Using Adjectives and Adverbs
Using Adjectives and Adverbs
What are adjectives?
Adjectives modify nouns or pronouns
These words are all adjectives
A hot day
A happy camper
A silly twit
A big, smelly mess (both “big” and “smelly” modify
She is creative (“creative” is a subject complement
that follows the linking verb “is”)
A boring course (present participle used as an
Adjective – a word that
describes a noun or
change, or modify, the
meaning of nouns or
• What kind?
• Which ones?
• How many?
• How much?
So what are adverbs?
Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives and
Many adverbs end with ly
Many adverbs answer the question
These are adverbs
Eating quickly (modifying a verb)
Trying very hard (modifying an adverb)
A really big show (modifying an adjective)
Draw the umbrella
& take notes:
Adverb – a word that
modifies a verb, adjective,
or another adverb.
Adverbs are modifiers.
They change, or modify, the
meaning of another word.
• In what way?
• To what extent?
adj. and other
Recognizing Adjectives &
Many words have both an adjective and adverb form
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.
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.
Don’t use comparatives or superlatives with
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
Sort of dead
A little bit confident
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.
He did a good job.
Fuel injection helps the car run efficient.
Fuel injection helps the car run efficiently.
Hopefully, it won’t rain.
(an adverb explains how something will happen
I hope that it won’t rain.
Two or more adjectives often appear together
separated with commas
Brad’s shiny, brown toupe flapped in the wind.
• The words “shiny” and “brown” each work
separately to modify “toupe”
• Connect the words with a hyphen when they
function together before a noun
Brad’s gold-plated fillings stood out against his
• “Gold-plated” and “bright-red” are compound
Do not hyphenate the words when they
come after the noun they modify
Notice the difference in these examples
Brad was well known along
the boardwalk. (no hyphen)
Brad was a well-known jerk.
His SUV was fully equipped.
He drove a fully-equipped SUV.
Brad worked full time on his
Brad was a full-time chick magnet.
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.