1. Change the adjectives below into their antonyms with the help of the following prefixes:
up-, in-, (il-, im-, ir), non-, dis-, mis-
able, academic, accurate, active, capable, changeable, competent, competitive,
connected, consistent, dependent, developed, economical, efficient, employed,
expensive, experienced, fair, formal, honest, interested, logical, official, pleasant,
productive, profitable, qualified, resolute, satisfied, similar, skilled, understood,
2. Complete the sentences using the adjective related to the noun or verb given in brackets:
1. Productivity can be defined as the ratio of (value) output to input. 2. To ensure high
(organisation) productivity, creativity and innovation should permeate every job. 3.
(Increase) productivity has a (benefit) impact on (economy) stability and on the (life)
standard. 4. From an (individual) point of view, increased productivity is both
psychologically and financially (reward). 5. (Skill) responsible management and
(height) productivity are inseparable. 6. A manager, in addition to being technically
(qualify), must be a (respect), people-oriented leader, (skill) in the techniques of
(behaviour) science and sound business practice. 7. (Aid) by the rapid spread of
(industry) robots, the (manufacture) industry has steadily become more effective and
more (product). 8. Early to bed and early to rise makes you (health), (wealth) and
3. Fill in the blanks distinguishing between:
live – lively – alive – living
1. We have … debates during our seminars. 2. Our farm has had a record increase in
… stock and in wheat crops. 3. This is a … broadcast, not a recording. 4. He thinks
himself the greatest man … 5. Increassed productivity leads to higher … standards.
economic – economical
1. Productivity growth is the … linchpin of the 1980’s.
2. Electrical heating is no longer…
historic – historical
1. Our president’s latest speech was a … event for our company.
2. The group of tourists were shown the most important … monuments.
last – latest – latter
1. During our first Systems seminar of … Monday, we talked about the …
developments in computer science. 2. Your … record is excellent; we hope it won’t be
your … 3. There were two suggestions for the weekend: seeing a film or going on a
trip; of course we preferred the … to the former. 4. Our teacher told us that the … half
of the course would be much more interesting.
credible – creditable
1. Yours is a … attempt and we will support it.
2. Her story is hardly …
human – humane
1. Artificial intelligence will never replace the … brain. 2. Be … and people will love
and respect you!
4. Use compound adjectives in the following sentences and make the necessary changes:
Model: Those devices saved labour becomes: Those were labour-saving devices.
1. These new machines save brain work. 2. These tools process data. 3. Odobleja’s
work was neglected for a long time. 4. The rules of logic are built in the computer
system. 5. COBOL is a computer language which is oriented towards business. 6.
Many schools were keen to acquire software to handle information, like packages to
process wards. 7. General learning programmes assisted by computers were also
attracting a great deal of attention. 8. These students are brainy, but they work hard,
too. 9. My sister is 20 years old, she has hazel eyes, auburn hair, a fair complexion,
her small features are cleanly cut … you won’t fail to recognize her. 10. We need more
effective methods of production in relationship to costs – there’s too much waste.
5. Choose the right indefinite adjective from the ones in the brackets. Sometimes both are
1. (Many, a large numer of) strikes are caused by bad management. 2. Is there
(much, a great deal of) unemployment in Romania? 3. There are hardly (any, no)
mistakes in the paper. 4. We went to only (one, other) party in (some, several)
months, but we enjoyed (every, each) minute of it. 5. Is there (any, some) common
thread linking statistics and accounting? 6. They expected us to come with (much,
many) solutions, but we could think of (none, any). 7. Our teacher gave us (much, a
lot of) advice from the beginning. 8. I’ve got (few, a few) English books on
management and I can lend you (some, any). – Thank you, but I can’t read (no, any)
books in English since I know (no, any) English at all. 9. (Both, either) my room
mates have won scholarships. 10. (Both, either) buses stop in front of the A.S.E., so
you may take (any, either) bus.
6. Fill the blanks with the right quantitative adjective, according to the meaning.
1. There are … words that I don’t know and there is … grammer problem that I
haven’t studied. 2. Have you got so … spare time? I thought you are snowed up in
work. 3. Very … ideas get farther than the inventor. 4. Have you seen … good films
recently? – Yes, quite … 5. Will you have … tea? No, thank you, I’ve drunk … cups
since morning. 6. Ther is too … flour left for the cake; will you go and buy some? 7.
We can do without … things, but we can’t do without water. 8. They think … money
is the source of happiness. 9. Quite … of employees have gone on strike. 10. There are
far … weapons in the world.
7. Rewrite each sentence beginning as shown, so that the meaning stays the same. Use
1. Dan is not as fast as Will. Will is … 2. I have an older sister, Mary. Mary is …
3. Silver is less valuable than gold. Gold is … 4. This is the earliest train. There aren’t
any… 5. That’s the best price we can quote. We can’t quote a…; there is no … 6.
Bravo! You’ve worked less chaotically than before. Bravo! Your work is … 7. Do you
agree that a Ford is safer, more economical and more comfortable than any other car?
Do you agree that no other car is …? 8. If you run a lor, you’ll get fitter. The more…
9. The e-mail seems to be the cheapest, the fastest and most reliable means of
communication at present. There doesn’t seem to be a … Any other means of
communication is … 10. This story is by far the funniest most interesting at all. I’ve
never heard a … All the other stories I’ve heard are…
8. Fill in the blanks with the right degree of comparison of the adjectives in the margin:
a. The teacher asks the pupils about the effects of heat and cold.
“Heat makes things … and cold makes things … “ says Dan.
“Quite right”, says the teacher. “Can you give an example?” long
In the summer, when it’s hot the days are … but in winter, when it’s short
cold, the days are …”, answers Dan. big
b. What is the … word in English? small
“Smiles. It is a mile between its first and last letter.
c. “Which word becomes … when you add a syllable to it?”
9. Use the adjectives in brackets in the right form of comparison, paying attention to the
1. She is (ill) than we thought; she fell ill on Wednesday and she was (ill) on Friday,
when she was taken to hospital. 2. (Late) but not (little), there comes the maths exam.
3. Jim is a (little) boy; he is my (young) brother, much (young) than I am; actually I
am (old) brother, 15 years (old) than Jin, so I’m suppose to look after our (little) ones.
4. We worked on our project with no (little) single-mindedness than skill. 5. This is
(good) book I have read for a long time. 6. They provided us with (far) information as
agreed. 7. My (good) friend’s (late) novel was a (good) seller and it won’t be his
(late) one. 8. The (late) half of May was (rainy) than the first. 9. Mine is the (far)
house fron the ASE and Paul’s is the (near). 10. Upon (far) consideration they
decided to answer the latter without delay. 11. You’d better get off at the (near) stop
and ask where the (near) pharmacy is.
10. Use the double comparative of the adjectives in brackets for the Romanian “din ce în ce
1. Your English is getting (good). 2. It’s becoming (important) to rely on our own
experts. 3. We were so tired, that the top of the mountains seemed to be getting (far).
4. As buses are becoming (fast) we are growing (idle). 5. The idea of spending the
summer at the seaside sounds (appealing). 6. (Great) attention is being paid to
computer-assisted learning. 7. The students are growing (loud) and the noise
(unbearable). 8. Computer modelling seems to be (exciting), (challenging). 9. It’s
becoming (plain) that we are growing (involved) in it.
11. Use the adjectives in brackets in the comparative form for the Romanian “cu cât … cu
1. The (hard) the task, the (great) the satisfaction. 2. The (funny) the stories, the
(merry) we are. 3. The (little) time you spare for learning, the (little) satisfactory your
studies and the (bad) result you’ll get. 4. The (fertile) the land, the (little) the amount
of fertilizer given to it. 5. The (eager) the student, the (pertinent) the questions he
asks. 6. The (high) the manufacturing costs, the (high) the selling price. 7. The (big) a
business is, the (competitive) it is likely to be. 8. The (long) I have to wait for the
results, the (impatient) I become.
12. Translate into Romanian paying attention to the use of adjectives:
1. Teacher: I wish you paid a little attention to my subject.
Student: Well, I do. I pay as little attention to it as possible.
2. Student: I don’t think I deserve a zero.
Teacher: Neither do I, but it’s the lowest mark I am allowed to give.
3. English Poet: The poets of today put plenty of fire into their verses.
Critic: The trouble with most of them is that they do not put enough of their
verses into fire.
4. Father: Think of the future, my boy.
Son: I can’t. It’s my best girl’s birthday and I’ve got to think of the present.
5. An Epitaph: Owen More
Than we could pay.
13. The excepts below, taken from authentic presentations, are good examples of “machine –
gunning” (emphasizing a point through the enumeration and repetition of comparatives of
superiority). Unfortunately they have been mixed up, so you will have to match the two parts
1-7 and a-g in order to make meaningful sentences. Then translate them into Romanian.
1. In terms of performance we’re a. faster, sleeker, smoother, classier, racier,
roomier and better–looking than
anything else on the market
2. The home computer industry is likely b. more competitive, more creative, more
to be even responsive, non customer–conscious and
more market–driven than any of our
3. The Middle Eastern market is probably c. more motivated, more productive, more
profitable, more efficient, more quality –
conscious and generally more successful
4. The new cabriolet is d. Bigger, better, freer, fairer, more liberal
and more lucrative than any other
5. As a company, we’re quite simply e. More technology – driven, more cost –
conscious, more price–sensitive, more
risk–laden, more overcrowded and more
volatile that it is today.
6. Our new sales manager seems to be f. better, brighter, more promising, more
encouraging, more successful and more
profitable then anyone would have
thought possible a few years ago.
7. The future of tourism in Romania has g. younger, smarter, more efficient, more
never looked experienced, better-qualified and more
customer–orientated than the previous
14. Match the types of adjectives in column A with the right adjective (s) in column B. The
first one is done for you: 1 – l, r.
A. Type B. Adjective
1. taste, smell, etc a. silk
2. origin, place c. walking
3. material e. dining – room
4. size, length g. young
5. colour i. round
6. purpose, use k. large
7. opinion, attitude, quality m. stainless steel
8. age o. Chinese
9. emotion, personality q. narrow
10. shape, width s. expensive
11. past participle
15. Study the order of the adjectives in the following examples and complete the table below
with the missing types (see ex.14) in the order which appears to be most common; then fill in
each column with the right adjectives from the examples. Add more adjectives in time.
N.B.1. (subjective) opinion/attitude; adjectives usually come before all others
2. “First”, “last” usually come before numbers.
3. Avoid using more than three adjectives together.
Some examples have been done for you. (see table).
1. a pretty blue wollen scarf 8. the most recent custom-made Swiss wrist watch
2. a beautiful rectangular wooden table 9. the three-month money market rate
3. a magnificent handwoven Persian rug 10. a brilliant second-year student
4. a large smelly half-eaten lump of cheese 11. new hooded sweat-style jackets
5. an excellent mature scottish whisky 12. fantastic brand-new menswear – inspired office suits
6. fabulous round mother-of-pearl beads 13. my best long cream-coloured velvet evening-dress
7. old brown Spanish leather boots
ORDER OF ADJECTIVES BEFORE NOUNS
FACT / DESCRIPTION
QUALITY, QUALIFIERS CLASSIFYING
SUBJEC- S EMOTION, … …
TIVE I … … SMELL PERSO- ORI USE NOUN
OPINION Z TASTE NA- GIN PUR-
E Etc LITY POSE
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1. pretty … … … ... .. Blue .. Woollen .. Scarf
6. fabulous round Mother-
7. . of-pearl beads
16. Unscramble the following sentences, putting the adjectives in their right order (see ex.15,
Table). Note that the first and last words are in their right place.
1. There was magnificent castle a mediaeval stone on the hill. 2. She carrying was
shopping her striped bag canvas vegetables of a heavy on full arm. 3. She remarkably
was a handsome young to introduced executive. 4. He wearing a jazzy smart business
gray was with suit waistcoat. 5. They were a snazzy one-year old driving Ford. 6.
We’ve an exotic extremly oriental bought just carpet. 7. I a red received fragrant
gorgeous rose. 8. We’re attractive looking for an blue-and-white flower pot. 9. The
latest museum of the marble acquisition little Roman brownish this is statue. 10. They
the American prefer hard-sell aggressive strategy.
17. Adjective – special cases I
There are some adjectives that change the meaning of the sentence if they come before
or after the noun.
Study the pairs of sentences below and match the adjectives underlined with the
corresponding synonym or explanation from the list following the exercise. The first one is
done for you:
1. a. Jane is a very responsible person; you can rely on her to finish every asignment
in due time.
b. The person responsible for the damage of goods in transit will be indicted.
2. a. The concerned parents took their child to the doctor.
b. The parents concerned have made an appointment with the headmaster.
3. a. That was a long and involved explanation.
b. Luckily, non of the people involved in the accident suffered any injuries.
4. a. The present members of the Board are all in favour of a major change in the
b. All the members present at the meeting voted for the flexitime scheme.
5. a. In this particular instance, I’m afraid you are wrong.
b. Our english teacher is most particular about the way we communicate.
6. a. You always have a ready answer,
b. but are you ready with the business plan?
7. a. Why are you always late?
b. We are here today to honour the memory of the late C.E.O.
8. a. As Chairman of the Board, he made an outstanding contribution to the success of
b. There are five bills outstanding.
9. a. The person you’re looking for is in the shop directly opposite.
b. They went off in the opposite direction.
10. a. Snowdon’s a proper mountain, not a hill
b. After a long walk through the foothills we reached the base of the mountain
across from; facing … = 9a worried, anxious =
real, genuine = remarkable =
reliable, trustworthy = demanding, stringent =
liable/accountable for; in control of = quick, spontaneous =
complicated = this, but no other =
connected / having to do with = prepared, waiting =
current = not punctual =
unpaid = dead =
actually at / attending the meeting = to whom this applies =
the central / main part of smth = contrasting with each other, contrary =
18. Attributive adjective position - Special cases II
Fill in the blanks with the adjectives listed on the right; they may fit more than once.
Note that some subclasses of adjectives can be used only before the noun.
e.g. – intensifying (pure, mere, total etc)
- restrictive (the only, the very etc)
- former, present, old, little etc.
and others only after the nouns
e.g. – past participles
a. The … reason for abandoning the project was a … financial 1. former 2. joint
one. 3. raised
b. The … chairman concluded an agreement to set up a … 4. discussed 5. last
venture with a German company. 6. elect
c. The … issues … at the conference were very pertinent. 7. issued
d. Let’s return to the … point … during our meeting. 9. maps
e. The goods … last week have been sent by air. 10. main
f. A … feature of the new line is its appeal to the youth market. 12. ordered
g. Both the president … and … the secretary … have had a press 13. general
conference. 15. present
h. All security cards … from this office must be countersigned 16. only
i. It’s the … solution all the people … agreed on …
19. Attributive and predicative position
Use the following adjectives in pattern a (attributive) or pattern p (predicative),
bearing in mind that some adjectives can be used only attributively (see exercise 18) and
others only predicatively, such as:
- afraid, ajar;
- well, ill etc.
Model: 1. (a) floating A (a) leaf
(p) afloat The ship’s still (p)
Model: 2. (a) true A (a) scientist
A scientist is …
3. very The … student
The student is …
4. asleep They are fast …
sleeping The … partners do not participate in the day-to-day management.
5. utter … destruction
The destruction is …
6. plain The … truth.
The truth is …
7. mere He is a … child.
The child is …
8. elder My … brother is two years older than me.
My brother is …
9. hard He is a … worker
The worker is …
10. alive It’s a … concert.
living There seems to be no one …
live There are no … beings in this area.
11. ill She fell … and died.
sick Doctors look after the … people.
12. open They left the door …
ajar The … door looked inviting.
13. afraid He is a … man, he is
frightened … of everyone.
14. awake They’re wide …
The … people.
20. Adjective modification with adverbs
A. Use the modifying adverbs from the box to intensify the meaning of the adjectives in
the following conversations.
1. A. It was a good year High
B. How good? absolutely
A. … good. As good as we could expect; sales were …high. totally
2. A. There was a small fall in output in the first quarters of the year. fully
B. How small? entirely
A. … small – only about 5 per cent. extremely
3. A. The exhibition was successful highly
B. How successful? fairly
A. … successful; we met very many prospective customers. reasonably
B. Rewrite the following descriptions of trends using nouns and adjectives (modified
by intensifying adverbs):
1. “In March the shares fell extremely dramatically” becomes:
In March there was a extremely dramatic fall in shares.
2. In April they recovered slightly.
3. In June they collapsed sharply.
4. In July they fell considerably.
5. In August they recovered fairly steadily.
6. In September and October they continued to improve moderately slowly.
21. Position of noun modifiers and adjectives
Which is correct? Choose the right phrase.
1. - the booming car European industry or
- the booming European car industry
2. - the world’s biggest and most prestigious look fair or
- the world’s look biggest and most prestigious fair.
3. - a concrete cooperation proposal or
- a cooperation concrete proposal
4. - the business modern scene or
- the modern business scene
5. - a company interesting profile or
- an interesting company profile.
22. Scale and limit adjectives
Study the scale below, contouring ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ words:
Limit words BOILING, SCALDING +++
Scale words tepid –
cool - -
cold - - -
Limit words FREEZING, GLACIAL -------
a) Now, study the following lists of adjectives and build a scale similar to the one
1. affluent, broke, prosperous, penniless, well-to-do, rolling-in-money. Low paid,
living from hand to mouth, comfortably off, in line straits, in the red, bankrupt.
2. big, broad, gigantic, extensive, immense, little, tiny, roomy, spacious, minute, vast,
wide, tremendous, large, small.
b) Build your own scale lists.
23. Modifying adverbs with scale and limit adjectives
Correct the following sentences where necessary; remember that NOT all modifiers go
with both scale and limit words.
1. John is an absolutely clever pupil.
2. You should wash pure wool in altogether tepid water.
3. You were utterly right, the play was utterly marvelous.
4. You are quite right, the task is quite impossible.
5. Although this exercise seems very impossible, I’m sure it is terribly useful. I’m
absolutely pleased with the progress I’ve made.
6. He was nearly amazed at his daughter’s progress.
24. Choose an emphasizing adjective from the box below to fill the gaps in the following
absolute fascinating sheer
blissful majestic special
complete marvelous spectacular
entire outright terrific
excellent perfect true
exceptional positive utter
1. Dear Mary,
We’re having a … holiday here at Swansea – it’s … bliss and we can finally have a …
rest. We’ve spent the … week on this … beach!
2. Dear Mary,
What a … holiday! And only because of Mihaela! She’s ruined what could have been
a … holiday! She’s an … love; she talks and talks, even to … strangers! And she tells
Wish you were here instead,
3. Dear Auntie,
It was … delight to read your … letter and hear that you are much better after your
operation. I gather it was a … success, although the hospital food was …! Please come
round any time you feel up to it. It’ll be … to see you again.
25. Adjectives or adverbs?
Correct the sentences if necessary.
1. She smiled friendly and he laughed silly.
2. Martin seems happy but Tracy looks lonely.
3. They grew angrily when they saw the disaster.
4. I’m taking the early flight to Paris so I can arrive early at the office.
5. He is a very bad worker, and he has been working too hardly lately.
6. So far this year’s energy costs have stayed fairly constant.
7. We feel very confident about our move into the U.S. market.
8. The contract we have negotiated sounds quite securely.
9. Our new policy of energy conservation has proved very economical.
10. The Directors grew anxious when the results were released.
11. I don’t want to sound over-optimistic, but I am certain that we have an all-time
winner with our new product.
26. Complementation of predicative adjectives I
Fill in the blanks with the right preposition.
1. The Finance Manager is answerable … the Finance Director.
2. I’m due … a rise soon.
3. We are confident … success and pleased … her promotion.
4. I’m expert … handling difficult customers.
5. We’re satisfied … the quarterly results.
6. We are all impatient … delay.
7. She’s always been interested … fiscal policy.
8. I am indebted … my colleagues … all their help.
9. Tom is rather eager … success.
10. Students today are different … students ten years ago.
27. Complementation of predicative adjectives II
Match the two halves of following sentences so that they make sense:
(there may be several combinations)
1. You don’t look happy a. to see me
2. I’m pleased b. for her to get a scholarship
c. that she should get a scholarship
3. I’m glad d. that you were able to came
4. He’s such a difficult person e. that she distrusted all of us
5. We’re anxious f. to see you here
6. It was nice g. for us to move fast
7. She made it clear h. that we seem to agree
i. to understand
8. It is important j. that we should
9. It’s worth k. going to London if you have the time
10. It’s surprising l. how John can’t keep deadlines
m. seeing you.
28. Translate into English paying attention to the use of adjectives:
1. Mulţumesc din suflet. Aţi fost deosebit de amabilă.
2. Cine a fost prima femeie care a cucerit Everestul?
3. Următorul la cuvânt este dl. Smith.
4. Proiectul a fost sortit eşecului de la bun început, fiind costisitor, prost gândit şi
presupunând un mare consum de timp şi energie.
5. Când am promis că vom realiza un nou program pentru e-mail ne-am asumat o
sarcină mult prea dificilă.
6. Calculatorul urmăreşte orbeşte programul de instrucţiuni conceput de creierul
uman, care este mult mai complex decât cel electronic.
7. Dacă vreţi să ajungeţi la cel mai apropiat magazin universal, coborâţi la prima
staţie; este chiar prima clădire de lângă piaţă.
8. Mai aveţi şi alte veşti pentru noi?
9. Fratele meu mai mare, care este cu 5 ani mai mare decât mine, este director de
10. Cel mai mic lucru pe care-l pot face pentru tine este să-ţi împrumut manualul meu
până data viitoare.
11. Ultimul aspect al problemei este mai puţin important decât celelalte, aşa că îl poţi
12. Balanţa comercială nu este acelaşi lucru cu balanţa de plăţi.
13. La New York, chiria nu este atât de mare ca la Londra.
14. Cu cât firma este mai mare, cu atât este mai competitivă şi mai puternică.
15. Am observat că, în ultimul timp, studenţii sunt din ce în ce mai bine pregătiţi şi
mai hotărâţi să se angajeze cât mai repede.