English grammar

Module 5, Modifiers: Adjectives and Adverbs, Lesson 9:

Adjective versus Adverb

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English grammar

It can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between adjectives and adverbs in a sentence. You must ask yourself what word the modifier is modifying. If the modified word is a noun, the modifier is an adjective. If the modified word is a verb, adjective, or adverb, the modifier is an adverb.

To complete a sentence correctly, you need to determine whether the sentence needs an adjective or an adverb.

Cheetahs are speedy animals. (adjective modifying animal)
Cheetahs run speedily. (adverb modifying the verb run)

One area of confusion can be when an adjective is modifying a noun that is acting as an adjective.

That is my brother. (My is an adjective modifying the noun brother.)
My brother's bike is broken. (My is still an adjective modifying the noun brother, but now brother is a possessive noun acting as an adjective modifying bike.)

Many people unintentionally use adjectives to describe verbs. Make sure in your writing to use adjectives to modify nouns and pronouns and adverbs to modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.

The boys walked slow toward their classroom. (incorrect)
The boys walked slowly toward their classroom. (correct)

Practice What You've Learned

English grammar

Part 1

Directions:
Decide whether the bold-faced modifier is an adjective or an adverb.
1.
Those stylish glasses look good on you.
adjective / adverb
2.
It looks like you have been working hard.
adjective / adverb
3.
Your short haircut looks cute.
adjective / adverb
4.
The kids were playing loudly in the stairwell.
adjective / adverb
5.
The two papers on my desk don't have names on them.
adjective / adverb
6.
All the college-bound students in this class must take the placement exam.
adjective / adverb
7.
Those cookies smell incredibly delicious.
adjective / adverb
8.
You need to work quickly in order to finish on time.
adjective / adverb
9.
That truck holds an amazing amount of stuff.
adjective / adverb
10.
Our friends love ice cream.
adjective / adverb

Part 2

Directions:
Choose the correct word to complete the sentence.
11.
That pile of books looks awkward/awkwardly balanced.
12.
That breed of dog has very powerful/powerfully jaws.
13.
Quentin gave the teacher a blank/blankly look when she asked him the question.
14.
If you take that route, you will get there more quick/quickly.
15.
That cat is a frequent/frequently visitor in our backyard.
16.
Hank was easy/easily able to reach the boxes on the high shelf.
17.
After dropping her lunch tray, Pam looked around sheepish/sheepishly.
18.
The simple/simply design of the dress flattered all the members of the choir.
19.
The restaurant's owner gracious/graciously invited us in for a sample of his food.
20.
My great-aunt has always been very generous/generously on our birthdays.
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