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University of VictoriaIntroduction to IT English
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List of Common Adjectives

Examples of Common Adjectives Explanation

That exciting Web site made me research the topic further

The team is excited by the project.
Many adjectives are formed by adding -ing or -ed to a verb. These adjectives are participles.

Common participles used as adjectives

  • amazed / amazing
  • amused / amusing
  • bored / boring
  • confused / confusing
  • depressed / depressing
  • discouraged / discouraging
  • encouraged / encouraging
  • engaged / engaging
  • embarrassed / embarrassing
  • excited / exciting
  • exhausted / exhausting
  • fascinated / fascinating
  • frightened / frightening
  • horrified / horrifying
  • pleased / pleasing
  • satisfied / satisfying
  • shocked / shocking
  • stimulated / stimulating
  • terrified / terrifying

How participles work as adjectives


  • Verb: to excite
  • Meaning: to make someone feel excited
  • Participles: excited / exciting
    • Excited: a person is excited, feels excited
    • Exciting: a person or thing causes others to feel excited

* usually a person is “–ed” by something that is “–ing”:

I was excited by that exciting Web site.

NOT: I was exciting by that excited Web site.
Isaac is a talented man. Adjectives can be placed before a noun.

Isaac is talented.

The monitor looks old.

The Web site looks good.
Adjectives can be placed after certain verbs, such as: be, look, smell, feel, taste, sound, get, become.

The expensive, small, blue PDA is mine.
Opinion + size + colour + noun

I want to buy that well-designed, state of the art, silver, Japanese cellphone.
Opinion + age + colour + origin + noun

Adjective word order:

Opinion + size + age + colour + origin + material + purpose + noun

The PDA is fast and efficient.

That fast, efficient device is a PDA.

Use “and” before the last adjective when more than one adjective comes after a verb.

Do not use “and” before the last adjective when more than one adjective comes before a noun.
I use that well-designed, state of the art, digital camera. Use commas to separate long lists of adjectives.
That new silver cellphone belongs to Peter.

Do not use a comma between an adjective and the noun it describes.

It is not necessary to use commas with short common adjectives.