Denominal Adjectives

What are Denominal Adjectives?

Denominal adjectives are adjectives that are formed from nouns. They are created by adding “-al” to the end of a word, usually a noun or verb. For example, denominal adjectives such as “revolutionary,” “manual,” and “exceptionable” can all be derived from their respective noun counterparts.

Denominal adjectives play an important role in language because they allow us to describe tangible properties and qualities related to other words. Additionally, denominal adjectives open up our ability to make creative comparisons between two ideas, which can be very useful in literature. Thanks to denominal adjectives, we have so many more ways to express our ideas both clearly and effectively.

Denominal Adjectives Rules

Learning these four critical rules when using Denominal Adjectives will help communication become clearer and easier.

Equal weightAdjectives should be of equal weight or importance. For example, you wouldn’t say “a very big and large house.”
Same FormAdjectives should be in the same form. For example, you wouldn’t say “a very big and large houses.”
Same CategoryAdjectives should be in the same category. For example, you wouldn’t say “a very cold and hot day.”
PlacementIf compound adjectives are made up of an adjective and a noun, the order usually goes adjective + noun. For example, you would say “a world-renowned chef,” not “a renowned world chef.”
Denominal Adjectives Rules and Explanations Table
lillypad english learning app banner

Examples of Denominal Adjectives

Denominal adjectives are used extensively in everyday language and in formal writing, adding colour and meaning to sentences. In fact, they can be found in almost any written communication, whether it is a blog post or a speech by a political leader. Additionally, denominal adjectives often add humour to imaginative stories, alluring readers with vivid descriptions of characters and settings.

Examples of denominal adjectives include:

  • “heroic” which is formed from the noun “hero”
  • “plasticity” which comes from “plastic”
  • “linear” which is taken from the noun “line”
  • “wooden” which comes from the noun “wood”

Denominal Adjectives Exercises with Answers


  • I would be _ If I met Beyonce.
  • The _ glow was coming from outside.
  • He is quite _ and spends a lot of time reading.
  • His legs were long and _.
  • He hadn’t shaved for days and his face felt _.


  • I would be starstruck If I met Beyonce.
  • The sunlit glow was coming from outside.
  • He is quite bookish and spends a lot of time reading.
  • His legs were long and spidery.
  • He hadn’t shaved for days and his face felt sandpapery.

Denominal Adjectives List

deniableSomething you can deny.
movableSomething with current movement.
defensibleSomething that can be defended.
disposableSomething that can be thrown away or disposed of.
manageableSomething that can be managed.
shareableSomething that can be shared.
serviceableSomething that is useful.
Denominal Adjectives List Table
LillyPad english learning app banner

Advice for ESL Students & English Language Learners

Learning denominal adjectives is key for ESL students and English Language Learners to master. These denominal adjectives lead to greater fluency and more accurate communication, which is necessary for everyday speaking as well as academic settings.

To become proficient in denominal adjectives, it helps to practice them regularly through activities like reading. Reading high-level vocabulary allows students to get used to denominal adjectives they may not commonly use and work on enriching their range of vocabulary.

Additionally, watching movies or shows in the target language can also help build denominal adjective proficiency by exposing learners to different varieties of language expressions that come up naturally in daily conversations. With consistent practice and reinforcement, learning denominal adjectives can be a rewarding journey for ESL students and English Language Learners. Additionally, it is important for learners to properly understand Nominal Adjectives and Proper Adjectives.

Common Mistakes Made by English Learners

One of the most common errors made is confusing denominal adjectives and denominal nouns. Denominal adjectives are words that describe permanent states or characteristics of a person, object, or event, such as “wise” or “atomic.” On the other hand, denominal nouns indicate an action or process – similarly to verbs – such as “sighting” or “greeting.” Since denominal adjectives indicate states that can be true at any given time, they usually appear in present-tense sentences.

Meanwhile, denominal nouns typically appear in sentences using progressive tenses such as present continuous; this contributes to confusion for many English learners because it means two similar-sounding words can display very different meanings depending on which tense is used in the sentence.

Being careful to note and understand these distinguishing features can help English learners avoid common pitfalls with denominal adjectives and nouns and strengthen their overall English proficiency.

Common Mistakes:

1. Incorrect Tense

Why it Happens

Not having a firm grasp on correct tense usage can confuse your statements. This can cause you to use the wrong adjectives and misconstrue your message.

Correct Use

When speaking in the present simple tense, you would use an adjective that reflects current habits and routines. Keep tense in mind when selecting your adjectives.

2. Lack of Compounds

Why it Happens

The first mistake is leaving out compound adjectives when needed. Failing to use these compound phrases can lead others to misinterpret what you are trying to express.

Correct Use

Compound adjectives join two words to accurately describe something – for example, ‘a well-known actress’ or a ‘tidy little package’.

lillypad english learning app banner

3. Inconsistency

Why it Happens

People forget how they described something before and change the context in a contradictory manner. This confuses the reader.

Correct Use

Be sure that your adjectives remain consistent throughout your writing. There should be no sudden shifts from ‘dark brown’ to ‘light tan’ unless there was a clear shift in the thing being described.

4. Incorrect Usage

Why it Happens

You don’t know which adjectives to use, so you use too many and it confuses the statement.

Correct Use

Using too many adjectives can make your writing sound monotonous and can also lead to viewers losing interest. Therefore it is important to focus on expressing yourself clearly and effectively with them.

Tips to Avoid Common Mistakes:

A common mistake is misusing denominal adjectives, such as “wooden spoon” or “glass window.”

  • When using denominal adjectives, take care to remember that the name of the object comes first, followed by the adjective. For example, instead of saying “window glass,” you would say “glass window.” This will help prevent any confusion and ensure your message is clear.
  • Another tip to avoid common mistakes is to always double-check your work for spelling and grammar errors. Spending a few extra minutes to reread your work can help catch any mistakes that may have been overlooked during a quick read.
  • Furthermore, having someone else proofread can be beneficial in catching any overlooked issues—another set of eyes on the document never hurts!

Taking a few moments to apply these tips can help ensure your work presents itself as professional and error-free.

LillyPad english learning app banner

Learning Denominal Adjectives Strategies and Best Practices

To make learning denominal adjectives easier, there are some best practices and strategies one can use.

  • For starters, memorizing denominal prefixes along with their general meaning is an important step to understanding denominal adjectives’ nuances when used in various scenarios.
  • Additionally, studying from denominal adjective examples helps in applying the words to different everyday contexts instead of just relying on rote memorization that can quickly become forgotten. As denominal adjective usage mainly depends on whether the word is being used figuratively or literally, putting them into practice by talking with native speakers may be helpful to get used to how denominal adjectives are typically used.
  • Finally, taking denominal adjective quizzes after each lesson can help reinforce what has been learned while increasing confidence in denominal adjective usage.

Keep reading for more useful tips:

Tip 1: Study a List

Why it helps

Learning the various forms and using them properly in speaking and writing is easier than it seems with daily practice. A list can simplify this process and make it seem less daunting.

Daily Life Example

The best way to learn to use adjectives correctly is to study a list of adjectives and their usages, and then practice writing sentences with them.

Tip 2: Practice Reading

Why it helps

Exposing yourself to adjectives hidden between other words can help you identify them faster and with more accuracy.

Daily Life Example

To ensure that you understand how frequently an adjective should be used it’s important to practice reading with them as well, so the meanings become clear. So keep a book of your choice on hand and highlight every adjective you come across.

Tip 3: Everyday Conversations

Why it helps

By applying the adjectives exercise to everyday conversations, you’ll find these words easy to remember and use in the near future.

Daily Life Example

Take your time when speaking to people. Take note of the adjectives they use, and try and repeat them back in different contexts. You can also do this from the comfort of your home by recording yourself or using an AI assistant.

lillypad english learning app banner

Denominal Adjectives Frequently Asked Questions

A denominal verb is one that is formed from a noun or adjective. An example of a denominal verb would be the word ‘hiking’ which was derived from the noun ‘hike’.

Denominal verbs are often created by adding -ing to nouns or denominal adjectives, thus transforming them into verbs. For example, the denominal adjective ‘sweet’ becomes ‘sweetening’ when transitioned into a denominal verb. As denominal verbs provide an easy way to express a variety of meanings, we are likely to encounter them relatively often in day-to-day language.

Denominal adjectives are an interesting and often overlooked part of the language. Simply put, denominal adjectives are adjectives that are derived or developed from a noun, as opposed to adjectives that naturally exist in a language such as ‘blue’ or ‘important’.

An example of a denominal adjective is the word ‘bookish’, meaning one who has characteristics similar to those found in books. Denominal adjectives can act as both proper nouns and verbs since they come from a noun form. They add colour and personality to our language and provide us with new ways of expressing ourselves more clearly and effectively.

Denominal verbs advance the expressiveness of the English language by taking adjectives and transforming them into action words. A denominal verb is formed from an adjective, or denominal adjective, that describes a quality or characteristic.

This grammatical practice results in newly acquired meanings for existing words that allow for the imaginative and figurative use of ambiguities. Therefore denominal verbs contribute to our linguistic ability to convey richer ideas with fewer words. Examples of denominal verbs are ‘smooth’, ‘sharp’, and ‘tighten’.

It can be tricky to remember which order to put adjectives in, but denominal adjectives should always come first. These are words that are derived from a proper noun, such as “wooden”.

Next, come qualitative adjectives; these describe properties of the subject and include size (“large”), age (“old”), colour (“green”), shape (“round”) and material/origin (“Italian”).

Other adjectives that do not directly refer to qualities follow these two categories; they generally describe an attitude or emotion towards the subject, such as interesting or happy.

These don’t necessarily have a specific order, however, it’s important to note that all denominal and qualitative adjectives should appear before the other ones. Keeping this in mind will help you to create stronger descriptive writing, whether it be theoretical analysis or formal semantics!

Regular adjectives, also known as denominal adjectives, can be used to give a fine-grained classification of the basic aspects of someone or something. These include elements such as size (large, small), shape (long, round), colour (blue, orange), origin (French, Chinese), and material (wooden, metallic).

Comparative adjectives are an invaluable part of a language; they provide the necessary context to allow us to understand the specifics of what we’re hearing or reading. Whether it be adjectives vs. adverbs, or abstract nouns. Without them, conversations would be dull and descriptions vague. The variety available allows us to express ourselves with adjectives in relation to clarity and accuracy.

In the construction of grammar, there is a wide and varied assortment inside of the adjective category. Knowing these would help you perfect your understanding of English meaning, and give you skills in cross-classification. Some other types of adjectives in this grammatical category include:

-Nominal adjectives
-Proper adjectives
-Relational adjectives
-Participial adjectives
-Intersective adjectives
-Comparative adjectives
-Substantive adjectives
-Superlative adjectives
-Absolute adjectives
-Appositive adjectives
-Deverbal adjectives
-Dispositional adjectives
-Habitual adjectives
-Adjectives from nouns
-Adjectives by adverbs
-Adjectival suffixes

Learn from History – Follow the Science – Listen to the Experts

For learners of all ages striving to improve their English, LillyPad combines the most scientifically studied and recommended path to achieving English fluency and proficiency with today’s most brilliant technologies!

What’s the one thing that makes LillyPad so special? Lilly! Lilly’s a personal English tutor, and has people talking all over the world! Lilly makes improving your English easy. With Lilly, you can read in four different ways, and you can read just about anything you love. And learning with Lilly, well that’s what you call liberating!

Additionally, the platform incorporates goal-setting capabilities, essential tracking & reporting, gamification, anywhere-anytime convenience, and significant cost savings compared to traditional tutoring methodologies.

At LillyPad, everything we do is focused on delivering a personalized journey that is meaningful and life-changing for our members. LillyPad isn’t just the next chapter in English learning…

…it’s a whole new story!

Do you want to improve your English? Visit

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram!

lillypad english learning app icon