Adjectives and Adverbs

Adjectives and adverbs

We saw in the last blog post – Parts of Speech (1) – that parts of speech are the names we use to describe the role played by the different types of words in a language; the job that each word performs in a sentence.

After looking at Nouns and Verbs, we now come to ADJECTIVES and ADVERBS.

ADJECTIVES describe nouns.

For example, we can take a noun like ‘car’. How can we describe this car? It might be red, fast, comfortable, sporty, large, or new. These are all adjectives which we are using to describe the car. It’s a red car, a fast car, a comfortable car, a sporty car, a large car, or a new car.

So adjectives are words that describe: they tell you more about a noun. A car isn’t just a car; it’s a red car, a fast car, and so on.

ADVERBS can describe HOW you perform an action when attached to a VERB.

Take a verb like ‘walk’. How you walk is explained by an adverb, such as quickly, slowly, confidently, and so on. In more cases than not, an adverb is formed by adding ‘ly’ to an adjective. So, a confident person might walk confidently, a quiet person might speak quietly, and a noisy car might drive along noisily.

ADVERBS can also qualify, or add information to an ADJECTIVE.

A car can be surprisingly fast, extremely large, remarkably comfortable. There are adverbs that don’t end in ‘ly’, however, especially very, too, and so. The same car could be very fast, too large or so comfortable.

As with nouns and verbs, there is a lot more to be said about adjectives and adverbs. But for this initial introduction we’ll stick to the basics. The aim is to provide you with the building blocks, so you can construct a simple English sentence by understanding the roles performed by the different types of word (known as Parts of Speech).

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