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Adjectives and adverbs are descriptive words that bring your writing to life.
An adjectiveA word that describes a noun or a pronoun. is a word that describes a noun or a pronoun. It often answers questions such as which one, what kind, or how many?
She looks beautiful.
An adverbA word that describes a verb, adjective, or other adverb and often ends in -ly. 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.
He threw the ball very accurately.
Complete the following sentences by adding the correct adjective or adverb from the list in the previous section. Identify the word as an adjective or an adverb (Adj, Adv).
ComparativeAdjectives and adverbs used to compare two things. adjectives and adverbs are used to compare two people or things.
Steven is thinner than Jorge.
Form comparatives in one of the following two ways:
SuperlativeAdjectives and adverbs used to compare more than two people or two things. adjectives and adverbs are used to compare more than two people or two things.
Kenyatta was voted the most confident student by her graduating class.
Form superlatives in one of the following two ways:
Remember the following exception: If the word has two syllables and ends in -y, change the -y to an -i and add -est. For example, happy would change to happiest in the superlative form; healthy would change to healthiest.
Edit the following paragraph by correcting the errors in comparative and superlative adjectives.
Our argument started on the most sunny afternoon that I have ever experienced. Max and I were sitting on my front stoop when I started it. I told him that my dog, Jacko, was more smart than his dog, Merlin. I could not help myself. Merlin never came when he was called, and he chased his tail and barked at rocks. I told Max that Merlin was the most dumbest dog on the block. I guess I was angrier about a bad grade that I received, so I decided to pick on poor little Merlin. Even though Max insulted Jacko too, I felt I had been more mean. The next day I apologized to Max and brought Merlin some of Jacko’s treats. When Merlin placed his paw on my knee and licked my hand, I was the most sorry person on the block.
Share and compare your answers with a classmate.
Good, well, bad, and badly are often used incorrectly. Study the following chart to learn the correct usage of these words and their comparative and superlative forms.
Good is always an adjective—that is, a word that describes a noun or a pronoun. The second sentence is correct because well is an adverb that tells how something is done.
Incorrect: Cecilia felt that she had never done so good on a test.
Correct: Cecilia felt that she had never done so well on a test.
Well is always an adverb that describes a verb, adverb, or adjective. The second sentence is correct because good is an adjective that describes the noun score.
Incorrect: Cecilia’s team received a well score.
Correct: Cecilia’s team received a good score.
Bad is always an adjective. The second sentence is correct because badly is an adverb that tells how the speaker did on the test.
Incorrect: I did bad on my accounting test because I didn’t study.
Correct: I did badly on my accounting test because I didn’t study.
Badly is always an adverb. The second sentence is correct because bad is an adjective that describes the noun thunderstorm.
Incorrect: The coming thunderstorm looked badly.
Correct: The coming thunderstorm looked bad.
The following are examples of the use of better and worse:
Tyra likes sprinting better than long distance running.
The traffic is worse in Chicago than in Atlanta.
The following are examples of the use of best and worst:
Tyra sprints best of all the other competitors.
Peter finished worst of all the runners in the race.
Remember better and worse compare two persons or things. Best and worst compare three or more persons or things.
Write good, well, bad, or badly to complete each sentence. Copy the completed sentence onto your own sheet of paper.
Write the correct comparative or superlative form of the word in parentheses. Copy the completed sentence onto your own sheet of paper.
The irregular words good, well, bad, and badly are often misused along with their comparative and superlative forms better, best, worse, and worst. You may not hear the difference between worse and worst, and therefore type it incorrectly. In a formal or business-like tone, use each of these words to write eight separate sentences. Assume these sentences will be seen and judged by your current or future employer.
Using the exercises as a guide, write your own ten-sentence quiz for your classmate(s) using the concepts covered in this section. Try to include two questions from each subsection in your quiz. Exchange papers and see whether you can get a perfect score.