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Adjectives and Adverbs

An adjective is a word or set of words that modifies (i.e., describes) a noun or pronoun. Adjectives may
come before the word they modify.
That is a cute puppy.
She likes a high school senior.
Adjectives may also follow the word they modify:

That puppy looks cute.
The technology is state-of-the-art.

An adverb is a word or set of words that modifies verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. Adverbs
answer how, when, where, why, or to what extenthow often or how much (e.g.,daily, completely).
He speaks slowly (tells how)
He speaks very slowly (the adverb very tells how slowly)
She arrived today (tells when)
She will arrive in an hour (this adverb phrase tells when)
Let's go outside (tells where)
We looked in the basement (this adverb phrase tells where)
Bernie left to avoid trouble (this adverb phrase tells why)
Jorge works out strenuously (tells to what extent)
Jorge works out whenever possible (this adverb phrase tells to what extent)

Rule 1. Many adverbs end in -ly, but many do not. Generally, if a word can have -ly added to its adjective form,
place it there to form an adverb.
She thinks quick/quickly.
How does she think? Quickly.
She is a quick/quickly thinker.
Quick is an adjective describing thinker, so no -ly is attached.
She thinks fast/fastly.
Fast answers the question how, so it is an adverb. But fast never has -ly attached to it.
We performed bad/badly.
Badly describes how we performed, so -ly is added.
Rule 2. Adverbs that answer the question how sometimes cause grammatical problems. It can be a challenge to
determine if -ly should be attached. Avoid the trap of -ly with linking verbssuch as taste, smell, look,
feel, which pertain to the senses. Adverbs are often misplaced in such sentences, which require adjectives

Roses smell sweet/sweetly.
Do the roses actively smell with noses? No; in this case, smell is a linking verbwhich requires an
adjective to modify rosesso no -ly.
The woman looked angry/angrily to us.
Did the woman look with her eyes, or are we describing her appearance? We are describing her appearance
(she appeared angry), so no -ly.
The woman looked angry/angrily at the paint splotches.
Here the woman actively looked (used her eyes), so the -ly is added.
She feels bad/badly about the news.
She is not feeling with fingers, so no -ly.
Rule 3. The word good is an adjective, whose adverb equivalent is well.
You did a good job.
Good describes the job.
You did the job well.
Well answers how.
You smell good today.
Good describes your fragrance, not how you smell with your nose, so using the adjective is correct.
You smell well for someone with a cold.
You are actively smelling with your nose here, so use the adverb.
Rule 4. The word well can be an adjective, too. When referring to health, we often use wellrather than good.
You do not look well today.
I don't feel well, either.
Rule 5. Adjectives come in three forms, also called degrees. An adjective in its normal or usual form is called
a positive degree adjective. There are also the comparative andsuperlative degrees, which are used for
comparison, as in the following examples:









more efficient most efficient
A common error in using adjectives and adverbs arises from using the wrong form of comparison. To compare
two things, always use a comparative adjective:
Example: She is the cleverer of the two women (never cleverest)

The word cleverest is what is called the superlative form of clever. Use it only when comparing three or more
Example: She is the cleverest of them all.
Incorrect: Chocolate or vanilla: which do you like best?
Correct: Chocolate or vanilla: which do you like better?
Rule 6. There are also three degrees of adverbs. In formal usage, do not drop the -ly from an adverb when
using the comparative form.
Incorrect: She spoke quicker than he did.
Correct: She spoke more quickly than he did.
Incorrect: Talk quieter.
Correct: Talk more quietly.
Rule 7. When this, that, these, and those are followed by a noun, they are adjectives. When they appear without
a noun following them, they are pronouns.
This house is for sale.
This is an adjective.
This is for sale.
This is a pronoun.

Types of Adverb
Adverb modifies verb by giving us the following information.

How the action occurs

Where the action occurs
How many times action occur
At which time the action occurs
Intensity of action

Adverbs are categorized on the basis of it information it gives, into the following categories.


Adverbs of manner
Adverb of place
Adverb of time
Adverb of frequency

Adverbs of Manner
These adverbs tell us that in which manner the action occurs or how the action occurs or occurred or will occur.
She speaks loudly.
He was driving slowly.
You replied correctly.
He runs fast.
They solved the problem easily.
Listen to me carefully.

Adverb of Place.
Adverb of place tells us about the place of action or where action occurs/occurred/will occur.
e.g. here, there, near, somewhere, outside, ahead, on the top, at some place.
He will come here.
The children are playing outside.
He was standing near the wall.
They were flying kites on the top of hill.
He lives somewhere in New York.
She went upstairs.

Adverb of time
These adverbs tell us about the time of action. e.g. now, then, soon, tomorrow, yesterday, today, tonight, again,
early, yesterday.
I will buy a computer tomorrow.
The guest came yesterday.
Do it now.
She is still waiting for her brother.
He got up early in the morning.

Adverb of frequency
Adverbs of frequency tell us how many times the action occurs or occurred or will occur.
e.g. daily, sometimes, often, seldom, usually, frequently, always, ever, generally, rarely, monthly, yearly.
He goes to school daily.
She never smokes.

He is always late for class.

They always come in time.
Barking dogs seldom bite.
The employees are paid monthly.
The employees are paid every month.

Kinds of Adverbs
There are three kinds of adverbs Simple, Interrogative and Relative. The vast majority of adverbs belong to
the first group; there are very few adverbs of the second and third types.
Simple Adverbs
Simple adverbs are of very many kinds:
Adverbs of Time
These adverbs answer the question when. Examples are: tomorrow, today, yesterday, now, then, never,
soon, already, ago, formerly, lately etc.
We are late.
She died two years ago.
I wrote to him yesterday.
Have you seen him before?
May I leave now?
I will soon return.
He will come tomorrow.
I have warned him already.
I havent read anything lately.
Adverbs of Place
These adverbs answer the question where.
Examples are: here, there, upstairs, downstairs, everywhere, nowhere, in, out, inside, away.
We have been living here for several years.
I searched for him everywhere.
They went upstairs.
May I come in?
She came forward.
I decided to go there.
Adverbs of Frequency
These adverbs answer the question how often. Examples are: again, frequently, always, seldom, hardly,
often, once etc.
You are always welcome.
I have gone there only once.
We visit them frequently.
I often go there.
Adverbs of Number
These adverbs answer the question in what order.
Examples are: firstly, secondly, lastly, once, never, twice etc.
I have seen him only once.
Secondly, I cant afford to buy it.
Adverbs of Manner
These adverbs answer the question in what manner. Examples are: slowly, carefully, terribly, seriously,
well, pleasantly, really, thus etc.

The soldiers fought bravely.

Walk carefully.
I was terribly upset.
He is seriously ill.
She was pleasantly surprised.
She can speak English well.
Adverbs of Degree or Quantity
These adverbs answer the question how much or in what degree.
Examples are: much, very, fully, partly, little, enough, so, rather etc.
He is quite strong.
She is very beautiful.
I am fully prepared.
My work is almost finished.
This is good enough.
You are absolutely right.
He is entirely wrong.
He was rather busy.
Adverbs of reason
These adverbs answer the question why.
Examples are: therefore, hence, thus, consequently etc.
He did not work hard, therefore, he failed.
Consequently he refused to come.
Adverbs of Affirmation or Negation
Examples are: surely, yes, no, certainly etc.
I will not come.
We will certainly help you.
Note that when used alone yes or no represents a whole sentence.
Will you come? Yes. (= Yes, I will come.)
Have you finished the work? No. (= No, I havent finished the work.)

Adverb of degree
An adverb of degree tells us the level or extent that something is done or happens. Words of adverb of degree
are almost, much, nearly, quite, really,so, too, very, etc.

It was too dark for us to find our way out of the cave. (Before adjective)
The referee had to stop the match when it began to rain very heavily. (Before adverb)
Her daughter is quite fat for her age.
The accident victim nearly died from his injuries.
After all these years, she is still feeling very sad about her fathers death.