Archive for adjectives

adjective: agile


Today’s adjective is the word “agile”, and it is used to describe a person or an animal that can physically move quickly and easily. For example:

My children are very agile. They can get up and down off the jungle gym at the park so easily.

My neighbor was trying to catch a stray cat that’s in our area, but cats are very agile; it’s very difficult to catch them.

I’m not as agile as I used to be. Lately, it’s become very difficult for me to run. I guess I’m getting old.

If you’re going to join the army, you have to be quite agile.

As I mentioned before, this word is about physical movement; it’s not about people’s minds or how well they think.

adjective: affectionate

Today’s adjective is “affectionate”, and it is used to describe a person who shows their love for another person through physical touch or with their words. For example:

I love to hug my friends, so I’m a very affectionate person.

Were your parents very affectionate with you when you were a child?

My husband isn’t very affectionate, especially in public. He won’t even hold my hand when we’re out.

My parents are still very affectionate with each other. Even after 30 years together, they still say I love you to each other.

Generally speaking, Japanese people are not as affectionate as European people, but I have a Japanese friend who’s very affectionate.

Please be careful with the pronunciation of this word. As I’ve mentioned before, all English adjectives ending in -ate have the pronunciation of /it/. Therefore, this word is pronounced /af FEK shun it/. If you’re not sure, you can check it with The Free Dictionary. There is a pronunciation icon for every word with both British and American pronunciation. The link for that site is on my blog.

adjective: conceited

The adjective for this week is “conceited”. It’s a word we use to describe people who are too proud of themselves because of being good-looking or because of some accomplishment. This word is always negative. For example:

Karen is very pretty, but she’s so conceited about it! She thinks she’s so much better than other people!

Ever since Dan got that big promotion he’s become so conceited! I don’t like him anymore.

I really like Meryl Streep. She’s considered one of the best actresses of all time, but she doesn’t seem conceited about it.

My daughter is dating a conceited jerk right now. I hope it doesn’t become serious.

If you’re not sure, the word “jerk” in the last example means a person, usually a man, who is rude and unkind. In my third example about Meryl Streep, I said “she doesn’t seem conceited”. In this case, I used the word “seem” because I don’t know her personally; I only know her from watching interviews on TV. If I know her personally and I know it’s true, then I would say “she isn’t conceited”.

adjective: jumpy

Today’s adjective is “jumpy”, we use it when we want to talk about people who are startled easily. If you don’t know, the verb “startle” means to cause another person to jump up in surprise and fear. For example:

I don’t like going to horror movies with my girlfriend because she’s so jumpy.

Don’t touch Betty if she has her back to you. That girl is really jumpy, and she’ll probably scream.

A: Oh my God! You scared me so much. Please knock before you enter my room.

B: Don’t be so jumpy! I just wanted to talk to you.

I used to be really jumpy as a kid, but I don’t get startled so easily anymore.

I shouldn’t drink so much coffee. It makes me jumpy.

As you can see, it’s very common to use the words “really” or “so” with this adjective.

adjective: intense

The adjective for today is “intense”, and it is used to talk about something which is very strong and concentrated. It can be used to talk about various things such as an emotional situational, temperature, work, someone’s personality, etc. For example:

My new boss is a very intense person! He’s so serious! I don’t think he ever smiles or laughs.

I spent the winter in Calgary last year, and the cold was intense! I’d never felt so cold in my life!

The last scene in that movie where the killer was revealed was intense! I want to see it again!

I went to the gym and had a really intense workout with my trainer. I’m really tired, but I’m glad I did it.

The schedule for my tour was intense. We traveled to four different countries in Europe in one week!

Sometimes the word “intense” is used in negative ways, as in examples one and two, and sometimes it can be used in more positive ways, as in examples three and four. Example five is more neutral in tone.

adjective: extravagant

Today’s adjective is “extravagant”, and it is used to talk about a person who often spends a lot of money. It can also be used to talk about a particular purchase in which someone spends more money than is necessary. For example:

My sister is such an extravagant person. She always spends a lot of money to get things of the best quality.

The most extravagant thing I’ve ever bought was a designer handbag! It cost a lot, but I love it!

Generally I’m not an extravagant person, but I do like to go out to nice restaurants for a steak dinner sometimes.

I can’t believe you bought me a diamond necklace! It’s too extravagant! You shouldn’t have spent so much money!

This adjective is neutral in tone, but if we say “too extravagant”, as in the last example, it becomes negative.

adjective: gullible

This week’s adjective is the word “gullible”. It is used to talk about a person who easily accepts or believes anything others tell them. These people can be easily tricked by people who want to deceive them. For example:

I told my friend that I used to date Angelina Jolie, and he believed me! He’s so gullible!

I used to be quite gullible when I was younger, but now I’m quite skeptical about what people tell me.

My cousin bought this machine because a salesman told her it would make her lose 20 kg in one week! How gullible can you be?!

You bought this necklace because someone told you it will bring good luck? Don’t be so gullible! I think you’ve just wasted your money!

This word is quite negative in tone, so be careful about using it with people directly. Also, adults would only use this when talking about other adults, but we don’t use it when talking about children.

adjective: shrewd

Last week, when I was reading, I came across the word “shrewd”, and I thought it would be a good adjective for today’s blog.

It is used to talk about a person or a decision that displays a lot of intelligence and awareness about a certain situation. For example:

Ken is a very shrewd businessman. If he says this company is a good investment, then I believe him.

It was very shrewd of Lyle to sell his stock when he did because very soon after that, the price went down.

Our current prime minister is quite a shrewd politician. He is able to use the media very well in order to win votes.

My husband made some very shrewd business decisions a few years ago, and now he is able to retire early.

We usually use this word to talk about business people or decisions, but it can also be used to talk about politics.

adjective: eligible

Last week I was teaching this adjective to some students, so I would like to write about it today. The adjective is “eligible”. It is used when we want to talk about people who are able to receive something because they meet a certain condition. For example:

Employees who have worked here for five years or more are eligible for a 10 day paid vacation.

I’m eligible for a tax cut because I made less than $30,000 last year.

I’m not eligible for pension benefits until I’m 65 years old.

A: Is my company eligible for a discount at this store?

B: You’re eligible for a discount of 10% if you place an order worth more than $200.

We can also use “eligible” to talk about a person who is available and desirable for something. For example:

Mark is the most eligible bachelor in this town. All the girls want to marry him.

William Trenton is the most eligible candidate for mayor. None of the other candidates even come close to him.

The actress Rachel Simon is one of the most eligible candidates for the role of Princess Diana in a new movie about her.

So, with the first meaning of “eligible”, we always follow it with the preposition “for”. Please note that with this meaning of the word, there must be a condition. If there is no special condition, we cannot use the word “eligible”.

With the second meaning, we often use it to talk about “eligible bachelors”. This is quite a common expression in English. This means men who are unmarried but who are considered to be attractive. We usually don’t use this word to talk about attractive unmarried women though.

adjective: persistent


The adjective for today is “persistent”, and it is used when we want to talk about a person who never stops trying to accomplish something. They continue to try to succeed and don’t give up. For example:

If you want to succeed in business, you have to be persistent. Most people give up when things get tough, but really successful people never do.

I was finally able to convince Jill to be my girlfriend. At first, she didn’t want that, but I was very persistent.

It’s going to be very difficult to get ABC Company to be our client. We’re going to have to be very persistent.

This book can be a bit difficult to read, but if you’re persistent, I think you’ll find it very good.

When we use the word “persistent”, there is no guarantee of success at the end; it simply means that the person doesn’t stop trying.

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