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Using Adjectives and Adverbs Correctly. What are adjectives?. Adjectives modify nouns or pronouns These words are all adjectives A hot day A happy camper A silly goose A big , disgusting mess (both “big” and “disgusting” modify “mess”)

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what are adjectives
What are adjectives?
  • Adjectives modify nouns or pronouns
  • These words are all adjectives
    • A hot day
    • A happy camper
    • A silly goose
    • A big, disgusting mess (both “big” and “disgusting” 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
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
Recognizing Adjectives & Adverbs
  • Many words have both an adjective and adverb form
comparatives and superlatives
Comparatives and Superlatives
  • Most adverbs and adjectives also have a comparative and superlative form
  • 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
Double Comparatives
  • Don’t use “more” or “most” with –er or –est
      • Yesterday was more hotter than today
      • That was the most dirtiest story I ever heard
      • You are the bestest teacher
absolute concepts
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
      • The most perfect student in the class
      • A very unique idea (say “very unusual” instead)
  • These words express absolute concepts that cannot be modified
don t use adjectives when adverbs are needed
Don’t use adjectives when adverbs are needed
    • You did a real nice job
      • (an adjective can’t modify another adjective)
  • You did a really nice job
      • (the adverb “really” modifies “nice”)
    • He did good
  • He did well or
  • He did a good job
    • Fuel injection helps the car run efficient
  • Fuel injection helps the car run efficiently
    • Come quick!
  • Come quickly!
    • Hopefully, it won’t rain
      • (an adverb explains how something will happen
  • Ihope that it won’t rain
don t use needless adverbs
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
      • Bill 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
Compound Adjectives
  • Two or more adjectives often appear together separated with commas
    • Brad’s messy, torn papers were scattered all over the floor.
      • The words “messy” and “torn” each work separately to modify “papers”
  • Connect the words with a hyphen when they function together before a noun
    • Jack’s gold-plated piercings stood out against his bright-red sunburn
      • “Gold-plated” and “bright-red” are compound adjectives
compound adjectives11
Terry was well known along the boardwalk (no hyphen)

His SUV was fully equipped

Brad worked full time on his tan

Terry was a well-known jerk (hyphenated)

He drove a fully-equipped SUV

Brad was a full-time chick magnet

Compound Adjectives
  • Do not hyphenate the words when they come after the noun they modify
  • Notice the difference in these examples
misplaced modifiers
Misplaced Modifiers
  • Put adjectives and adverbs close to the words they modify
  • Notice how the meaning is affected by the improper placement
      • An old pile of clothes is on the floor
    • A pile of old clothes is on the floor
      • I almost believe you are finished
    • I believe you are almost finished
      • The winners will only be contacted
    • Only the winners will be contacted
      • I can’t quite do this as well as Fred
    • I can’t do this quite as well as Fred

Tell: How? When? Where? To what extent? (How much?)

  • patiently loudly carefully sometimes daily always now
  • inside there everywhere extremely nearly almost so
  • really too so usually especially very today upstairs
  • close soon well much little better more less best
  • most least twice together quite badly not