Limiting Adjectives Meaning, Types and Exercises

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Want to explore all the ideals to become a grammar nazi? Well, who doesn’t?  When we talk about adjectives, there are many types which one needs to understand to become an expert in English Grammar. Adjectives are one of the most crucial parts of the English language.

Now when we talk about limiting adjectives, they are the types of adjectives that modify a noun or pronoun by restricting rather than describing the qualities of the it.  To learn more about the limiting adjective’s meaning, examples and their types, continue reading the blog article below. 

What are Limiting Adjectives?

A limiting adjective is used to modify a noun or pronoun by restricting it rather than describing its traits or qualities. They are used to restrict a noun and pronoun rather than describe anything about it. For example,

“I have a new car”

The adjective “a” is a limiting adjective in the sentence. It is used to restrict the noun “car” by indicating that the speaker is referring to a single car. It does not provide any descriptive information about the card, such as its size, color, model etc. 

The unique quality of limiting adjectives is that they lack description. It restricts nouns and pronouns by singling it out without describing them or mentioning any of their qualities. 

Also Read: Want to improve your English? You should definitely read these Best English Grammar Books.

Complete List of Adjectives From A-Z

Types of Limiting Adjectives

Compared to descriptive adjectives, limiting adjectives are significantly less common. A limiting adjective is generally defined as any adjective that does not describe a noun or pronoun, according to the majority of style guides and grammar websites. Adjectives of several kinds are frequently regarded as limiting adjectives.

Types of Limiting Adjectives Meaning Examples
Demonstrative Adjectives Used to describe nouns or pronouns.  This, that, these, those
Interrogative Adjectives Used to limit a noun by asking questions.  Who, whose, what
Quantifying Adjectives Used to limit nouns and pronouns by grouping them together or describing the quantity of something.  Many, some, few, couple
Possessive Adjectives Used to describe ownership of something and doesnt actually describe the quality of a noun or pronoun.  My, your, his, her, its

Also Read: Abstract Nouns: Definition, Examples and Usage

Where Do You Include a Limiting Adjective?

Limiting adjectives are placed typically before nouns or pronouns they modify. A few examples of limiting adjectives are listed below: 

  • The big dog barked.
  • This is my favourite book.
  • Several students raised their hands.
  • All of the food was delicious.
  • Whose car is parked in front of the house?

Limiting adjectives are also used in phrases and clauses. Check the examples below: 

  • The woman with the red hat is my mother.
  • The apartment where I grew up is still standing.
  • The students who are taking English classes are sitting in the back row.

Moreover, limiting adjectives come before descriptive adjectives. Refer to the examples below: 

  • The big, red dog barked.
  • This old, comfortable chair is my favourite.
  • Several intelligent, talented students raised their hands.

Exceptions for Limiting Adjectives

As discussed above, limiting adjectives are typically placed before the noun or pronoun they modify. However, there are some exceptions to it.  For example, possessive adjectives are typically used before articles. For example:

  • My new car is in the lane. 
  • Your purse is unique. 
  • Ordinal objectives are typically used before articles. Such as, 
  • The first prize is the new bike. 
  • The second prize is a ticket to Switzerland. 

Also Read: History of English Literature

Exercises for Limiting Adjectives

Here are some exercises for limiting adjectives:

Exercise 1

Identify the limiting adjectives in the following sentences:

  1. I have a new car.
  2. This is my favorite book.
  3. Several students raised their hands.
  4. All of the food was delicious.
  5. Whose car is parked in front of the house?


  1. a
  2. this, my
  3. several
  4. all of
  5. whose

Exercise 2

Add limiting adjectives to the following sentences to make them more specific:

  • I saw a dog.
  • I ate some food.
  • I bought a book.
  • I visited a place.
  • I met a person.


  1. I saw a big, brown dog.
  2. I ate some delicious, Italian food.
  3. I bought a new, mystery book.
  4. I visited a beautiful, historic place.
  5. I met a friendly, intelligent person.

Explore more exciting reads below:

More from Idioms More from Synonyms More from Antonyms
Idioms to Express Sadness Synonyms of Ephemeral Antonyms of Misogyny
Idioms to Express Surprise Synonyms of Welcome Antonyms of Brave
Idioms to Express Friendship Synonyms of Cry Antonyms of Selfish
Idioms to Express Excitement Synonyms of Huge Antonyms of Victim
No Pain No Gain Meaning Synonyms of Jovial Antonyms of Lazy


What are limiting adjectives and examples?

A limiting adjective can be defined as a noun rather than describing it. For example, limiting articles include an, the etc. 

What are the 3 types of limiting adjectives

Limiting adjective are used to define, or limit a noun or pronoun. They are used to describe ‘which one,’ ‘what kind,’ or ‘how many.’

What are limited adjectives?

Limiting adjective are used to modify nouns and pronouns by restricting them. 

Types of Adjectives
Predicate adjectives Limiting adjectives
Comparative adjectives Proper adjectives
Superlative adjectives Participial adjectives
Compound adjectives Interrogative adjectives
Distributive adjectives Descriptive adjectives
Demonstrative adjectives Numerical Adjectives
Attributive adjectives Article Adjectives
Possessive adjectives

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