Is Lonely Adjective Or Noun? 3 Facts(When & Examples)

Adjective and noun are quite different from each other as they perform distinct functions. This article will help to find whether “lonely” is an adjective or a noun.

The word “lonely” is an adjective. Words which describe, qualify, modify, quantify, demonstrate or even interrogate people, animals, things, ideas or places (noun phrases or nouns) are known as adjectives. The word “lonely” generally means being alone.

We shall understand when and why the word “lonely” is an adjective with different facts and suitable examples.

When is “lonely” an adjective?

We are now certain that the word “lonely” can be an adjective. But we should also know at what instances it is an adjective which we will get to know here.

The following table will help us to get to know the situations when the word “lonely” acts as an adjective.

Situations When “Lonely” Is An AdjectiveExamplesExplanations
1. When used to modify humans (person / people) who are alone and sad with no companions and friendsThe lonely girl has been sitting in the park chair for a long time now.In this sentence, the word “lonely” is describing the naming word ‘girl’ (a person) by telling to us that she is a girl who has no friends and she was sitting alone in the park chair for a long time.
 
Since it is giving additional details about a person (girl), the word “lonely” can be regarded as an adjective here.
2. When used to qualify situations or times when there is no one and hence spent aloneThe nights that I spent in New York were all lonely.In this sentence, the word “lonely” is modifying the noun ‘nights’ (a time) by revealing to us that the nights in New York were spent by ‘I’ all alone without anybody.
 
Since it is providing us additional information about a time (nights), the word “lonely” here can be regarded as an adjective.
3. When used to describe places that are isolated or desertedI would prefer to go to a lonely beach for my vacation.In the given sentence, the word “lonely” is qualifying the naming word ‘beach’ (a place) by telling to us that for vacation, ‘I’ would like to go to an isolated beach with no people around
 
Since it is providing supplementary details about a place (beach), the word “lonely” can be considered as an adjective here.
Situations When “Lonely” Is An Adjective

Is “lonely” a descriptive adjective?

Adjective is an umbrella term for all the words that modify nouns. However, there are different types of adjectives. Let’s find if “lonely” is a descriptive adjective.

The word “lonely” is a descriptive adjective. Adjectives that describe the naming words (nouns / noun phrases) by attributing their nature, behavior, states of mind, characteristic features or appearances such as color, shape, size are descriptive adjective.

Example: Sudha likes to travel to the lonely country sides.

In this sentence, the word “lonely” is performing the function of an adjective. The adjective “lonely” is modifying the naming word ‘country sides’ (place). Since the word “lonely” is telling to us about the isolated, deserted, and uninhabited nature of the country sides to which Sudha likes to travel, it is a descriptive adjective.

When is “lonely” a descriptive adjective?

The word “lonely” is a descriptive adjective when it tells us the nature of a person, animal, time or a place of being alone, lonesome, reclusive or desolate, thereby modifying or qualifying the naming word.

Let us now peruse through the following examples in the table below in order to get a clear picture about when the word “lonely” acts as a descriptive adjective.

ExamplesUsage Of “Lonely” As A Descriptive Adjective
1. Vaghul feels lonely when there is no one at home.In this sentence, “lonely”, the predicate descriptive adjective is modifying the naming word in the subject ‘Vaghul‘, a person, by telling us the lonesome state of being of Vaghul when there is no one at home.
2. Since Suha had no siblings or cousins to play with, she had a very lonely childhood.The attributive descriptive adjective, “lonely” in the given sentence is telling us additional information about the solitary nature of Suha’s childhood days by describing the naming word ‘childhood‘ (time period when someone is a child).
3. We stopped by the lonely brook to enjoy some moments with nature and silence.The descriptive adjective “lonely” here in the given sentence is describing the naming word ‘brook’ (a place), by telling us supplementary information about the isolated, and desolate nature of the stream (brook).
4. The lonely little girl seldom speaks to someone as she mostly stays inside her house.“Lonely”, the subject descriptive adjective, in this sentence, is used along with yet another adjective ‘little’ to qualify the naming word in the subject ‘girl’ (a person), by revealing to us that the girl is alone with nobody as companions and friends and she rarely speaks to people.
5. The lonely cottage near the hill side is the best place to rekindle the artist in you.The subject descriptive adjective, “lonely” in this sentence is providing us with extra details about the naming word ‘cottage’ (a place) in the subject. Hence, it modifies the subject noun ‘cottage‘ by telling us the uninhabited and unfrequented nature of it.
6. I still remember the lonely evenings I spent in my New York apartment.“Lonely”, the attributive descriptive adjective is qualifying the naming word ‘evenings’ (time) which is located right after it. “Lonely”, here is telling us about the lonesome, companionless evening that ‘I’ spent in his/ her apartment in New York.
7. The lonely journey to the spiritual places will definitely teach you some life lessons.The subject descriptive adjective “lonely” in this sentence is modifying the naming word ‘journey’ (a situation) in the subject by telling us the companionless nature of the journey to the spiritual places that will teach life lessons.
Usage Of “Lonely” As A Descriptive Adjective

Is “lonely” a noun?

We should know that some words can act as more than one part of speech at different places and situations. We shall find out whether “lonely” can act as a noun.

“Lonely” is not a noun as it does not name a person, place, thing, animal or an abstract idea. ‘Loneliness’ is a noun as it names the abstract feeling of being sad as one has no company or friends however, “lonely” is the adjective form of noun “loneliness” describing the state of mind of a noun.

ExamplesExplanations
1. Vishal has become lonely after his wife and children left him.The word “lonely” here is not a noun as it is not doing the work of naming any person, place or thing. It is an adjective since it is used to describe the noun ‘Vishal‘, by providing us extra details about how isolated and lonesome Vishal has become after his wife and children left him.
2. Loneliness has affected Siddhu so much that he has become an introvert.In this sentence, the word “loneliness” is a noun, since it is naming the abstract feeling of Siddhu being sad, depressed and alone.
Usage of Lonely And Loneliness

Conclusion

Hence, the word “lonely” is solely an adjective that qualifies a naming word and does not take up the role of any other part of speech in any situations.

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