Distinguish Adjectives from Adverbs
Adjectives and adverbs enrich our writings by adding tinges of colors and delicacies of description to plain objects and actions. To say “a woman is walking down the stairs” is tasteless while “a fair, blonde lady is walking down the stairs balletically” gives you a picture.
Although both adjectives and adverbs are grammatical structures used to modify, their usages are very different. Some students confuse adjectives with adverbs and use them incorrectly. The large difference, indeed, suggests that they can be easily distinguished once you learn it.
Adjectives are used to modify nouns. There are 2 possible positions of adjectives.
After a linking verb (be, become, seem, look, feel, taste, smell, sound, etc.)
Kate seems happy.
Christine looks radiant.
The fragrance smells sweet.
Before a noun
What a marvelous performance!
Pete is a diligent student.
Adverbs are used to modify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs.
Adverbs which modify verbs are called adverbs of manner since they modify how (the manner) an action is performed.
Susanna walks slowly.
Linda placed the rabbit into the cage carefully.
Adverbs which modify adjectives or other adverbs are called adverbs of degree since they modify the intensity (the degree) of a quality or a manner. These answer questions like how much/how little.
Kate seems extremely happy.
Susanna walks very slowly.
Thus, to determine if an adjective or an adverb should be used, students need to be able to identify which word is modified. You can get yourself familiarized with the usage of adjectives and adverbs by underling them in an article and using arrows to show which words they modify. When you write, check carefully that you use adjectives to modify nouns while adverbs to modify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs.
Common grammatical errors tested in Identifying Sentence Errors
3. Adjective/adverb confusion
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