Mistaking Adjectives and Adverbs

Since adjectives and adverbs are both describing words, you can use them the same way, right? Nope! Adjectives and adverbs have different uses and tell the reader different things. Knowing when each is used helps you understand what you're reading and write more clearly. Building your vocabulary of describing words will also help you use them correctly. Read this article about comparing adjectives and adverbs, and complete the exercise at the end to practice using adjectives and adverbs correctly. 

Remember: if you're modifying a noun or pronoun, you should use an adjective. If you're modifying anything else, you should use an adverb.

One common mistake with adjectives and adverbs is using one in the place of the other. For example, in the sentence "I wish I could write as neat as he can", neat should be replaced with neatly, an adverb, since it's modifying a verb. ("That's real nice of you" is also incorrect, it should be "That's really nice of you".)


Good v. Well

One of the most commonly confused adjective/adverb pairs is good versus well. There isn't really a good way to remember this besides memorization. Good is an adjective. Well is an adverb. Let's look at a couple of sentence where people often confuse these two:

  • She plays basketball good.
  • I'm doing good.

In the first sentence, good is supposed to be modifying plays, a verb; therefore the use of good, an adjective, is incorrect. Plays should be modified by an adverb. The correct sentence would read "She plays basketball well". In the second sentence, good is supposed to be modifying doing, a verb. Once again, this means that well, an adverb, should be used instead: "I'm doing well".

Source: Lumen Learning, http://www.kellogg.edu/upload/eng151text/chapter/text-comparing-adjectives-and-adverbs/index.html
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Last modified: Monday, December 16, 2019, 2:08 PM