Fact and Opinion Adjectives

Adjectives are words used to tell us more about people or things. Some adjectives give us factual information about the noun (age, size color, etc.) while other provide someone’s evaluation or judgement about something or somebody (nice, horrid, beautiful, etc.). In this article, we’ll look at these two types of adjectives and how they are used in our speech.

Adjectives usually describe nouns and go before the nouns without changing their own forms.

  • This is a nice house.
  • It’s a rainy day.
  • There are many ripe red apples on the tree.

Sometimes adjectives go after the verbs like ‘be’, ‘become’, ‘get’:

  • The sky is blue.
  • In autumn tree leaves become yellow and red.
  • It’s getting late, we need to go.

Adjectives can belong to different categories, each containing a number of types.

In English adjectives can be fact and opinion.

Fact adjectives

Fact adjectives provide factual information about the object they describe, e.g. its color, size, material, etc.

  • I saw a big car passing by the street (size type of adjective).
  • Young boys and girls go to school (age type of adjective).
  • Mary likes to wear white dresses in summer (color type of adjective).
  • The box is square, and the ball is round (shape type of adjective).
  • Tom brought a small porcelain cup from his trip to China (material type of adjective).
  • Do you like Vietnamese food? (origin type of adjective).

Opinion adjectives

When we need to describe our thoughts about somebody or something, we can use opinion adjectives, such as ‘nice’, ‘beautiful’, ‘friendly’, etc.

General opinion

— Some of them express general opinion (general opinion adjectives):

  • I have a beautiful cat. (beautiful can describe various things)
  • My lovely dog plays all day round.

Specific opinion

— Others may express more specific opinion (specific opinion adjectives):

  • The meal is delicious (delicious is normally used to talk about food).
  • Emily is a kind person (kind is normally used to talk about people).
Note: Understanding of fact and opinion adjectives helps to put adjectives in the correct order in a sentence. The general rule says that if fact and opinion adjectives are used in one sentence, opinion adjectives go before fact adjectives.

Check out this video from World English 808 to learn more about fact and opinion adjectives and their usage:

More on adjectives:

Common and Demonstrative Adjectives

The Order of Adjectives

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