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Adjectives and Adverbs

Teacher/Instructor Katie Aquino
Katie Aquino

Writing, Grammar, Literature, ACT Prep
Education: M.Ed.,Stanford University

Katie is an enthusiastic teacher who strives to make connections between literature and student’s every day lives.

Adjectives and adverbs are modifiers. Adjectives describe nouns and pronouns while adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. Learn the tricks and ways to incorporate adjectives and adverbs into sentences.

So now we are talking about Adjectives and Adverbs, and these are not the big scary things that they're made out to be. The only thing you need to remember about Adjectives and Adverbs is simply that they modify things. And modify is just a fancy word for describe, alright. So adjectives are words that describe nouns or pronouns, the nice part is you have some kind of questions that actually help you remember what thing is an adjective. So adjectives will always answer the questions "What kind? Which one? How many and whose?"
So if you take a look at these examples, we've got "The little red Corvette" 'little and red' are both words that are describing the noun Corvette, and actually both of them are answering what kind, alright. The next example "The Raspberry Beret" Raspberry is describing the beret and it's telling us which one, alright. Adverbs work in much the same way, the only difference is instead of describing nouns and pronouns, they describe verbs, adjectives and other adverbs. They too have a set of questions so that kind of makes it easier to identify. Adverbs will answer when, where, how, why, under what condition and to what extent.
So we can actually take a look back to these examples and add some adverbs up here, we could add the word 'very' and that's going to tell us to what extent is the Corvette little, so we've got 'very' describing how little it is, alright. We can also add the word 'bright' in front of Raspberry because it's telling us to what extent the Raspberry is bright, alright. So those are examples of adverbs, you've also got some nice teacher tricks here, so some little things that kind of help you remember what's going on, one thing is the article, those are the words a, an and the, when they come before nouns always adjectives, right. Also one trick that a lot of teachers use and probably you've already head is that words that end in 'ly' are typically adverbs, now that works most of the time but not all the time, so always make sure when you're trying to decide between an adverb or another part of speech that you're looking at how it's functioning in the sentence, what word it's modifying, alright.
So if we're good on that let's take a look at some examples, here we've got my favorite song of princes is nothing compares to you and we've got my and favorite underlined. What we've got to take a look at is what words these words are actually modifying or describing, so I know that favorite is talking about song, song is a noun, so I know that favorite is an adjective, alright. Now 'my' the question is 'my' describing favorite or is it describing song? Here it's actually describing song, again it's describing a noun so we've got two adjectives, alright. Let's take a look at the second sentence, it's a little bit more tough, alright. "When he was 35 years old, he strangely changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol" alright, so let's start with 35, alright. 35 is describing the number of years and if we remember back to our question, it's answering that how many question.
So we've got years as a noun, that means 35 is another adjective, alright. Then we've got the sentence or the word strangely, "he strangely changed his name" now strangely is not describing any actual item here, it's describing the way he changed something, alright. And to change something is a verb, so if we've got a word that describes a verb, we know it's an adverb. Lastly let's look at his name, "he changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol" alright, the idea that the symbol is unpronounceable means that unpronounceable is describing that symbol which is a thing, if it's describing a thing, we've got another adjective.
So you've taken a look at our modifiers our adverbs and adjectives and hopefully now they're not too scary.