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What is Distributive Adjective? Examples & Usage | Tips and Tricks

Explanation of Distributive Adjective

A distributive adjective is an adjective that refers to each member of a group or set individually, rather than to the group or set as a whole. Distributive adjectives are used to describe how something is shared or distributed among the members of the group. Examples of distributive adjectives include each, every, either, and neither.

Table of Distributive Adjective

Distributive Adjective Usage
Each
Refers to two or more items being considered individually
Every
Refers to all items in a group or set
Either
Refers to two choices
Neither
Refers to two items that do not meet a particular condition

Importance of Understanding Distributive Adjective

Understanding distributive adjectives is important for clear and effective communication. These adjectives can help to clarify how something is being shared or distributed among a group of people or things. Using the wrong distributive adjective can lead to confusion or misunderstanding.

Example in Simple Sentences

Each cookie has a different flavor.
Every day, I go for a run in the park.
Either option is fine with me.
Neither idea seems very practical.

Example in Complicated Sentences

Each member of the team must complete their assigned tasks before the deadline, or the project will be delayed.
Every time I visit my grandmother, she gives me a piece of candy from her candy jar.
Either the blue or the green dress would look good on you, but I think the blue one is a better match for your skin tone.
Neither the CEO nor the board of directors was aware of the financial fraud that was happening in the company.

Tips and Tricks for Using Distributive Adjective

Use “each” when referring to two or more items that are being considered individually.
Use “every” when referring to all items in a group or set.
Use “either” when referring to two choices.
Use “neither” when referring to two items that do not meet a particular condition.

Using Distributive Adjective in Writing

When using distributive adjectives in writing, it is important to ensure that the adjective agrees with the noun it is modifying. For example, “each student” is correct, while “each students” is incorrect. It is also important to use the correct distributive adjective for the context.

Using Distributive Adjective in Speech

When using distributive adjectives in speech, it is important to speak clearly and pronounce the adjective correctly. It can be helpful to emphasize the distributive adjective to ensure that the listener understands how something is being distributed or shared.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

One common mistake when using distributive adjectives is using the wrong adjective for the context. For example, using “every” instead of “each” can lead to confusion or ambiguity. It is also important to ensure that the distributive adjective agrees with the noun it is modifying.

Correct: Each student received a different color folder.
Explanation: “Each” is a distributive adjective that distributes the quality of “different” to each individual student in the group. This sentence is correct because it correctly uses “each” to indicate that every student received a different color folder.

Incorrect: Every flowers in the garden are different.
Explanation: This sentence is incorrect because “every” is not a distributive adjective – it is a determiner that refers to all members of a group. To make this sentence correct, we could replace “every” with “each” to distribute the quality of “different” to each individual flower in the garden: “Each flower in the garden is different.”

Short Sentence Examples of Distributive Adjective

Each peach has its own unique personality.
Every avocado is a potential guacamole ingredient.
Either cat will happily sit in your lap, but neither will come when you call them.

FAQs about Distributive Adjective

Yes, distributive adjectives can be used with both singular and plural nouns..
“Each” refers to individual items being considered separately, while “every” refers to all items in a group or set.
No, “either” is specifically used for two choices.
No, “neither” is specifically used for two items that do not meet a particular condition.
Yes, there are other distributive adjectives, such as “per,” “apiece,” and “respectively,” but they are less commonly used.

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