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How to Use Adjectives and Adverbs

How to Use Adjectives and Adverbs

By: Mary Simmers | Dec 3, 2009 | 528 words | 1618 views
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As a writer, we must be knowledgeable enough to know and determine all the parts of speech. The most common are the nouns and pronouns which we commonly use these two as our subject in a sentence. To add up some variations with our subject, we use adjectives and adverbs that best describes or modify our subject and its corresponding verb.

However, one writing mistake that seems to appear all too frequently is the misuse of adjectives and adverbs. Every writer should know how to differentiate these two as a part of speech. The common use of adjective ad adverbs is that they serve to modify a word. Now, what are these words? What kind of words? Let's face back. Some statements require adverbs; others will require adjectives. It's important to distinguish when to use one or the other, lest risk finding yourself committing the error.

Here are the rules on their proper use.

Adjectives are words that modify nouns and pronouns. Adverbs, on the other hand, modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs. Sometimes, adverbs will modify a whole clause or an entire sentence, too. When considering whether to use an adjective or an adverb (e.g. slow or slowly), always look for those parts of the speech that you're intent on modifying. Is it the noun (e.g. a dog, as in "slow dog")? Is it the verb (e.g. run, as in "run slowly")?

One point of confusion is when the modifier is used away from the noun (e.g. They tried to be careful). In such cases, you can recognize the need to use an adjective when the modifier will be preceded by a form of the verb "to be" (such as is, was, to be).

Verbs of appearance and sense (e.g. feel, look, appear, seem) are always followed by an adjective. Remember, it doesn't modify the verb preceding it, but the subject of the sentence. For example, in the sentence, "She seems perturbed," the modifier is referring to the pronoun, instead of the verb.
Truth is, adjectives and adverbs are largely basic components of the language. Some amount of practice and continued use of a good grammar checker should see you improve in their use within a short time.

Furthermore, you might be confuse about a certain word and can hardly identify if it is an adjective or an adverb. Let's say the words beautiful. Usually, it is use as to modify a subject, either a noun or a pronoun. It could be a person, a place, thing or an event. Like for example: She is beautiful. The beautiful girl knows how to skate.

Notice how the word "beautiful describe its subject? In the first sentence, it describes the subject she which is a pronoun and the second sentence describes the subject girl. Now, how are you going to use it as an adverb? Here's an example: the girl skates beautifully. Do you notice how the word "beautiful" is being use as an adverb? It describes the way the girl skates. Therefore it modifies a verb. Just focus on the modifiers and where they usually modify. If it's the subject, then its an adjective. If it's a verb, an adjective or another adverb, then it's an adverb.

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How to Use Adjectives and Adverbs

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