FOUNDATIONS OFGRAMMARPodcast 13: What is the difference between adjectives and adverbs?
What is the difference betweenadjectives and adverbs?Adjectives are words which describe nouns and pronounsto make the meanings of sentences clearer or more exact.Adverbs are words which describe verbs, adjectives, andother adverbs.CLUE: You can therefore tell whether a word is an adjective or adverb bylooking at the word it modifies. This is very important in languages whoseadverbs are invariable but whose adjectives need to agree in gender andnumber with the nouns/pronouns they modify.
Adjectives with nounsHe likes classical music.(The adjective “classical” describes the noun “music”)They had an excellent idea.(The adjective “excellent” describes the noun “idea”)Both of them are good students.(The adjective “good” describes the noun “students”)
Adjectives with pronounsShe is very intelligent.(The adjective “intelligent” describes the pronoun “she”)That’s wrong.(The adjective “wrong” describes the pronoun “that”)They are old.(The adjective “old” describe the pronoun “they”)
AdjectivesIn many cases we may use more than one adjective in a sentence todescribe one or more nouns. E.g.:She wrote an impressive essay on national identity.(The adjective “impressive” describes the noun essay and the adjective“national” describes the noun identity).The room was small but clean and tidy.(In this sentence three adjectives: “small”, “clean”, “tidy” describe thenoun “room”.
Adverbs with verbsHe sang softly.(The adverb “softly” describes the verb “sang”)They live together.(The adverb “together” describes the verb “live”)They moved slowly towards the exit.(The adverb “slowly” describes the verb “moved”)
Adverbs with adjectivesShe is very intelligent.(The adverb “very” describes the adjective “intelligent”)You are quite right.(The adverb “quite” describes the adjective “right”The students were extremely happy with their results.(The adverb “extremely” describe the adjective “happy”)
Adverbs with adverbsThat student nearly always comes to his class late.(The adverb “nearly” describes the adverb “always”)Your argument is really rather simple.(The adverb “really” describes the adverb “rather”)He has to leave very soon.(The adverb “very” describes the adverb “soon”)
What is the difference betweenadjectives and adverbs?Be vigilant: in English, adjectives and adverbs are increasingly usedincorrectly. E.g.: He drove real fast.In this example, “real” functions as an adverb (describing the adjective“fast”) and should therefore be “really”. He drove really fast.She speaks really slow.In this example, “slow” functions as an adverb (describing the verb“speak”) and should therefore be “slowly”. She speaks really slowly.