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Exercise in Identifying Adjectives

Practice in Recognizing the Parts of Speech


This exercise will give you practice in recognizing adjectives--the part of speech that modifies (or qualifies the meaning of) nouns. To learn more about adjectives in English, see:


The sentences in this exercise have been adapted from those in two paragraphs of E.L. Doctorow's novel World's Fair (1985). (To read Doctorow's original sentences, go to Ritual in Doctorow's World's Fair.)

See if you can identify all the adjectives in these 12 sentences. When you're done, compare your responses with the answers on page two.

  1. Grandma's room I regarded as a dark den of primitive rites and practices.

  2. She had two wobbly old candlesticks.

  3. Grandma lit the white candles and waved her hands over the flames.

  4. Grandma kept her room clean and tidy.

  5. She had a very impressive hope chest covered with a shawl, and on her dresser a hairbrush and comb.

  6. There was a plain rocking chair under a lamp so she could read her prayer book.

  7. And on an end table beside the chair was a flat box packed with a medicinal leaf that was shredded like tobacco.

  8. This was the centerpiece of her most consistent and mysterious ritual.

  9. She removed the lid from this blue box and turned it on its back and used it to burn a pinch of the leaf.

  10. It made tiny pops and hisses as it burned.

  11. She turned her chair toward it and sat inhaling the thin wisps of smoke.

  12. The smell was pungent, as if from the underworld.

See also: Exercise in Identifying Adverbs

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