. Or, when you feel bad for being lucky, when someone else is not. By googling, I found ...
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What is the adjective form for “edit?”

As in "that which could be edited," or "editable" if you will.
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‘Not as simply’ versus ‘not as simple’

In this Stack Overflow answer, an editor changed my sentence: Not as simply as that, unfortunately. to: Not as simple as that, unfortunately. The original question was: Is there any ...
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What is the etymology of the adjective “bumper”?

Looking at Etymonline and Dictionary.com only reveals that it was slang from 1759. Why did bumper come to mean unusually abundant, and why is it always paired up with the word crop?
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Is using the word “singular” to describe someone or something unique an outdated adjective?

Is using the word "singular" to describe someone or something unique an outdated adjective? E.g. By a singular piece of good fortune, Mr. Athelney Jones, the well-known member of the detective ...
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“An awful lot”: Any negative connotation?

Today was my first time I saw people use "an awful lot of" instead of "a lot of". It reminded me of "terribly good", which obviously has little negative connotation. But how about "an awful lot"? ...
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Indefinite Article Preceding Noun “Wind”

It's common to say "a gentle wind", but is it OK to say "a wind"? I just noticed that there's a novel named "A Wind in the Door", in which case I guess "A" could be used here due to the modifying "in ...
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The comparative of “environmentally friendly”

When using the comparative with environmentally friendly would it be correct to say environmentally friendlier, or more environmentally friendly?
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Is there a word that means the results of a test can only be positive or inconclusive?

Is there a word for this? For instance, a medical test where a positive result would be conclusive but any other result would not be.
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Is “over-exaggerated” correct English?

Isn't "exaggerated" enough? Is it right to say "over-exaggerated"?
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Equivalent for “inhumane” in regard to animals

It's probably appropriate to use the word inhumane when referring to the improper treatment of animals, but I was just curious if there was another term in the English language that refers to the ...
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What does “non-normative” mean in this context?

From the ECMAScript language specification ECMA-262 page 1 Section 4 This section contains a non-normative overview of the ECMAScript language The text goes on to say ECMAScript is an ...
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“Supposed” versus “expected”

What is the difference between supposed and expected? For example, which one should be used in the following example? I am confused about the two words base and basis. I often use one when ...
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“Deliberate recluse” or “deliberately reclusive”

I was touching up my profile when I came upon this: Aspiring autodidact, deliberate recluse. Is the phrase deliberate recluse syntactically correct, or should I use deliberately reclusive ...
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“Sour cream” versus “soured cream”

Does anyone besides my husband insist on adding an -ed to sour cream? Etymonline dates "sour cream" to 1855, but has no mention of "soured", so I don't think this is analogous to "iced tea" or "ice ...
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Difference between “smart” and “clever”

What is the difference between smart and clever? As far as I understand the latter is offensive. But the Cambrige Dictionary gives similar definitions of smart and clever.
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Why “Greater Toronto” rather than “Great Toronto”

Many big cities have their names preceded by Greater. Why not just Great? Does Greater indicate that the city is ambitious to expand itself? Why is Greater not used for country names such as Great ...
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Plural of “fleece” when referring to fleece jacket

Is the word fleece when referring to a fleece jacket also the plural form, or is that fleeces?
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What is an adjective that means a person that easily trusts others?

I'm looking for a word that could describe a person who is very gullible and easily trusts people. My specific example is Fortunato from Edgar Allen Poe's story: The Cask of Amontillado Edit: the ...
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Can a property be “idiosyncratic to” an object?

Is it grammatically correct to write (property) is idiosyncratic to (object) in the same way that one could write (property) is unique to (object)? For example This feature is idiosyncratic to ...
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Does using an adverb three times almost always imply the opposite?

Dana is very, very, very nice. A real housewife of Beverly Hills It seems that almost exclusively, the reiteration of a such a clarifier - very in this case - ends up actually meaning the ...
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Is there a name for adjectives that are based around someone's name?

Some examples would include: Shakespearean Christian Mesmerized Pavlovian Newtonian Boolean Darwinian
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Are the rhetorical meanings of “elliptic”, “hyperbolic”, and “circular” connected to their mathematical meanings?

The words "elliptic", "parabolic" (or "like a parable"), "hyperbolic", and "circular" all have meaning in rhetoric. Are these meanings etymologically connected to the conic sections?
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“Unconscious” versus “nonconscious” in everyday dialogue

These words have subtle distinctions in related research fields, but even there are often considered interchangeable or just an matter of tradition/trendiness in a particular field. Since I am a bit ...
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Argentine or Argentinian?

I was taught in my school days that Argentine was the correct adjective for something relating to the country Argentina. However, these days, even in common speech (but moreover in formal English on ...
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What is a gentler word than “suspended” or “closed”?

What word can show that an action is redeemable? Is there a synonym for closed/suspended that connotes a chance at redemption?
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What is the superlative of “fun”? [closed]

I've seen funniest a few times in that context, but isn't that a derivation of funny? Is there a superlative of fun or do we really use funniest for the lack of one?
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What is a better way to name “The Wrong Question”?

On StackOverflow.com I often find that people ask questions about problems that arise due to poor design choices (typically due to a lack of knowledge about the particular programming language). For ...
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“Political magazine” or “politics magazine”

Which is more grammatically correct? London's first political magazine London's first politics magazine
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Increasingly + positive or increasingly + comparative?

For instance, would you rather say "It became increasingly hard" or "It became increasingly harder"? From my understanding, both are possible, but their meaning is slightly different. The first ...
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Difference between “valuable” and “invaluable” [closed]

Invaluable intuitively seems to imply a higher degree of importance. Please explain the difference between valuable and invaluable and in what context you'd use one or the other.
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How to Say Something was 'Not an Improvement'

There is a mother, Ann, who has a stereotypical 'good' personality: she is religious, a teacher, and a very generous lady. Her daughter, Emily, isn't the nicest lady: she whines a lot, insults ...
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What is the difference between “pliable” and “pliant”?

I am confused between pliable and pliant. What's the difference? The explanation in the Oxford Dictionary seems vague: pliable 1. easily bent; flexible [quality leather is ...
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Are the rules regarding absolute modifiers too absolute?

A common grammar lesson that was taught to me in the US and that I've had to teach abroad in EFL classrooms is that we're not to use adverbs of emphasis with absolute modifiers, just as we're not ...
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Usage of “cowardly” and “coward”

I recently discovered that cowardly, which looks like an adverb, is actually also an adjective. So far so good. Then what is the difference between cowardly and coward, and is there any preferential ...