Proper adjectives are a type of adjective. Adjectives are words that modify a noun and add attributes and characters to it. They are of different types, and proper adjective is one of them.
Proper adjectives are basically words that modify nouns. But it is unique and different because these modifiers are formed from proper nouns. And similarly, like adjectives, these proper adjectives are used to modify and add character to nouns.
Let us get into a detailed explanation with examples to understand how are proper nouns formed and used, also, the rules concerning their usage.
What are Proper adjectives?
Proper adjectives are adjectives that are built or created from proper nouns. Proper nouns are the words that are the specific names of a place or people. These adjectives are born from these specific names of persons or places.
Proper adjectives are just like proper nouns. But with a different or alternative ending to make them act like adjectives.
Let us understand with some basic examples;
He is from Nigeria.
Here Nigeria is a proper noun. It is the specific name of a place.
Now, when we turn it into a proper adjective, it will be as follows;
He is a Nigerian person.
Here, Nigerian is a proper adjective built from a proper noun.
Some more examples;
- I love Italian food.
- She is a Mexican girl, but she lives in India.
- I regularly listen to Korean news.
Usage of proper adjectives
Proper adjectives are words that can be used in different sentences. As long as one refers to a specific type of something, be it a person or place, proper adjectives will stand grammatically correct.
As we learned that proper adjectives are formed from proper nouns, it is important to note that they will always be capitalized. They are used with capital initials. For example, Nigerian, Indian, etc.
Types of proper adjectives
Proper adjectives from places: These are formed from the specific names of places. Such as country, state, or any landmark. For example;
Proper adjectives from people names: These are formed or created from the specific names of prominent or famous people. It can be both real and fictional. These are technically known as eponymous. For example;
- Mahatma Gandhi: Gandhian
- Gautama Buddha: Buddhist
- Jesus Christ: Christian
- Karl Marx: Marxist
Use of hyphens and prefixes with proper adjectives
Whenever we add a prefix to a proper adjective, the prefix itself will not be capitalized. But the proper adjective will always be capitalized. For example;
It is similar in the case of suffixes. Even when a suffix is added to a proper adjective, the proper adjective will be the only word that will be capitalized and not the suffix.
Let us look at some more examples of proper adjectives;
- I heard that Christian people eat pork.
- Indian students do not have the privileges that American students have.
- Gandhian rules will always preach about non-violence.
- Any anti-Indian acts are not to be tolerated in India.
These are the main points that will help use proper adjectives correctly. Proper adjectives are very easy to learn, and these points will further help improve one’s skills.