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Habilidades integradas en ingls I Teacher: Vernica Valdiri

What are adjectives?


Adjectives are descriptive words which are used to add detail to a sentence. They can give important or
necessary information (e.g. Please hand me the blue paper), or they can just make the sentence more
interesting or detailed (e.g. A frigid, icy, painfully coldwind blew around the town). Adjectives modify
(describe) nouns.
Adjectives can usually be identified by asking what:
The girl is beautiful.
What is the girl? Shes beautiful.

Uses of adjectives
Adjectives can tell the reader how much or how many of something youre talking about, which thing you
want passed to you, or which kind you want.
Please use three white flowers in the arrangement.
Three and white are modifying flowers.

If you are using multiple adjectives which are commonly put together, theres no need for a comma between
the adjectives.
Look at that sweet little puppy!

If the adjectives arent usually used together, separate them with a comma or conjunction.
Im looking for a small, good-tempered dog to keep as a pet.
My new dog is small and good-tempered.
Adjectives usually go before the noun (e.g. small child) unless one of the following verbs are involved: be, feel,
taste, smell, sound, look, appear, seem. In these cases, the adjectives work more like adverbs.
The child is small.
The child seems small.

N.B. Sometimes it may look like an adjective is modifying another adjective, as in the case of dark
blue or bright yellow, but this is because modern writing has removed the hyphen from a compound adjective.
The proper form is dark-blue and bright-yellow. The evolution of English will eventually change the rules so an
adjective can modify another adjective, but formal writing standards dont allow it yet.

Adjectives and Verbs


There are two things to consider when contemplating the relationship between adjectives and verbs. The first
is that adjectives can come after the verb:
The rock star was crazy.
The cats tail is long.
I am furious with my business partner.
The cookies smell awesome!
That shirt looks great on you.

Note that these are forms of to be or sense verbs: to look, to seem, to appear, to taste, to sound, to feel, to
smell, etc. If these verbs are modifying the noun in front of them, an adjective will always be required so the
noun is properly modified.
The second thing to consider is verbs that turn into adjectives; these are called participles. Usually, the verb
has -ing tacked onto the end of the root form, or its the past tense. The adjective can be placed before the
noun or after the verb.
The smiling baby is really cute.
Smiling is used as an adjective here, as is cute.
Habilidades integradas en ingls I Teacher: Vernica Valdiri
This is my new washing machine.
Washing is acting like an adjective for machine.
This is my broken washing machine.
This washing machine is broken.
Broken is an adjective which is modifying washing machine.
In the summer, frozen popsicles are refreshing.
The secretary handed the boss the translated document.
After washing all the teacups, she found a forgotten one in the living room.
Compound Adjectives
Compound adjectives are usually hyphenated (although we sometimes dont bother putting in the hyphen
unless we need it for purposes of comprehension). British and American English differ greatly on this, so its
safer to put the hyphen in if youre writing for British readers.
She doesnt have any post-secondary education, but she is very well-read.
I prefer the light blue sweater.
Mr. Lake is teaching an under-water photography course.
Their courses are sub-standard.

You dont need to hyphenate them if theyre capitalized, though.


Did you get the Super-Saver coupons? (No)
Did you get the Super Saver coupons?

You can also create a compound adjective by combining an adverb and an adjective. Again, the British
sometimes hyphenate these, while the Americans dont usually bother.
She is a remarkably-intelligent girl.
He looks like a well-fed baby.

While formal writing is not likely to use compound adjectives like the following ones, you can use them in less-
formal compositions and creative writing. Quotation marks or italics can be used.
She gave me a youre gonna die look.
Hes away so often, he was given an in absentia award.
Hyphen in Compound Adjective with Numbers
When numbers are used as the first part of a compound adjective, they should have a hyphen connecting them
to the noun which follows them. This way, the reader knows that both adjectives are being used to modify the
noun.
This applies whether the number is written in words or in digits.
The president of the company gave a 10-minute speech to the Board of Directors.
He is knowledgeable in thirteenth-century politics.
The boy threw a rock at the second-story window.
N.B. A hyphen is not required if the number is the second word in the compound adjective.
He is a victim of Type 2 diabetes.
This elevator doesnt go down to Basement 3.

A hyphen is not required in this compound modifier because the number is the second element in the
compound adjective.
As well, you wont need to hyphenate if the number is the only adjective.
We live on the second story of an old house.

What are adverbs?


Habilidades integradas en ingls I Teacher: Vernica Valdiri
Adverbs are descriptive words which are used to add detail to a sentence. They can give important or
necessary information (e.g. Please hand me the scalpel now), or they can just make the sentence more
interesting or detailed (e.g. A wind blew violently andunceasingly around the town). Adverbs usually modify
verbs, and they frequently end in -ly.
Adverbs can be identified by how or where or when:
The dog ran quickly.
How did the dog run? It ran quickly.

Uses of adverbs
Adverbs answer the question how (e.g. How is the dog running?), as well as when, and where.
The dog ran quickly.
Quickly is modifying the verb ran.

The adverb doesnt have to go after the verb; feel free to vary the sentence structure to make it more
interesting for your reader:
Silently, the girl snuck past her parents room.

Adverbs can also modify adjectives and other adverbs.


The dog ran fairly quickly.
The adverb fairly is modifying the other adverb quickly.
The weather report is almost always right.
The adverb almost is modifying the adverb always.
The woman is quite pretty.
The adverb quite is modifying the adjective pretty.
This book is more interesting than the last one.
The adverb more is modifying the adjective interesting.

Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs


Adverbs modify (adds description to) a verb. Often but not always they end in -ly.
Tom Longboat did not run badly. (adverb)
Its easy to identify the adverb in this sentence.
That cake looks good. (adjective used as adverb)
My elderly neighbor looks well. (adverb)
These two descriptive words are a little more difficult. Even though good is usually an adjective, its
modifying looks (How does the cake look? It looks good.) so its an adverb. We cant answer the question
what is the cake because we havent tasted it yet, so we dont know if its good cake or bad cake.
Adverbs can also modify adjectives and other adverbs.
The woman is quite pretty.
This book is more interesting than the last one.
The weather report is almost always right.
The adverb almost is modifying the adverb always, and theyre both modifying right.

Taken from: https://www.grammarly.com/handbook/grammar/adjectives-and-adverbs/