Answers: writing about adjectives (Text 2)


The adjectives are printed in red, and then listed according to their position, form and connotations underneath.


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.

ATTRIBUTIVE: frosty, icy, scattered, wintry, raw, Western, best, sunny, clear, widespread, heavy, local, unsettled, low, possible, persistent, eastern, Milder

PREDICATIVE: cloudier, Rather cold and windy

GRADED: Rather cold and windy

COMPARATIVE: cloudier, Milder


VERB PARTICIPLES: scattered, unsettled



NEUTRAL CONNOTATIONS: frosty, icy, scattered, wintry, Western, sunny,  clear, widespread, Rather cold and windy,heavy, local, unsettled, low, possible, persistent, eastern, milder [these adjectives are used here as part of a ‘technical’ set of words – there is no attempt to create a negative mood]


This text is an example of a weather forecast. The audience is general – it is designed for the public rather than for subject-specific specialists. The purpose is narrow and unambiguous: a description of the expected weather conditions in general regions of the UK and a broad prediction for the way weather patterns may develop. The context is specific since the forecast would appear in a five minute slot at the end of a news programme.

Five key points about the adjectives:

  1. there is a high frequency of adjectives because the text is dependent on describing weather features; the nouns they precede are mostly subject specific (showers, wind, temperatures, spells, frost, rain, gales, snow)
  2. the adjectives can be divided into distinctive lexical groups: regions (Western, local, eastern); winter weather (frosty, icy, wintry, Rather cold and windy); weather patterns (widespread, heavy, local, unsettled,  possible, persistent); temperature (best, low)
  3. the use of raw is distinctive because it seems a more personal choice – most of the adjectives have neutral connotations in this context, but this has a figurative quality; the superlative best also suggests some level of personal judgement
  4. the predicative adjectives focus attention on the comparative cloudier and the graded Rather cold and windy – the form in each case refines the general meaning of the adjectives ‘cloudy’ and ‘cold/windy’ for a specific context
  5. the comparative adjectives allow the forecaster to compare weather changes according to region (cloudier) and over time (Milder)

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