Is "personal" the right adjective for the noun "personality" in the context of "of a type of personality" ? If personal is not the right adjective, is there another word for it.

contrived examples

(a) The drastic difference in people's reactions to the event is attributed to the differences in their cultural backgrounds and their personalities

(b) The drastic difference in people's reactions to the event is attributed to their cultural and personal differences.

(c) For reasons that were attributed to by a difference in the personalities among team members, team A succeeded in finishing the task before the deadline while team B failed to complete the task.

(d) Due to personal differences among team members, team A succeeded in finishing the task before the deadline while team B failed to complete the task

  • It depends on the context of the word personality. Are you talking about the character of a person or are you talking about a celebrity or famous person? Jan 18, 2019 at 1:23
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    Provide your sense of personality. My immediate reaction is that personalized works better than personal (although it's still not quite right)—but I don't know how you want to use personality. Please provide an example sentence. Jan 18, 2019 at 3:34
  • You mean "Is there an adjectival form?" After all, adjective is a noun. :)
    – tchrist
    Jan 18, 2019 at 14:15
  • Yes. title has been edited.
    – B Chen
    Jan 18, 2019 at 15:37
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    @BChen Thanks for the edit! Not only does it read better now, it clarifies that you’re interested in how to go about deriving an adjectival form starting from the word personality under the various standard and easily recognized rules of derivational morphology. And perhaps you’d like to know if such a derived term already exists in English.This allows your refocussed question to attract more scholarly and inspired answers, which is the very sort we most want. I assure you that such answers are possible here but have not yet been given. Perhaps tonight I shall try.
    – tchrist
    Jan 19, 2019 at 15:42

2 Answers 2


For the type of example given in your question, personality must be used as a noun adjunct. There is no special “adjectival form”, although you could construct an artificial one in order to achieve a certain tone.

A person’s personality is a combination of many elements, almost like a portfolio, and as a word it functions the same way.

For example, the Myers-Briggs and Big Five models start with a set of “traits” that are all present to some degree.

When you use personality as an adjective, you are saying that the noun it modifies is qualified by its association with a set of things, which includes all of the possible relationships amongst them, as well as their individual natures. Thus, a team might fail because of personality differences or personality clashes amongst its members, but it could also fail as a result of personality deficits that all of its members have in common (lack of openness to new experience, for example).

There are many nouns in English that refer to collections, and which don’t have a commonly used adjectival form.

For example, rain has the simple adjective rainy, but the collection of phenomena referred to as weather does not have an equivalent form. One could speak of “weatherish delays” on a sea voyage or “a weatherly choice of overcoat”, but these are contrived forms intended to draw attention, not words that would be generally used.

  • You are not using personality as an adjective when you use a noun to modify another noun. That's why talking about an extremely personality trait is ungrammatical. If that were an adjective like personal it would have been fine but it's not. It's still a noun. See the difference? Compare an extremely personal trait with an extreme personality trait.
    – tchrist
    Feb 18, 2019 at 3:17

As a derivative of the word "personal" the adjective "personalized" can be contextually used.

The adjective "individual" would also convey the meaning that you seek in your examples. There are some other synonyms that might work as well.




  • Agree. But then we'd be talking about synonyms, not a derivative of the word "personality", whose Latin root is personalis, of a person. I was simply curious if there is an adjective in modern English for "personality", as in my impression, the modern usage and understanding of the word "personal" seems to deviate far away from "personality".
    – B Chen
    Jan 18, 2019 at 12:19

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