Adjectives and Adverbs By Alfred Taylor
Adjectives and Adverbs Using adjectives and adverbs correctly isn’t rocket science. However, misuse has become so common, that most college students don’t know the difference between the adjective “sure” and the adverb “surely” or the adjective “real” and the adverb “really.” Misuse has become so common, it is possible that in the future adverbs may disappear from the language.
Adjectives and Adverbs Adjective- a word that limits or describes a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase. It usually answers the question which? what kind? how many? Adverb- a word that describes a verb, adjective, or other adverb. It usually answers the question how? when? where? or how much? Linking Verb- a verb that shows no physical action. All “be” verbs are linking verbs: am, is, are, was, were, be, being, and been.
Adjectives and Adverbs Adjectives modify nouns: giant fish pronouns: big one after linking verb: The fish is big. Adverbs modify verbs: nearly eaten adverbs: very nearly eaten adjectives: very sharp teeth phrases: nearly being eaten clauses: just able to escape Sentences: Fortunately, I ran away.
Adjectives and Adverbs Linking verbs are verbs that show no action. Since all “be” verbs are linking verbs, the way to test if a verb may be a linking verb is to substitute a known linking verb for the word in question. If the sentence makes sense, then the word is a linking verb. She looked unhappy. She looked at the cloud. She was unhappy. She was at the cloud Linking Verb Action Verb.
Adjectives and Adverbs Use an adjective not an adverb after a linking verb. The linking verb only serves to connect the subject to the adjective modifying it. She looked unhappy. “looked” is a linking verb because it shows no action, so the adjective “unhappy” is employed to describe the noun “she.” She looked quickly at the cloud. “looked” in this case is an action verb, so the adverb “quickly” is employed to modify the verb “looked.”
Adjectives and Adverbs Use an adverb not an adjective to modify verbs or other adverbs. Students who don’t outline will surely regret it. Students who outline do well on the exit final. His essay was really badly written.
Adjectives and Adverbs In common speech, adjectives such as good, bad, sure, real, slow, and quick are often used as adverbs. Avoid abusing adjectives and use an adverb instead. Incorrect Form Correct Form He wrote real slow. He wrote really slowly. He did good. He did well. Think progressive. Think progressively. He sure works hard. He surely works hard.
Adjectives and Adverbs After a direct object, use an adjective to modify the object and an adverb to modify the verb. Drinking Coke made Spock insane. Spock drank the Coke insanely.
Adjectives and Adverbs To test if a modifier should be an adjective or an adverb, separate it from the direct object. Spock drank Coke insanely. Spock insanely drank Coke. If the modifier can be separated, then it is an adverb. If it can’t be separated, it’s an adjective.
Adjectives and Adverbs If the modifier can not be separated from the direct object, then it is an adjective. Drinking Coke made Spock insane. Drinking Coke insane made Spock. Since the modifier can’t logically be moved, it must be an adjective.
Adjectives and Adverbs Adjectives and adverbs have three forms: the positive, the comparative, and the superlative. These forms indicate the degree of the adjective. Big Drink (positive) Bigger Drink (comparative) Biggest Drink (superlative)
Adjectives and Adverbs Use the positive degree when there are no comparisons. Example: My wife is cute. Use the comparative degree when comparing two qualities. Example: My wife is cuter than your wife. Use the superlative degree when comparing more than two qualities. Example: My wife is the cutest woman on the planet.
Adjectives and Adverbs When forming a comparative or a superlative use either er/est or more/most but not both. Wrong: My wife is more cuter. Correct: My wife is more cute. Wrong: My wife is the most cutest. Correct: My wife is the cutest.
Adjectives and Adverbs Some adjectives and adverbs are irregular. Like irregular verbs, they must be memorized. Positive Comparative Superlative good better best bad worse worst little less least many, some, much more most well better best badly worse worst
Adjectives and Adverbs Because of their meaning, some adjectives and adverbs can only exist in the positive degree. These words are already superlative in their meaning. If they are modified, they become illogical. For example, unique means one of a kind. It is impossible to be more unique, very unique, or mostly unique.
Adjectives and Adverbs Words such as perfect, unique, excellent, impossible, parallel, empty, and dead may not have comparative or superlative forms. However, they may be modified to suggest a state nearing the absolute condition implied by the modifier. The mission was nearly impossible.
Adjectives and Adverbs Do not use more than one negative modifier in a sentence. Using two negatives creates a positive. No students are allowed to not sleep in class.
Adjectives and Adverbs You are now prepared to use adjectives and adverbs wisely. The End