What are adjectives?• Adjectives modify nouns or pronouns• These words are all adjectives A hot day A happy camper A silly twit A big, bloody mess (both “big” and “bloody” modify “mess”) She is creative (“creative” is a subject complement that follows the linking verb “is”) A boring course (present participle used as an adjective
So what are adverbs?• Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs• Many adverbs end with ly• Many adverbs answer the question “How?”• These are adverbs Eating quickly (modifying a verb) Trying very hard (modifying an adverb) A really big show (modifying an adjective)
Recognizing Adjectives & Adverbs • Many words have both an adjective and adverb form Adjective AdverbHappy kids Playing happilySmooth rock Running smoothlyGood night Eating WellEfficient workers Working efficientlyCasual dress Dressing casuallyQuick meeting Talking quicklyhopeful children Waiting hopefullyReal butter Really hot
Comparatives and Superlatives • Most adverbs and adjectives also have a comparative and superlative formSimple Comparative SuperlativeHot Hotter HottestGood Better BestExciting More exciting Most excitingCareful Less careful Least careful • Use the comparative form to compare two things Sally is the larger of the twins (not largest) • Use the superlative form to compare three or more August was the hottest month of the year
Double Comparatives• Don’t use “more” or “most” with –er or –est X Yesterday was more hotter than today X That was the most dirtiest story I ever heard X You are the bestest teacher
Absolute Concepts• Don’t use comparatives or superlatives with absolute concepts• Absolutes have only two possibilities, on or off, yes or no, with nothing in between XThe most perfect student in the class XA very unique idea (say “very unusual” instead)• These words express absolute concepts that cannot be modifiedMore priceless Sort of deadQuite on A little bit pregnantVery unanimous Extremely perfectQuite unique Completely anonymous
Don’t use adjectives when adverbs are needed XYou did a real nice job – (an adjective can’t modify another adjective)You did a really nice job – (the adverb “really” modifies “nice”) XHe did goodHe did well orHe did a good job XFuel injection helps the car run efficientFuel injection helps the car run efficiently XCome quick!Come quickly! XHopefully, it won’t rain – (an adverb explains how something will happenI hope that it won’t rain
Don’t use needless adverbs• Before using any of these words, check to see if they add anything to the sentence • Really, very, absolutely, extremely, quite, actually, somewhat, rather • I am really happy to see you • Grammar is very boring • You are absolutely correct • Her language was extremely crude • You are quite intelligent• Context will help you decide whether to retain the underlined words• Keep them only if they add to the meaning XBill Gates is very rich. I hope he gives me some money. Most college instructors are poor; their students are very poor.• Note: the terms “good success” and “real good success” have been reserved for sports broadcasters; do not use them
Compound Adjectives• Two or more adjectives often appear together separated with commas Brad’s tiny, tight swimsuit showed off his hairy belly • The words “tiny” and “tight” each work separately to modify “swimsuit”• Connect the words with a hyphen when they function together before a noun Brad’s gold-plated piercings stood out against his bright-red sunburn • “Gold-plated” and “bright-red” are compound adjectives
Compound Adjectives• Do not hyphenate the words when they come after the noun they modify• Notice the difference in these examplesBrad was well known along Brad was a well-known jerkthe boardwalk (no hyphen) (hyphenated)His SUV was fully equipped He drove a fully-equipped SUVBrad worked full time on his Brad was a full-time chicktan magnet
Misplaced Modifiers• Put adjectives and adverbs close to the words they modify• Notice how the meaning is affected by the improper placement XAn old pile of clothes is on the floor A pile of old clothes is on the floor XI almost believe you are finished I believe you are almost finished XThe winners will only be contacted Only the winners will be contacted XI can’t quite do this as well as Fred I can’t do this quite as well as Fred
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