What is an Adjectival Noun? Know Meaning, Usage with Examples

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Adjectival nouns are nouns that are used to function like adjectives which then modify another noun. These nouns then provide additional information (details, characteristics, attributes, qualities) about the noun. They are commonly found in English vocabulary where a noun is replaced with another noun to act as an adjective. To help you understand more, we have compiled a blog on adjectival nouns, how they should be used and examples. 

Fun Fact: In some languages, like Japanese, specific grammatical markers are used to convert nouns into adjectival forms.

Must Read: Nouns: Examples, Definition & Types

What is an Adjectival Noun? – Definition

It is a very simple definition, a noun used in place of an adjective is known as an adjectival noun. It is typically used to modify a noun when placed immediately before a sentence. This noun acts like adjectives, meaning they play the role of modifying and describing other nouns in a sentence. 

Here are some examples of adjectival nouns:

  • When I am not feeling well, I eat chicken soup.
  • I often spend time in my countryside home.
  • My apartment building is located on the right side of the road. 

An adjectival noun can also be called a noun adjunct or an attribute noun. 

Also Read: Adjective Preposition: Definition, Examples & Exercises

How are Adjectival Nouns Different from Adjectives?

Adjectival Nouns might be located in the same spot as adjectives, however, they are still nouns. Other than this, there are several other distinctions between the two. Here’s how they are different. 

Adjectives Adjectival Nouns
Class They can be compared (eg. big, bigger, biggest) No comparison can happen between the two. They retain their noun characteristics.
Formation They have their unique form and can be derived from nouns, verbs or adjectives. (eg. wooden, happy, sad, writing) They appear in their base noun form, without any suffixes or changes. 
Position They are placed either before or after the noun which they modify, depending on the grammatical construction of the sentences. (eg. the red bus, the yellow car) They usually appear before the noun which is modified, similar to adjectives. (eg. history teacher, the maths book)
Meaning They are known for describing qualities and enhancing a word. (eg large, colourful, beautiful) They are known for denoting specific types and origins of nouns or functions. (eg. the library teacher, art exhibition)
Comparison They are compared using comparative and superlative to indicate a degree of the quality described. (eg. -er, -est, most/more) These can’t be compared directly in the same way as adjectives. 

Irrespective of the fact that both adjectival nouns and adjectives might differ on various levels they both modify the nouns.

Quick Read: What is Numerical Adjective and its Types

How to Use Adjectival Nouns? 

When working with adjectival nouns, you must keep a few pointers in mind which will help you in sentence formation. 

Rule 1: Adjectives are often denoted with commas, this is not the case with adjectival nouns. 

Example: 

  • My daughter recently joined a winter volleyball team.
  • I had lunch at my neighbourhood sidewalk cafe.

Rule 2: Unlike adjectives, adjectival nouns don’t have comparative forms. 

Example:

  • I solved a complicated maths problem.
  • You will have to choose a large family restaurant for the get-together.
  • I was blinded by the bright afternoon sun.

Examples of Adjectival Nouns

Here is a list of 11+ adjectival nouns that are being used in sentences.

  1. The book club meets every Thursday to discuss their latest literary discoveries.
  2. The car keys were left on the kitchen counter.
  3. She wore a beautiful silk dress to the gala.
  4. The sunrise view from the mountain peak was breathtaking.
  5. We enjoyed a peaceful ocean cruise during our vacation.
  6. The coffee aroma filled the entire room, enticing everyone.
  7. The rock concert lasted late into the night, energizing the crowd.
  8. The garden flowers bloomed in vibrant colours in the spring.
  9. He carefully examined the patient records before making a diagnosis.
  10. The rain clouds gathered ominously in the darkening sky.
  11. The oceanic waves crashed against the shore, creating a mesmerizing rhythm.
  12. The mountainous terrain posed a significant challenge for the hikers as they ascended.
  13. The sunny weather lifted everyone’s spirits during the outdoor picnic.
  14. The furry kitten purred contentedly as it curled up in the cosy blanket.
  15. The mysterious fog enveloped the ancient castle, adding an eerie atmosphere to the surroundings.

Check Related Blogs!

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Compound Nouns: Explore Definition, Examples How to Use Nouns and Prepositions Together
Collective Nouns: Definition, Examples and Exercises Plural Nouns: Definition, Rules, Examples & Exercises
Countable and Uncountable Nouns Abstract Noun: Meaning, Definition, Examples

FAQs

Are adjectives nouns?

Nouns include people, places, things and objects while adjectives are used to enhance words. Both are part of the speech.

What is an example of an adjective-noun?

Common examples of adjective nouns include enormous, silly, yellow, fun, fast and several others. 

Can adjectives function as nouns?

Yes, adjectives can sometimes function as nouns which become adjectival nouns. Examples include the young, the rich, the old.

We hope this blog on Adjectival Nouns provided you with all the information. To advance your grammar knowledge and read more informative blogs, check out our Learn English page and don’t forget to follow Leverage Edu.

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