An indefinite adjective is used to describe a noun in a non-specific sense.
The most common indefinite adjectives are: any, each, few, many, much, most, several, and some.
They are often used to describe a noun to show an element of uncertainty.
Indefinite adjectives should not be confused with indefinite pronouns. Indefinite adjectives modify nouns or pronouns. Indefinite pronouns are standalone pronouns. For example:
- We are all born with genius, but most of us only keep it for a few minutes.
(In this example, most is an indefinite pronoun, and few is an indefinite adjective. It modifies minutes.)
- However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? (Buddha)
(In this example, only the first many is an indefinite adjective. (It modifies holy words.) The second many is an indefinite pronoun.)
Examples of Indefinite Adjectives
Here are some examples of indefinite adjectives:
- There are several people in the safe room.
(This is an indefinite adjective. It modifies the noun people.)
- There are several in the safe room.
(This is an indefinite pronoun. It stands alone. It does not modify a noun.)
- I have seen some cartridges in the cupboard.
(This is an indefinite adjective. It modifies the noun cartridges.)
- I have seen some in the cupboard.
- There are only a few deer left
(This is an indefinite adjective. It modifies the noun deer.)
- There are only a few left.
More Examples of Indefinite Adjectives
Here are some indefinite adjectives that feature in witty quotes:
Everyone is born with genius, but most people only keep it a few minutes. (Edgard Varese, 1883-1965)
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so. (Bertrand Russell, 1872-1970)
I bought some batteries, but they weren't included. (Steven Wright)
Take a test on indefinite adjectives
What are adjectives?
What are compound adjectives?
Enumeration of adjectives
Take a longer test on indefinite adjectives.