Adjectives and Adverbs in English Grammar
Adjectives and adverbs are luxury words. You spend them to make your speech descriptive and lusher. Adjectives decorate the nouns; adverbs ornament the verbs.
Adjectives and AdverbsAdjectives and Adverbs
Adjectives are one of the main parts of speech of the English language. They are words that describe or modify the qualities or states of being of nouns and pronouns.
The Difference between Adjectives and Determiners
Traditionally, the term 'adjective' has been used for a word type now called a determiner. For example, possessive adjective, demonstrative adjective, and indefinite adjective like the words 'his', 'this', 'many' are now classified as determiner.
Types of Adjective
In English, adjectives can be divided into three categories based on the position they occur in a sentence:
- Prepositive adjectives (also called attributive adjectives): always come before a noun (phrase), like 'happy kids'
- Postpositive adjectives: come immediately after a noun (phrase), like 'We need someone strong' or 'Nothing important happened.'
- Predicative adjectives: come after a linking verb, like 'My kids are happy.'
Order of adjectives
The order in which adjectives in a series come one after the other is complex for people learning English as a second language. With practice, learning the order of adjectives becomes instinctive. Although the rules may seem ransom, but there is a pattern. The categories in the following table can be described as follows:
|Position||Type of Adjective||Example|
|1||Determiners||a, the, this, my|
|2||Quantity||one, five, fifty-six|
|3||Opinion or Observation||beautiful, clever, interesting|
|4||Size||big, small, tiny|
|5||Shape or Physical Quality||square, thin, round|
|6||Age||young, middle-aged, old|
|7||Color||green, blue, red|
|9||Material||metal, leather, woolen|
|10||Qualifier or Attributive Noun||rocking, haunting, basketball|
Let's see some examples:
a beautiful old Italian touring car
several enormous young American basketball players
Comparison of Adjectives
In regards to comparison, adjectives come in two forms: comparative and superlative.
We use the comparative for comparing two things and the superlative for comparing three or more things.
For example, a person may be 'kind' (absolute adjective), but another person may be 'kinder' (comparative adjective), and a third person may be the 'kindest' (superlative adjective) of the three.
Cumulative Adjectives and Coordinated Adjectives
Sometimes you can separate a series of adjectives with comma or the word 'and' and sometimes you're not allowed to that. In order to understand this rule, you must learn the difference between cumulative adjectives and coordinate adjectives.
Cumulative adjectives are fixed in their positions, so you cannot separate them. Coordinate adjectives are different. They describe the noun independently, which means they can follow any order. Look at the examples:
This is a beautiful old Italian touring car
This series of adjectives follow the order of adjectives and you cannot change its order.
This is a wonderful , interesting , and modern car .
Here, the adjectives do not follow any specific order, therefore you can separate them.
A compound adjective is sometimes called a hyphenated adjective.
Let's look at the following examples:
I saw a man-eating bear .
This example contains a compound adjective. It is describing the bear. It is one that eats people.
I saw a man eating bear .
This example doesn't contain a compound adjectives. Here, without the hyphen, it seems like a man is eating a bear.
As you can see, the meaning of the above two sentences are quite different.
A participle is a word that is formed from a verb and can be used as an adjective. There are two types of participle:
- The present participle (ending -ing)
- The past participle (usually ending -ed)
Here are some examples:
We usually use the past participle to talk about how someone feels
We usually use the present participle to talk about the person, thing, or situation which has caused the feeling
Adverbs are words that modify or describe a verb, an adjective, another adverb, or a sentence. An adverb answers the question when?, where?, how?, how much?, how long?, or how often?
Here, the adverb is describing the verb.
Here, the adverb is describing the adjective.
Here, the adverb 'too' is describing another adverb (slowly).
Here, the adverb is describing the whole sentence.
Types of Adverbs
An adverb can be categorized as one of the following:
Adverbs of Manner
Adverbs of manner tell us how an action takes place. Lots of adverbs of manner are adjectives with the suffix '-ly' added to the end. For example, 'slowly', 'quickly', 'loudly', 'quietly'.
Adverbs of Place
Adverbs of place tell us where an action occurs. These adverbs don’t usually end in -ly. Adverbs of place can be further categorized by these elements: For example, 'inside', 'around'.
- To show directions: 'down', 'north', 'up', 'left'.
- To show distance: 'close', 'far away'
- To show position: 'here', 'underneath'
Adverbs of Time
Adverbs of time tells us when an action occurs. These adverbs are usually placed at the end of a sentence. For example, 'yesterday', 'now', 'next week'.
Adverbs of Frequency
Adverbs of time tells us how often an action occurs. These adverbs will usually be placed after the main verb or between the auxiliary verb and infinitive. For example, 'usually', 'always', 'normally'.
Positions of Adverbs
Adverbs can appear in different position in a sentence. They can appear at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of a sentence. Adverbs must be as close as possible to the words they are supposed to describe.
Order of Adverbs
If you want to use more than one adverb in a sentence, it's important to know how to place them in a specific order. There is a simple set of rules to follow, called the order of adverbs. The adverbs are placed first in the following order:
- Adverbs of manner
- Adverbs of place
- Adverbs of frequency
- Adverbs of time
Consider this example:
I run quickly (manner) down the road (place) every morning (frequency) before school (time) .
Comparison of Adverbs
Adverbs, like adjectives, can show degrees of comparison. But it’s less common to use them in comparison.
- To make the comparative form of an adverb that ends in -ly, add the word more:
- To make the superlative form of an adverb that ends in -ly, add the word most:
With adverbs that look exactly the same as their adjective counterparts, the comparative and superlative forms look the same as the adjective comparative and superlative forms.