Adjectives and Adverbs
AdjectivesWords that modify and describe a noun. Examples: old, tall, leafy. and adverbsWords that modify and describe a verb, adjective, or other adverb. Examples: quickly, awkwardly, lovingly. are an essential part of writing. They give details to your writing that cannot be accomplished with nounsA part of speech that refers to a person, place, or thing. Examples include: swimmer, lake, sunscreen. and verbsA part of speech that refers to what is happening, the action, what the subject is doing, or how it is “being.” Examples include: sleep, to be, think. alone. Filling your writing with descriptive adjectives and adverbs can help readers create a mental image of what you are trying to communicate. It also makes your writing more enjoyable to read. In this lesson, you will learn how to identify adjectives and adverbs in a readingA piece of writing to be read. A reading can either be a full work (i.e., a book) or partial (i.e., a passage). as well as use them to create more detailed and interesting sentencesA group of words, phrases, or clauses that expresses a complete thought. A complete sentence has these characteristics: a capitalized first word, a subject and a predicate, and end punctuation, such as a period (.), question mark (?), or exclamation mark (!)..
Adjectives are words that modifyTo change or specify the meaning of another word, usually the subject or the verb. Example: The red ball quickly bounced over the fence. The adjective red modifies the subject, the ball. Also, the adverb quickly modifies the verb bounced. and describe a noun, which is a person, place, or thing in a sentence. They almost always appear before the noun in a sentence. For example, in "the winding road," winding is the adjective describing the noun road. Here, you can see that the adjective provides a much better description, or image, of what the road looks like.
Adverbs are words that modify and describe a verb, an adjective, or another adverb in a sentence. They tell when, where, why, or in what condition something is happening or happened.
Many adverbs end in –ly, which is how people often learn to identify them, including slowly, happily, and quickly. Keep in mind that some –ly words are adjectives and some adverbs do not end with –ly.
To determine whether any word is working as an adjective or an adverb, you should ask yourself if the word is describing a noun; if so, the word is an adjective. If not, ask yourself if it is describing a verb, adjective, or adverb. If so, it is an adverb.
For example, consider the word short.
The short man was the loudest.
Is the word describing a noun or a verb? It is describing a noun: man. This makes the word short an adjective.
The man fell short of his goal.
Is the word describing a noun or a verb, adjective, or adverb? It is describing a verb: fell. This makes the word short in this sentence an adverb.+ PRACTICAL APPLICATION
Writers use adjectives and adverbs to enhance their writing and make it more descriptive. Whether writing a technical reportA formal writing that the author composes using very specific research that describes in detail a scientific or technological project, process, or concept., instructions, an email, a blogA website that hosts a series of articles, photos, and other postings, sometimes by a single writer (blogger) or by a community of contributors., an academic essayA formal writing that the author composes using research, a strong thesis, and supporting details in order to advance an idea or demonstrate understanding of a topic., or a reflective writingA type of writing based on the careful thinking of an issue, allowing the author to make personal connections between ideas, events, or situations., writers who use appropriate adjectives and adverbs present their readers with a clear image of the contentThe text in a writing that includes facts, thoughts, and ideas. The information that forms the body of the work. that will help them understand their topicThe subject of a reading. and purposeThe reason the writer is writing about a topic. It is what the writer wants the reader to know, feel, or do after reading the work. for writing.
Example 1: Read each of the following sentences of this reading and consider if the underlined word/s are adjectives or adverbs and what word/s they modify.
Adjective: small modifies the noun groups.
Adverb: very modifies the adverb quickly.
Adverb: least modifies the adjective favorite.
Adverb: closely modifies the verb worked.
Adverbs: quickly and determinedly modify the verb work.
Adjective: highest modifies the noun grade.
Adverb: diligently modifies the noun worked.
Example 2: Now, notice how adjectives and adverbs are added to the following sentences to create more detailed sentences.
Successfully working in small groups can be extremely difficult for quiet, introverted students.
Adverbs: Successfully modifies the verb working; extremely modifies the adjective difficult.
Adjectives: small modifies the noun groups; quiet and introverted modify the noun students.
There are numerous strategies that make it significantly easier.
Adverb: significantly modifies the adjective easier.
Adjective: numerous modifies the noun strategies.
Students who want to succeed collaboratively communicate well with all others and always complete their work.
Adverbs: collaboratively modifies the verb succeed; well modifies the verb communicate; always modifies the verb complete.
Adjective: all modifies the noun others.
Exercise 1: Read each of the following sentences of this reading and identify if the underlined word is an adjective or an adverb. Then, identify what word the underlined word modifies.
Adjective: right modifies the noun questions.
Adverb: high modifies the verb raise.
Adverb: very modifies the adverb loudly.
Adjective: relevant modifies the noun questions.
Adjective: good modifies the noun question.
Adverb: incredibly modifies the adjective busy.
Exercise 2: Now, add at least one adjective and adverb to each of the following sentences to create more detailed sentences.
All students should learn how to listen well.
Adverb: well modifies the verb listen.
Adjective: all modifies the noun students.
First, students should find a good seat in the classroom where they can very clearly hear.
Adverbs: very modifies the adverb clearly; clearly modifies the verb hear.
Adjective: good modifies the noun seat.
Next, the most effective students need to successfully minimize potential distractions.
Adverbs: most modifies the adjective effective; successfully modifies the verb minimize.
Adjectives: effective modifies the noun students; potential modifies the noun distractions.
Lastly, truly serious students should take detailed notes and thoroughly focus on the lesson.
Adverbs: truly modifies the adjective serious; thoroughly modifies the verb focus.
Adjectives: serious modifies the noun students; detailed modifies the noun notes.
How does a writer's use of adjectives affect the audience?
Adjectives help explain the information more clearly. Because they describe a noun, they can create an image in the audience's mind of what that noun looks, sounds, or feels like.
How are adverbs important when describing verbs? Give an example.
Like adjectives, adverbs describe verbs and how something was done or was taking place in the piece of writing. These can make a stronger impression on the reader than just writing the verb. For example, if I wrote "I ran to the store," it doesn’t provide a very exciting or interesting image. However, if I wrote, "I ran to the store faster than I’ve ever run before in my life," the reader has a better image because I used an adverb "faster" to describe what was happening.
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