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Capítulo 10:

 Adjectives and adverbs. Adjetivos y adverbios en inglés


Adjectives are words that we use to describe nouns, as in I have a new, red, velvet bag.  New, red and velvet are adjectives used to say what the bag is like.

Adjectives usually come before the noun they are modifying.

Adjectives will never vary according to the form of the noun


Adverbs are used to describe verbs, as in I walked slowly and carefully along the cliff. Slowly and carefully describe the way the speaker was walking.

Adverbs can come before or after the verb they are modifying.

Adverbs can be recognised by their form, function and position.


10.1 Function of the adverb

It can modify a range of other words or even sentences or phrases. In the examples below, the adverb is in bold and the verb is in italics.

It can change a verb:
               - Dave eats loudly. (How does Dave eat?)
               - Ann works locally. (Where does Ann work?)
               - She never exercises. (When does she exercise?)

It can change an adjective:
               - She is reallypretty.

It can change another adverb:
               - Bert drives incrediblyslowly.

It can change a whole sentence:
               - Obviously, I can't know everything.

It can change a prepositional phrase:
               - It's immediately inside the door.


10.2 Form of the adverb

Most adverbs can be formed from adjectives by adding ‘ly’ to the end of the adjective.

For example:

               slow-slowly, quick-quickly, grand-grandly. 

If the word ends in a ‘y’ like ‘happy’ then we change the ‘y’ to ‘i’. For example: happy-happily. 

There are some exceptions. In these cases the adverb does not change its form; examples are as follows: fast, very, never, always, often, still...etc

Some adverbs are unlike their verbs (irregulars), for example:

                good has the adverb well.


10.3 Position of the adverb

The adverb has three main points of position:

              - Before the subject: Now you can learn about grammar.

               - Between the subject and the main verb: We frequently do exercises to remember everything.

               - And at the end of the sentence, or after the object: There’s no need to rush, you can take it                slowly.

But, careful: the adverb will be placed after the verb to be, as in: she is always late.


10.4 Position of the adjective

The adjective always comes before the noun. When more than one adjective is used, we follow a specific order. For example: I just got a new big, red, leather handbag from my sister.

The general rule for the order of the adjectives is as follows:

 opinion + size + age + shape + colour + origin + material + purpose + NOUN

Activity 1
Identify whether the word in bold is an adjective or an adverb.

  1. I want a chocolate ice-cream.
  2. Your shoes are beautiful.
  3. The cat crept slowly towards the bird.
  4. Harold eats amazingly quickly.
  5. We were well positioned for the attack.
  6. I’m late for work.
  7. It’s difficult to believe you never got fired.
  8. The worst thing is I always knew this would happen.

Activity 2
Choose the correct form of the word in brackets.

  1. Sorry I’m _____ (late).  I have had a lot of trouble with my car_____ (late).
  2. Just take it______ (slow), it’s going to be a _____ (slow) day.
  3. Dave talks ______ (loud). He is such a _____ (loud) person.
  4. They learn English_______ (easy). They think it is an _______ (easy) language.
  5. George is a ______ (good) guitar player. He plays guitar_____ (good).
  6. The cat is making an _______________ (extreme/strange) noise.
  7. I sipped a spoonful of soup________ (careful), but it tasted_________ (delicious).
  8. I am a _______ (bad) football player, but I play basketball________ (good).
  9. It’s a_________ (horrible) cold day. The wind is blowing__________ (terrible).
  10. I ________ (often) eat chocolates, so I try to walk_______ (quick).

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