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Proper Adjectives – Definition, Uses, Rules, Exceptions, and Examples - Studywindows - A Simple Educational Blog for Children

Proper Adjectives – Definition, Uses, Rules, Exceptions, and Examples

what proper adjectives definition examples rules list

Proper Adjectives – Definition and Examples

Proper Adjectives Definition

Proper adjectives can make your speech striking, adding a unique quality to it that cannot be achieved by using a regular adjective. This is because they are born from proper nouns. So, how do you define proper adjectives?

Basically, they are a kind of modifier that is formed from a proper noun. Just like adjectives, they can also modify nouns and pronouns. But, this is not enough to understand the concept and use of proper adjectives, and thus, in this post, we are going to delve deeper into the concept of adjectives. So, let’s get started.

what proper adjectives definition examples rules list
What proper adjectives definition examples rules list

Just like we use a proper noun as the specific name for any person, place, or thing, the proper adjectives are just like that, but they will have a different kind of ending. This ending makes them adjectives.

Proper Adjectives Examples

Some very common examples are:

Suppose the proper noun is America, so the proper adjective is American

  • Bruce Springsteen is an American singer.

If the proper noun is Italy, then the proper adjective will be Italian

  • He loves Italian food

If the proper noun is India, then the proper adjective will be Indian

  • Indian classical music is amazing

List of Proper Adjectives

As I had mentioned earlier, all the proper adjectives are derived from proper nouns; thus, there can be hundreds or even thousands of adjectives. But below, you have a list of some of the most common ones. Most of the common proper adjectives are derived from a country or people group.

  • American
  • German
  • Italian
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Mexican
  • Colombian
  • Norwegian
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Chinese
  • Korean
  • Japanese

Just understanding a list of adjectives is not enough. One has to understand the difference between common adjectives and proper adjectives as well to use them appropriately.

Difference between Common Adjectives and Proper Adjectives

Basically, a common adjective is an adjective that is not a proper adjective. During our everyday speech, most of the time, we use common adjectives. So, there are a few differences between the common adjectives and proper adjectives.

Firstly, common adjectives are never and need not to be capitalized. Since they are regular words and are never derived from proper nouns, capitalization is unnecessary. But on the other hand, since proper adjectives are always derived from proper nouns, they are always capitalized. Some examples of Proper Adjectives are:

  • We had a delicious toast.

Here “delicious” toast is a common adjective

  • We had a French toast.

Here, the adjective “French” is a proper adjective since it is derived from the proper noun.

Common Nouns and Proper Nouns:

When it comes to the concept of the common noun and proper noun, it is more or less the same for both the common adjective and proper adjective. A common noun is defined as being any name, person, thing, or place but a proper noun indicates particularly to a person, place, or thing.

Prefixes, Hyphens with Proper Adjectives

We need always to be careful when a proper adjective comes with a prefix. In such a scenario, the prefix can never be capitalized unless it is the first word of a sentence. But the adjective part will always be capitalized. Let’s look at a few examples of hyphenated proper adjectives:

  • pre-Columbian
  • un-American
  • anti-Semitic

When used in sentence:

  • The painting is pre-Columbian.
  • His attitude is very un-American.
  • That man is anti-Semitic.

Usage of Proper Adjectives

There can be no doubt that proper adjectives are much more specific than regular ones. Hence, they are used primarily to describe something much more succinctly. It will always allow the speaker or the writer to convey the idea or point of view much easily without using too many words. This can never happen with proper nouns or common adjectives. Let’s compare a few examples to understand better.

  • The British prime minister is having a press conference.
  • The prime minister of Britain is having a press conference.

Now, which sentence is more concise and easy on the ears? Since the first sentence uses the proper adjective modifying the noun “prime minister”, it can deliver the crux of the sentence much efficiently. In contrast, the second sentence has no adjective as all.

Another Use for Proper Adjectives

Proper adjectives can be a brilliant thing to use in the metaphorical sense. That’s why they are so favorite of the Academics. They have a tendency to use proper adjectives deriving from the proper names of essential thinkers. It allows them to indicate specific ways of thinking and particular theories.

  • The professor’s political methodology might be described as Machiavellian.
  • The Government’s approach to people and society is sometimes Orwellian.

Consider this sentence:

Although a novel of merely three hundred pages, the tragic romance was of Shakespearean proportions.

Here, the proper adjective in this sentence succinctly indicates the intensity and sadness of the tragic romance described in the novel, which resembles the infamous Romeo and Juliet or the creation of Shakespeare. Now, let’s look at some more examples of Proper Adjectives in Sentences:

  • The Chinese monks are considered very much peace loving.
  • There was a massive political upheaval during the Nixon era.
  • Belgium chocolate cake is one of the most delicious ones.
  • Christian music can make you feel tranquil.
  • The Japanese paper craft is so beautiful.
  • They are enjoying their Georgian life.
  • The African drums sounded like something coming out of this world.
  • I dream of a Hawaiian vacation someday with my wife.
  • The Russian opera by Stravinsky is wonderful.
  • Let’s have a taste of that New York pizza.
  • I am looking forward to his North American tour.
  • I can just die for some Mexican food right now.
  • I really adore Romanesque architecture.
  • My mom says she loved the movie because it was so Kafkaesque.


So, there you have it, all the information needed on the proper adjective along with their suitable examples. Just revise the different aspects, and you can use them freely as well. If you have any further queries on Proper adjectives, their uses, rules, and examples, write the down in the comment section below. We will try our best to answer them as quickly as we can. Refer to our few most interesting articles,

Types of noun

Collective nouns

Concrete nouns

Irregular plurals

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