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Using Adjectives and Adverbs Correctly Using Adjectives and Adverbs Correctly

What are adjectives? • Adjectives modify nouns or pronouns • These words are all What are adjectives? • Adjectives modify nouns or pronouns • These words are all adjectives ü A hot day ü A happy camper ü A silly twit ü A big, bloody mess (both “big” and “bloody” modify “mess”) ü She is creative (“creative” is a subject complement that follows the linking verb “is”) ü A boring course (present participle used as an adjective

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So what are adverbs? • Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs • Many So what are adverbs? • Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs • Many adverbs end with ly • Many adverbs answer the question “How? ” • These are adverbs ü Eating quickly (modifying a verb) ü Trying very hard (modifying an adverb) ü A really big show (modifying an adjective)

Recognizing Adjectives & Adverbs • Many words have both an adjective and adverb form Recognizing Adjectives & Adverbs • Many words have both an adjective and adverb form Adjective Adverb Happy kids Playing happily Smooth rock Running smoothly Good night Eating Well Efficient workers Working efficiently Casual dress Dressing casually Quick meeting Talking quickly hopeful children Waiting hopefully Real butter Really hot

Double Comparatives • Don’t use “more” or “most” with –er or –est X Yesterday Double Comparatives • Don’t use “more” or “most” with –er or –est X Yesterday was more hotter than today X That was the most dirtiest story I ever heard X You are the bestest teacher

Absolute Concepts • Don’t use comparatives or superlatives with absolute concepts • Absolutes have Absolute Concepts • Don’t use comparatives or superlatives with absolute concepts • Absolutes have only two possibilities, on or off, yes or no, with nothing in between X The most perfect student in the class X A very unique idea (say “very unusual” instead) • These words express absolute concepts that cannot be modified More priceless Sort of dead Quite on A little bit pregnant Very unanimous Extremely perfect Quite unique Completely anonymous

Don’t use adjectives when adverbs are needed X You did a real nice job Don’t use adjectives when adverbs are needed X You did a real nice job – (an adjective can’t modify another adjective) ü You did a really nice job – (the adverb “really” modifies “nice”) X He did good ü He did well or ü He did a good job X Fuel injection helps the car run efficient ü Fuel injection helps the car run efficiently X Come quick! ü Come quickly! X Hopefully, it won’t rain – (an adverb explains how something will happen ü I hope that it won’t rain

Don’t use needless adverbs • Before using any of these words, check to see Don’t use needless adverbs • Before using any of these words, check to see if they add anything to the sentence • Really, very, absolutely, extremely, quite, actually, somewhat, rather • I am really happy to see you • Grammar is very boring • You are absolutely correct • Her language was extremely crude • You are quite intelligent • Context will help you decide whether to retain the underlined words • Keep them only if they add to the meaning X Bill Gates is very rich. I hope he gives me some money. ü Most college instructors are poor; their students are very poor. • Note: the terms “good success” and “real good success” have been reserved for sports broadcasters; do not use them

Compound Adjectives • Two or more adjectives often appear together separated with commas ü Compound Adjectives • Two or more adjectives often appear together separated with commas ü Brad’s tiny, tight swimsuit showed off his hairy belly • The words “tiny” and “tight” each work separately to modify “swimsuit” • Connect the words with a hyphen when they function together before a noun ü Brad’s gold-plated piercings stood out against his bright-red sunburn • “Gold-plated” and “bright-red” are compound adjectives

Compound Adjectives • Do not hyphenate the words when they come after the noun Compound Adjectives • 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 (hyphenated) His SUV was fully equipped He drove a fully-equipped SUV Brad worked full time on his tan Brad was a full-time chick magnet

Misplaced Modifiers • Put adjectives and adverbs close to the words they modify • Misplaced Modifiers • Put adjectives and adverbs close to the words they modify • Notice how the meaning is affected by the improper placement X An old pile of clothes is on the floor ü A pile of old clothes is on the floor X I almost believe you are finished ü I believe you are almost finished X The winners will only be contacted ü Only the winners will be contacted X I can’t quite do this as well as Fred ü I can’t do this quite as well as Fred

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