Attributive Adjectives: Definition, its Usage, and Examples

Jandari Wick

Language is a pretty handy tool for getting our thoughts across, and there are many bits and pieces that make it work. One such piece is attributive adjectives, which help us describe things in more detail. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what attributive adjectives are, how we use them, and throw in some examples to make things clearer.

What are Distributive Adjectives?

Attributive adjectives are a type of adjective that tells us more about a noun by describing its qualities. Unlike other adjectives that come after the noun, attributive adjectives hang out before it. They’re like the sidekicks that make our nouns more interesting.

Why do we Use Attributive Adjectives?

Well, they help us give a more detailed picture of what we’re talking about. If someone asks, “What kind?” or “Which one?” – that’s where attributive adjectives step in. They make our sentences more interesting and help us express ourselves better.

Here are some examples to see how attributive adjectives work:

NounAttributive AdjectiveSentence
GardenBeautifulShe planted a beautiful garden in her backyard.
MountainMajesticThe hikers enjoyed the view of the majestic mountain.
BookIntriguingI found an intriguing book at the bookstore.

These examples show how attributive adjectives (like beautiful, majestic, intriguing) come before the nouns (garden, mountain, book) and add that extra touch of detail.

How to Use Attributive Adjectives?

Placement: Stick them before the noun. It’s that simple.

Agreement: Make sure they agree with the noun in terms of gender, number, and sometimes case. Like saying “a red car,” where “red” agrees with the singular, masculine noun “car.”

Punctuation: When you’ve got more than one attributive adjective in a sentence, there’s a usual order to follow. Opinion comes first, followed by size, age, shape, color, proper adjective, and then purpose.


NounAttributive AdjectivesSentence
HouseOld, VictorianThey purchased an old Victorian house.
DogFriendly, Small, BrownWe adopted a friendly, small, brown dog.
FilmExciting, Action-packedIt was an exciting, action-packed film.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Attributive Adjectives:

1: What is an attributive adjective?

An attributive adjective is a type of adjective that comes before a noun and provides additional information about its qualities or characteristics. It helps in giving a more detailed and nuanced description of the noun.

2: What are attributive adjectives and how do they improve language?

Attributive adjectives are descriptive words that precede a noun, providing details about its qualities. They elevate language by offering specificity and depth, answering questions like “What kind?” or “Which one?” These linguistic sidekicks make our sentences vibrant and expressive.

3: Can attributive adjectives be used with any noun?

Yes, attributive adjectives can be used with virtually any noun to provide more information about its attributes. Whether it’s a common noun like “book” or a proper noun like “New York,” attributive adjectives can be applied.

4: Can proper adjectives be attributive adjectives?

Yes, proper adjectives, which are derived from proper nouns, can function as attributive adjectives. For example, “Italian cuisine” or “Shakespearean sonnet.”


Attributive adjectives are like our language helpers, making our nouns more interesting and expressive. By understanding what they are, how to use them, and where to place them, we can use attributive adjectives to spice up our writing and conversations. The examples and tables here are just a guide to help you get the hang of it.