Adjectives and Adverbs

English language users love to add layers of descriptions. Think about the last time you ate something truly delicious. How many words could you use to describe it that don't use the name of the food at all? You can start simply, with sweet, salty, hot, or cold. But that's not enough, is it? How about delectable, tender, wholesome, flavorful, or pungent? What about describing how you ate it? We could use heartily, greedily, or carefully. We could also mention how it was prepared: freshly, skillfully, or healthily. We could go on and on. Using adjectives and adverbs adds information and interest to a text. Using these words correctly is important for a message to be easy for a reader to understand and visualize. Read these sections on using descriptive words correctly.


An adjective modifies (describes / distinguishes) nouns and pronouns.  In other words, adjectives change nouns or pronouns in some way. So movie is a noun, and a scary movie has been changed by the adjective scary.

It’s important to remember, too, adjectives, as in the case of a scary movie, give you a way to inject your point of view into your writing. You might also describe a loveable book, a beautiful dress, or an ominous sky. There’s a certain amount of subjectivity, of course, in all of these words, so you’ll want to work to keep your audience in mind when choosing your adjectives and do your best to make sure your adjectives (or descriptors) are specific, concrete, and will make sense to both you and your audience.

Source: Excelsior Online Writing Lab,
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