Unpack your adjectives

March 4, 2008
Got home from camping last spring. Saw people, places and things. We barely had arrived, friends asked us to describe the people, places and every last thing. So we unpacked our adjectives.
I unpacked “_________” first. Reached in and found the word “______”. Then I picked “soggy” and next I picked “foggy” and then I was ready to tell them my tale. ‘Cause I’d unpacked my adjectives. Adjectives are words you use to really describe things, handy words to carry around. Days are ______ or they’re ______. Boys are dumb or else they’re brainy. Adjectives can show you which way.

Adjectives are often used to help us compare things, to say how thin, how fat, how short, how tall. Girls who are tall can get taller, boys who are small can get smaller, till one is the tallest and the other’s the smallest of all.

We hiked along without care. Then we ran into a bear. He was a hairy bear, he was a scary bear, we beat a hasty retreat from his lair. And described him with adjectives.

[Turtle, spoken:] Whoah! Boy! That was one ____, _____ bear!

[Girl, spoken:] You can even make adjectives out of the other parts of speech, like verbs or nouns. All you have to do is tack on an ending like “-ic” or “-ish” or “-ary”. For example, this boy can grow up to be a huge man – but still have a boyish face. “Boy” is a noun, but the ending “-ish” makes it an adjective – boyish. That describes the huge man’s face, get it?

[Sung:] Next time you go on a trip, remember this little tip: the minute you get back, they’ll ask you this and that, you can describe people, places and things… Simply unpack your adjectives. You can do it with adjectives. Tell them ’bout it with adjectives. You can shout it with adjectives.


Unpack your adjectives…in the right order

March 4, 2008

We use adjectives to describe things, people…anything. But what happens when we have more than one adjective to describe something? We have to put them in the right order. And what’s the right order in English?

Well, first of all: adjectives come before the noun (object/person the adjective is describing). O sea aquí se habla como el Yoda de la Guerra de las Galaxias, los adjetivos en inglés siempre delante del nombre…en español podemos ponerlos delante o detrás, aunque lo más común es detrás del nombre…sólo lo ponemos delante en ocasiones específicas como por ejemplo si queremos enfatizar el adjetivo o estamos con la vena poética: el azul mar, la verde pradera o la mala persona. A partir de ahora, al hablar en inglés, conviértete en Yoda.

So if you want to know the order in which we normally place the descriptive adjectives, watch the following video (“there’s a rule for everything”) de un tipo que no le importa lo que la gente piense de él 😉

Practice here:

  1. Choose the correct order.
  2. Idem.

Take a look at this chart para completar el suicidio. Funny how en esta página contradicen un poco el orden expuesto por el Professor Grammar. En fin. Están locos estos Brits.