Numeral Adjectives

Adjectives are those words which describe nouns or pronouns. Numeral Adjectives also known as Adjectives of numbers are one among seven types of Adjectives. Numeral Adjectives are those adjectives which are used to denote the number of nouns or the order in which they stand. They are also commonly called Adjectives of Number.

In simpler terms we can say that Adjective of numbers tell us the number of people or things and maintain clarity by giving exact information.

Examples of Numeral Adjective and Their Usage

One, two, five, ten, first, second, third, tenth, twelfth, last, all, some, few, each, most, many, no, several are common examples of numeral adjectives.

Read the given paragraph and understand the use of Numeral Adjectives.

We sold many mangoes today. Each mango was priced 50 cents. I along with my few friends collected mangoes from orchard and put them into three baskets. Then, we carried the baskets to the market. There we waited one hour for the customers. After customers arrived two of my friends started praising mangoes. Hearing the praises of mangoes customers started buying. All of us were happy at the end of the day.

Many, each, few, three, one, two, and all are numeral adjectives in the above given paragraphs. Therefore we can deduce that Numeral Adjectives deal with numbers of nouns and give readers/listeners clear idea of the nouns.

Numeral Adjectives can be divided into three types. They are:

  1. Definite Numeral Adjective
  2. Indefinite Numeral Adjective
  3. Distributive Numeral Adjective

Definite Numeral Adjectives

Definite Numeral Adjectives are the set of cardinal and ordinal numbers. The word definite itself tells us that these adjectives tell us the exact number of people or things. Definite Numeral Adjectives are:

Cardinal numbers Ordinal numbers
one first
two second
three third
five fifth
ten tenth
thirteen thirteenth

Examples:

  • Michelle is the second girl in our class
  • There are eight oranges in the bowl.
  • He is going two sell his two cars.

Indefinite Numeral Adjective

Indefinite numeral Adjectives unlike Definite Numeral Adjectives only give tentative numeral idea of nouns. They do not give us exact number. Indefinite Numeral Adjectives are:

Few, all, no, several, some, many, most

Examples:

  • There are few bottles of wine in the fridge.
  • He has sold all the books.
  • Several men came looking for you.

Indefinite Numerals can also be used as Adjectives of Quantity as both have same set of words.

Distributive Numeral Adjective

Distributive Numeral Adjectives are same as Distributive Adjectives. Distributive Numeral Adjectives denote singular number of noun among many. Distributive Numeral Adjectives are always followed by a singular noun and a verb.

Distributive Numeral Adjectives are:
Each, every, either, neither

Examples:

  • Everything he said is true.
  • Each student is responsible for littering classroom.
  • Either of the ways is correct.
    Be careful, If there is the word 'of' immediately after the distributive numeral adjective like in the above sentence, we have to use plural noun instead.

Distributive Numeral Adjective can also be used as Distributive Adjectives as they both have same set of words.

Confusion with Quantitative Adjectives

The same word can be used as a quantitative adjective or a numeral adjective based on whether the object following the adjective is countable or not.

Adjectives of Quantity Adjectives of Number
He did not drink any milk. He did not eat any chocolates.
I drank some milk. Some students in this class are very hardworking.