An adjective describes a noun. Nouns are words that denote things, people, concepts etc. Examples of nouns are: tree, pianist, teapot, man, woman, telephone, luck, happiness, etc.
So an adjective is the word that describes this thing, person or concept.
The Place of the Adjective
Often, the adjective will come before the noun, but it can also be after a form of the verb “to be.”
The green tree.
Green is the adjective.
The tree is green.
Green is an adjective.
The pianist is good.
She is a good pianist.
Good is the adjective in both sentences.
He felt insane happiness.
His happiness was insane.
Insane is the adjective in both sentences.
So to recap, if you want to say something about a noun, you need an adjective.
If you want to say something about an adjective or a verb (an action word), you use an adverb.
Adverb means “about a verb” (in Latin).
The tree is very green.
“very” is an adverb. It says something about “green,” which is an adjective.
The tree is fantastically green.
Same thing. “fantastically” is an adverb, describing “green.”
He dances well.
“well” is an adverb, describing “dances.”
(“Well” is the adverb of the adjective “good.” They’re often confused.)
She writes beautifully.
“beautifully” is an adverb, because it describes “writes.”
Do Adverbs End in LY?
Note: adverbs are often written with –ly at the end. But not always!
Now try the following Exercise. There are a few tricky questions in there. We’ll talk about them some other time.
Choose the adjective or adverb in each sentence (between brackets).
1 I drink my coffee ____________ (black/blackly).
2 That student did her assignment __________ (bad/badly).
3 He did a ____________ (fantastic/fantastically) job.
4 I’m afraid you didn’t spell my name on the card _____________ (proper/properly).
5 I woke up too ____________ (late/lately) to give you a call before I left the house.
6 This fish has been baked too _________ (short/shortly).
7 He’s been reading __________ (intensive/intensively) for the past two hours.
8 You must look on this subject __________ (positive/positively).
9 The busses in the background of the recording are _________ (clear/clearly) audible.
10 Her qualifications for the job were _________ (good/well) proven.
11 I like it that the cushions on the sofa are so ________ (soft/softly).
12 I think that women’s hair can never be too __________ (long/longly).
Did you like this quiz? You can do free quizzes on the website or order extra quizzes here.