What Are Indefinite Adjectives? Definition and Examples

By Carly Forsaith, updated on August 25, 2023

Would you like to learn more about indefinite adjectives? If so, you've come to the right place. In this article, you'll learn everything you need to know about them and how to use them in your writing.

In short:

  • Indefinite adjectives modify nouns in a vague, non-specific way.

This guide is part of our free online Grammar Book.

What Are Indefinite Adjectives?

Indefinite adjectives are a type of adjective that modifies a noun in a non-specific way. That's why they are your go-to if you're unsure of the details or want to remain vague when describing a noun.

As you may know, all adjectives modify nouns and pronouns. That's their job. Each type of adjective does it slightly differently. For example, quantitative adjectives help you say how many of a thing there are. Interrogative adjectives, on the other hand, are for asking questions.

Indefinite adjectives help you describe something vaguely if you don't know all the details about it. They allow you to give a general idea. They are unspecific and communicate a general sense of uncertainty.

Here's a list of commonly used ones:

  • any
  • each
  • few
  • many
  • much
  • most
  • several
  • some
  • any
  • plenty
  • more
  • much
  • all
  • none
  • another
  • some

Here are some examples of sentences with descriptive adjectives:

I haven't been reading much poetry lately.

There are very few cupcakes left.

We drank some whiskey together. 

Many of these adjectives actually count as quantitative adjectives because they give information about the quantity of the sentence's subject or object.

How to Use Them

Now that we've covered the basics of this type of adjectives, let's learn how to use them.

  • The first thing to know is that indefinite adjectives, like all adjectives, come before the noun in the sentence.

In fact, they come immediately before it.

Here are some examples:

Would you like another drink?

Have you had any breakfast yet? 

There are several options to choose from.

The only exception is when there's another type of adjective in between the indefinite one and the noun.

For example:

She's going to experiment with more delicious recipes.  

In the above sentence, the indefinite adjective 'more' is followed by the descriptive adjective 'delicious.' The noun 'recipes' comes last.

Here are some more examples:

Would you like another refreshing drink?

Have you had any of the hotel breakfast yet? 

There are several good options to choose from.

Adjectives vs Pronouns

Indefinite adjectives can often be confused with indefinite pronouns because they look exactly the same. The difference is in the function they perform.

As a reminder, pronouns replace nouns, so a sentence with a pronoun wouldn't also contain a noun unless it's earlier in the sentence. Whereas an adjective, as you know, will be placed right before or close before a noun.

Here are some example sentences that use the same word but where one is an adjective, and one is a pronoun.

I'm going to have another shower. (adjective)
I've already had a shower today but I'm going to have another(pronoun)

There were many people at the museum today. (adjective)
He wanted to know how many people were at the museum today; I told him there were many(pronoun)

Most people just gve up after the first go. (adjective)
He's more persistant than most. (pronoun)

Concluding Thoughts on Indefinite Adjectives

That concludes this article on a particular type of adjective. I hope you found it helpful.

Let's summarize what we've learned:

  • Indefinite adjectives modify nouns non-specifically.
  • They help you describe something in a vague way. 
  • They should be placed right before the noun they modify.
  • Don't confuse indefinite adjectives with indefinite pronouns.

If you enjoyed this article, check out our Grammar Book. It's a free online database full of articles just like this one that explains grammar topics in an easy-to-understand way.

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Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

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