Exercise: writing about adjectives

Read the following passages and find all the adjectives. Then identify their position (attributive or predicative), decide whether they have a distinctive form (graded, comparative, superlative) and classify their connotations (positive, negative or neutral).

When you have identified all the adjectives, think about the relationship between their distinctive features and the genre. What do the position, form and connotations of the adjectives tell you about the text type?



Today, I am going to level with people about the difficult economic circumstances we still face and the hard decisions required to deal with them. It is taking longer than anyone hoped, but we must hold on to the right track. By setting free the aspirations of this nation, we will get there. Our economic plan combines monetary activism with fiscal responsibility and supply-side reform.  [omitted text]

Since the autumn statement, the Office for Budget Responsibility has again revised its forecast for global economic growth, and has sharply revised down its forecast for world trade. Growth in the United States and Japan was flat in the last quarter, while the eurozone shrank by 0.6%. That was the largest fall since the height of the financial crisis. The problems in Cyprus this week are further evidence that the crisis is not over and the situation remains very worrying.

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer

Budget Speech, The House of Common, Hansard 20 March 2013


TEXT 2507px-Weather-symbols

There will be a frosty start in most places, particularly in the north, with icy patches causing problems on the roads. The south will be cloudier with scattered wintry showers and a raw wind. Western parts will get the best temperatures with sunny spells this afternoon. The clear skies tonight will bring the chance of a widespread frost tomorrow.

Rather cold and windy into Thursday with spells of heavy rain and local gales. An unsettled outlook with low temperatures and possible outbreaks of persistent snow in eastern areas. Milder conditions predicted for the end of the week.




The solemn tones of an old cathedral clock have announced midnight – the air is thick and heavy – a strange, death-like stillness pervades all nature. Like the ominous calm which precedes some more than usually terrific outbreak of the elements, they seem to have paused even in their ordinary fluctuations, to gather a terrific strength for the great effort. A faint peal of thunder now comes from far off. Like a signal gun for the battle of the winds to begin, it appeared to awaken them from their lethargy, and one awful, warring hurricane swept over a whole city, producing more devastation in the four or five minutes it lasted, than would a half century of ordinary phenomena.

It was as if some giant had blown upon some toy town, and scattered many of the buildings before the hot blast of his terrific breath; for as suddenly as that blast of wind had come did it cease, and all was as still  and calm as before.

Sleepers awakened, and thought that what they had heard must be the confused chimera of a dream. They trembled and turned to sleep again.

Varney the Vampire, James Malcolm Rymer

Serialised in the Penny Dreadfuls (1845-47)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s