Adjectives and meaning

A starter activity, where students are asked to replace the given adjectives and discuss the changes in meaning

What are other ways of expressing the meanings conveyed by adjectives? In this starter activity, students are asked to replace the adjectives in the given examples with some other means of expressing the general meaning of the sentence.

The Activity page appears in the menu entitled 'This Unit' in the upper right of this page. It can be displayed on a projector or smart board. The slide in the Activity page presents four example sentences with adjectives. Ask the students to do the following:

  • Identify the adjectives.
  • Try to rephrase the sentences to express the same general meaning, but without using any adjectives.

Looking at the first example, how do we convey that someone is sad without using the adjective sad? We might say that someone was crying, or that someone felt sadness or felt grief, and so on. Have the students come up with as many paraphrases as they can.

Then ask the following questions:

  • Can you see any other types of word that you’ve used more of than in the original versions?
  • Did you discover any tricks for making this work?
  • Are there any examples that you found harder than others? Why might that have been?

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