Verbs, nouns and adjectives

What is the difference between a verb, a noun and an adjective?

As we have seen in our opening section, Verbs, a verb is a doing word that can be a physical action, a mental action or a state of being.

A noun is a person, place or thing. There are two types: the proper noun and the common noun.

A common noun is the word for something, such as girl, cake, table, horse. A proper noun is the specific name we give a person, place or group, such as Michael, Glasgow, Royal Navy.

An adjective is a word that describes a noun, giving further information about the noun. For example “sunny day”, “tall woman” and “happy smile”. These are very basic examples; sometimes the adjective in a sentence can be hard to spot.

Examples of nouns, adjectives and verbs

 Take a look at these following sentences to see how verbs, nouns and adjectives work together. We have marked the verb(s) as red, the noun(s) as green and the adjective(s) as blue.

  • The baby looked adorable in her cot.
  • We went to the local shop to buy our dinner.
  • It was raining, so Jane grabbed her warm raincoat.


While an adjective describes a noun, an adverb is a word that modifies the meaning of an adjective or verb, expressing manner, place, time or degree.

Adverbs usually end in the letters “ly”, common examples being: gently, carefully, noisily.

  • He quickly runs to the shop
  • She happily chatters with her friends
  • She walks slowly around the room