We use adjectives to modify and intensify the characteristics of a noun. They are one of the eight parts of speech and are a basic part of English grammar.
Adjectives are words that give character to a noun. But there are different types of adjectives that give different meanings and attribute to a noun. Adjective of number is one of them. Adjectives of number are a type of adjectives that indicates the number of the noun. It can tell us the exact quantity of a noun present.
Let us discuss in detail the ways adjectives of numbers are used and their purpose and objective.
What is an Adjective of number?
An adjective of number is a type of adjective that indicates the exact number of a noun. It can convey or show the number of people or things present. Adjectives of number are also used to show the position or place of a noun in a particular order. This means they can indicate both the count of a noun and the position held by the same.
In simple words, adjectives of number show how many nouns or pronouns are present in a sentence and give their count.
It can be any quantity.
Let us look at some examples;
- I have only three students in my class today.
- Can anybody borrow two pens for me?
- There are eight participants in the competition.
Adjectives of numbers can also indicate the place or position of the noun or pronoun. For example;
- I came first in the dance competition.
- She secured the third position in poem recitation.
Here, the adjectives are not the count of the noun but their position in a certain order.
Usage of Adjectives of Number
Adjectives of Number are used to give the exact count of a noun or show the place of a noun in a particular sequence. So it is clear that adjectives of number are used with countable nouns.
However, this is only the general understanding. Adjectives of number can be used in three different ways according to its three categories.
Definite numeral adjectives: These are the type that gives the exact number and position of the noun. Such as one, two, three, four, five, double, quadruple, fifteen, and so on.
Indefinite numeral adjectives: These are the words that indicate the approximate amount and not the exact count, such as some, many, few, little, etc.
Distributive numeral adjectives: These are the words that indicate the count of each noun individually or separately. Or in a distributive manner. Such as each, every, neither, etc.
Let us look at some sentences;
Definite numeral adjectives examples:
- I have three dogs back at home.
- I saw two girls passing by.
Indefinite numeral adjectives examples:
- Can I borrow some money from you?
- I need a little sugar in my tea.
Distributive numeral adjectives examples:
- Every person wants to learn.
- Each person in this class can take part.
These are the important points that one needs to keep in mind before applying an adjective of number. Its categories can sometimes be tricky, but remembering these points will surely help.