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UWF WRITING LAB RULES OF THUMB FOR ADJECTIVE AND ADVERB USE

From Real Good Grammar, Too by Mamie Webb Hixon

Created by April Turner Revised by Mamie Webb Hixon July 1, 2010

SPEAKER 1: How are you today?

Which respondent are you? SPEAKER 2: Im good. SPEAKER 3: Im well.

SPEAKER 1: How are you today?

Which respondent are you? SPEAKER 2: Im good. SPEAKER 3: Im well.


[By using good as a descriptor, is Speaker 2 saying that he or she is well behaved?]
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Other Common Adjective/Adverb Errors in Spoken and Written English


The Williams sisters play tennis remarkable well. How quick time passes when youre having fun! The applicants felt very badly about missing the first phase of the interview. These encounters make me feel real awkward. Yes, we sure do serve nonalcoholic beverages.
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CORRECTIONS

The Williams sisters play tennis remarkably well. How quickly time passes when youre having fun! The applicants felt very bad about missing the first phase of the interview. These encounters make me feel really awkward. Yes, we surely do serve nonalcoholic beverages.
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ADJECTIVE USE

Use ADJECTIVES with these verbs:

Be-verbs MNEMONIC DEVICE FOR Be-Verbs Mr. Isamarewaswere is are were being am was been Sense Verbs look feel taste smell sound Linking Verbs become remain appear seem
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Some verbs act as both linking verbs and performers of action.


LINKING USE The speaker sounds good.

ACTION USE The speaker sounds her vowels distinctly.

He looked sympathetic. He looked sympathetically at the mourners.

Some verbs that are not sense verbs have the meaning of is or are and therefore require adjectives.

High school and college seem [are] very different. High school and college students behave differently. The judge remained [was] silent throughout the trial. The jurors entered the courtroom silently.

ADVERB USE
Most adverbs are formed with the addition of the ly suffix to an existing adjective: cautiously surprisingly usually safely inadvertently quietly Use ADVERBS to qualify and modify and intensify: You play pinochle well. You play pinochle remarkably well.

ADVERB USE
Your friendship is generously given happily accepted deeply appreciated

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Use of Adjectives and Adverbs


He is strange. He behaves strangely. Be careful. Drive carefully. The explanation is Think clearly. clear. I am sure. You surely do look good. The response time We need to act quickly. was quick. I feel bad. The men are behaving badly.

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Adjectives and Adverbs


Use adjectives after sense verbs such as look, smell, taste, feel, or sound: The steak tastes very good. Use adjectives after linking verbs (is, am, are, was, were and other forms of be): I am usually very prompt for meetings. Most adverbs end in ly; use adverbs after action verbs: I usually arrive promptly for meetings.

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The difference between adjectives and adverbs

ADJECTIVES bad careful clear courteous different quick strange sure

ADVERBS badly carefully clearly courteously differently quickly strangely surely


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Helpful Tips from The HBJ Workbook, 1992


I feel bad. = I feel badly. =

[I am sorry.] [I cant tell if the surface is rough or smooth.]

I feel good. = I feel well. = I feel well. =

[I am happy.] [My health is fine.] [My fingers are especially sensitive.]

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Bad and Badly

Bad is an adjective: I feel bad about the delay.

Badly is an adverb: The bruise doesn't hurt so badly now.

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Which sentence is grammatically correct?

Although I never did good in spelling bees, I have always considered myself a decent speller. I did really well on The 25 Most Commonly Misspelled Words quiz; I missed only one word misspell.
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Good and Well

Good is an adjective: You look good in blue. You wear it well. Well is an adverb: He gets along well with his coworkers. Well is also an adjective when it is used to refer to health: I am not well today. You look good, and you look well too.
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Real and Really

Real is an adjective meaning "genuine"; really is an adverb: The admiral has real charm, so he is really charismatic.

The use of real as an adverb is colloquial or nonstandard: He writes real really well. My high school teachers were real really [or very] strict.

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Use real preceding nouns; use really preceding adjectives (very, however, is a more formal adverb than really.)

real excitement a real disadvantage a real friend a real honor a real difference a real crisis a real surprise real love

really exciting
real disadvantageous really friendly really honorable

really different really critical really surprising really lovable

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Sure and Surely

Sure is an adjective meaning certain.


I am sure that congressional hearings are nothing more than vapid, hollow

Surely is an adverb meaning certainly.

INCORRECT: The city council sure (certain) is making a number of decisions this year. CORRECT: The city council surely

(certainly) is making a number of


decisions this year.

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Which sentence is grammatically correct?

Tips! We sure do thank you. SPEAKER 1: Are you open Monday? SPEAKER 2: We sure are.
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Which sentence is grammatically correct?

Tips! We sure do thank you. SPEAKER 1: Are you open Monday? SPEAKER 2: We sure are. [Both sentences are incorrect. Since surely would sound stuffy here, try certainly.]

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Sort of and kind of

Sort of and kind of are often misused in written English by writers who actually mean rather or somewhat: Lannie was kind of rather saddened by the results of the test.

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Based on the information in this lesson, which speaker is correct?

SPEAKER 1: How are you today?

Which respondent are you? SPEAKER 2: Im good. SPEAKER 3: Im well.

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LETS PRACTICE!!!
Our instructor pronounces his words very (precise, precisely). precisely My pen was writing so (bad, badly) that I threw it away. badly The experts are (somewhat, kind of) undecided about the wisdom of such a tax. somewhat The woman looked (different, differently) than she did the day before. different

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LETS PRACTICE A LITTLE MORE!!!

She looks (different, differently) at the situation now. differently I feel (bad, badly) about missing the concert. bad Make sure that she stirs the cookie batter (good, well). well Ted is a (real, really) good singer. really

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