Indefinite adjective definition: An indefinite adjective is a type of adjective that is modifies nouns in a non-specific manner.
What is an Indefinite Adjective?
Indefinite adjectives are called such because they modify nouns a non-specific or vague manner.
Most adjectives give a “definite” modification for nouns. Indefinite adjectives do not.
Indefinite Adjective Examples
- your cat
- This example uses an adjective, “your,” to explain to which cat the speaker is referring. There is no question as to what cat you are referring.
- some cat
- This example uses an indefinite adjective, “some,” to refer to the cat. The speaker is not referring to a specific cat.
- his car
- This example uses a possessive pronoun, “his,” to explain to which car the speaker is referring. Again, it is clear and unambiguous what car.
- any car
- This example uses an indefinite adjective, “any” to refer to the car. In other words, no specific car is mentioned at all.
Below is a list of indefinite adjectives.
Indefinite Adjective List:
Indefinite Adjectives vs. Indefinite Pronouns
Indefinite adjectives and indefinite pronouns look similar because they use the same terms.
What are indefinite pronouns? Indefinite pronouns take the place of nouns. Indefinite pronouns are unspecific in nature. They are “indefinite” because they do not identify any one thing specifically.
What are indefinite adjectives? Indefinite adjectives are different in that they modify nouns, they do not replace them.
“Any” is a common indefinite adjective.
Here is an example of “any” used as an indefinite pronoun and adjective:
- I don’t have any.
- I don’t have any money.
The first sentence uses any to replace an item (money, perhaps) and is used as a pronoun.
The second sentence uses any as an adjective to modify money, answering the question, “How much?”
Other Types of Adjectives
Just as there are indefinite adjectives, there are also other kinds of English adjectives. Here are a few of the various kinds and their purposes.
What are possessive adjectives? Possessive adjectives modify a noun or pronoun to show possession of a noun or pronoun.
- my hat
- your coat
- our cookies
- their books
What are descriptive adjectives? Descriptive adjectives are most adjectives. They modify a noun or pronoun to describe it in some way.
- large hat
- blue coat
- chocolate cookies
- travel books
What are demonstrative adjectives? Demonstrative adjectives are words that modify nouns and identify a specific noun or nouns. Demonstrative adjectives answer the question: Which one?
- this hat
- that coat
- these cookies
- those books
More Examples of Indefinite Adjectives
Below are sentences showing the use of indefinite adjectives.
- Please bring home some dinner.
- Do you have any information?
- Teresa did not each much lunch.
- There were a few pieces remaining.
- My friends are not like most people.
Exercises with Indefinite Adjectives
Decide if the following sentences use indefinite adjectives or indefinite pronouns.
- Did you make enough coffee?
- He is smarter than most.
- I love you so much.
- They called several times.
- Only a few natural species remain on the island.
See answers below.
Define indefinite adjective: the definition of indefinite adjective is an adjective that describes a noun in a nonspecific sense.
In summary, indefinite adjectives:
- modify nouns or pronouns
- are non-specific in nature
- look similar to indefinite pronouns but function differently