4 Adjectives and Adverbs

Adjectives and adverbs are descriptive words that bring your writing to life.

An adjective is a word that describes a noun or a pronoun. It often answers questions such as which one, what kind, or how many?

  • The green sweater belongs to Iris. (The adjective green describes the noun sweater.)
  • She looks beautiful. (The adjective beautiful describes the pronoun she.)

An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. Adverbs frequently end in -ly. They answer questions such as how, to what extent, why, when, and where.

  • Francois sings horribly. (Horribly describes the verb sings. How does Francois sing? He sing horribly.)
  • My sociology instructor is extremely wise. (Extremely describes the adjective wise. How wise is the instructor? Extremely wise.)
  • He threw the ball very accurately. (Very describes the adverb accurately. How accurately did he throw the ball? Very accurately.)

Key Takeaways

  • Adjectives describe a noun or a pronoun.
  • Adverbs describe a verb, adjective, or another adverb.
  • Most adverbs are formed by adding -ly to an adjective.
  • Comparative adjectives and adverbs compare two persons or things.
  • Superlative adjectives or adverbs compare more than two persons or things.
  • The adjectives good and bad and the adverbs well and badly are unique in their comparative and superlative forms and require special attention.



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College ESL Writers: Mohawk College Edition by Barbara Hall and Elizabeth Wallace is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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