Is Courageous Adjective Or Adverb? 3 Facts You Should Know


Every word in English belongs to any one of the eight parts of speech. In that way, let us in this article find whether the word “courageous” is an adjective or an adverb.

The word “courageous” is an adjective. All words that describe, modify, qualify, quantify, or demonstrate naming words – person, things, places, or animals (nouns or noun phrases) fall under the part of speech –adjectives. The word “courageous” refers to being brave, fearless, valiant and so on.

With several facts and examples, this article will give us a clear understanding of why and how the word “courageous” is an adjective.

When is “courageous” an adjective?

We have already come to know that the word “courageous” is an adjective. Here, we shall learn at what places (when) “courageous” acts as an adjective.

The table below lists down the instances when the word “courageous” functions as an adjective along with examples and related explanations.

Instances When The Word “Courageous” Is An AdjectiveExamplesExplanations
1. When it is located in front of the naming word (noun) that it is describing or qualifying / when it is the subject adjective of the sentenceThe courageous soldiers must be recognized and rewarded for their service.In this sentence, the adjective “courageous” is located in front of the noun “soldiers” (people) that it is describing.  
 
The adjective “courageous” tells us more information about the naming word “soldiers” by saying about their bravery.
 
Thus “courageous” is the subject adjective of this sentence.
2. When it is modifying the naming word (person / animal) and is functioning as the subject complement of the sentence / when it is the predicate adjective of the sentenceSince a young age, Rupali has been courageous.In this sentence,the adjective, “courageous” is describing the naming word “Rupali” (a person) and is positioned as the complement of the sentence.
 
The adjective “courageous” gives us additional details about the naming word “Rupali” by telling us about her fearlessness.
 
Thus, “courageous” is the predicate adjective of this sentence.
Instances When “Courageous” Is An Adjective

Is “courageous” a descriptive adjective?

According to how they describe nouns and noun phrases, adjectives can be classified into different types. We will find out if “courageous” is a descriptive adjective.

The word “courageous” is a descriptive adjective. All adjectives that tell us about the quality, characteristic features, nature, size, behavior, shape, color, smell, taste and so on of person, place, object or animal (nouns / naming words) are called descriptive adjectives.

Example: He is one of the most courageous leaders of the nation.

In this sentence, the word “courageous” is an adjective. To be more specific, “courageous” is a descriptive adjective that is qualifying the naming word “leaders” (people). Since the additional details “courageous” gives is about the nature or characteristic feature of the noun “leaders”, it is a descriptive adjective. “Courageous” here means being fearless and brave.

When is “courageous” a descriptive adjective?

“Courageous” is a descriptive adjective when it is describing or qualifying about the fearless nature or the brave characteristic feature of a singular or a plural noun – person/ people, animal / animals. It can be present as a subject adjective or as a predicate adjective (subject complement).

We can now go through the following table to understand when “courageous” is a descriptive adjective with the suitable examples and explanations.

ExamplesUsage of “courageous” as a descriptive adjectiveExplanations
1. The courageous tiger tried its best to protect its cub from the hunters.The descriptive adjective “courageous” provides us supplementary details about the naming word “tiger” (an animal).
 
Here, “courageous” is telling us about the tiger’s fearlessness while protecting its cub from the hunters.
In this sentence, the descriptive adjective “courageous” is a subject adjective since it is located in front of the subject noun “tiger” that it is describing.
2. The decision that the board members took was quite courageous.Here, the descriptive adjective “courageous” gives us extra details about the naming word “decision”.
 
“Courageous” tells to us the brave and fearless nature of the decision.  
The descriptive adjective “courageous” in this sentence comes under the predicate adjective category since it is located in the predicate part of the sentence, which is acting and functioning as the complement of the subject (noun) “decision”.
3. The courageous actor played the role which was denied by many others.Here, in this sentence, the descriptive adjective “courageous” tells us more details about the naming word “actor” (a person).
 
“Courageous” reveals to us about the actor’s bold and plucky characteristic feature or nature in choosing to play a role that was rejected by others.
In this sentence, the descriptive adjective “courageous” can be called as a subject adjective since it is positioned right in front of the subject noun “actor” that it is qualifying.
4. Sundar was courageous enough to protest against the new rules of the company.Here, the descriptive adjective “courageous” gives us additional details about the naming word “Sundar” (a person).
 
The descriptive adjective “courageous” denotes to us the valiant nature of Sundar in protesting against the new rules put forward by the company.   
The descriptive adjective “courageous” hereto be more specific is a predicate adjective. It is functioning as the complement of the subject noun “Sundar” and is a part of the predicate of the sentence.  
5. The NSS members of our school are disciplined, punctual and courageous.“Courageous”, the descriptive adjective, qualifies the naming word (noun phrase) “NSS members” (people), by providing us supplement details about them.

“Courageous” indicates to us the brave, bold and fearless nature of our school’s NSS members.
Here, in the given sentence, the descriptive adjective “courageous” is used in the predicate, thereby making it a predicate adjective. Thus, it functions as the subject complement of the subject noun (noun phrase) “NSS members”.
6. Suhana’s courageous act was highly appreciated and admired by all.Here, in this sentence, the descriptive adjective “courageous” gives more and supplementary information about the naming word “act” (a thing).
 
The usage of “courageous” denotes to us about Suhana’s bold, brave and fearless way of doing an activity, which was appreciated by everyone. 
The descriptive adjective “courageous” in this sentence can be referred to as a subject adjective as it is positioned or located right in front of the subject noun “act” of the sentence that it is qualifying and describing.
Usage of “courageous” As A Descriptive Adjective

Is “courageous” a noun?

Some words can function as more than one part of speech based on how and when they are used. Let us now check, if the word “courageous” can be a noun.

“Courageous” is not a noun. A noun names a person, thing, place, animal or an abstract idea. Abstract noun names an abstract quality. While, the word “courage” is a noun as it names the quality of being brave, the word “courageous” is not a noun as it is the adjective form of the noun “courage”.

Example 1: One of Ram’s greatest strengths is being courageous.

Example 2: Courage is one of Ram’s greatest strengths.

In the first example, the word “courageous” is not a noun as it is not naming anything or anybody. But instead it is an adjective as it is qualifying the noun “Ram”, by telling additional details about the brave nature of Ram. In the second example, the word “courage” is a noun, as it is naming the abstract quality that Ram possesses.

Conclusion

Thus, this article explains in detail the reasons why the word “courageous” is an adjective (a descriptive adjective) and also depicts its usage along with examples.

Sowndharya Jagadeeswaran

Hi... I am Sowndharya Jagadeeswaran, a university rank holder in M.A. English Literature. I have also done my master's in Business Administration. Inquisitive as I am, my interest in action-oriented research helped me publish research papers in reputed journals. Now, as a career, I am an instructor where I teach young and adorable students the intricate technicalities of Public Speaking and Creative Writing. I also enjoy writing articles on topics I specialize and research in. You can connect with me through LinkedIn.-https://www.linkedin.com/in/sowndharya-j-972378233

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