Adjectives and Adverbs. Adjectives and adverbs modify (describe, make more definite) other parts of speech.

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1 Online Writing Center, Darton State College 1 Adjectives and Adverbs Adjectives and adverbs modify (describe, make more definite) other parts of speech. I. Adjectives: Adjectives modify nouns and pronouns. a. Adjectives as noun modifiers: i. The hot summer is upon us. (The word hot is the adjective; summer is the noun.) ii. These shoes are big. (The word shoes is the noun; big is the adjective.) b. Adjectives as pronoun modifiers: i. We are young. ( We is the pronoun and young is the adjective.) ii. They are noisy. ( They is the pronoun; noisy is the adjective.) c. Verb forms acting as adjectives: i. Baked bread ( baked is the verb from) ii. Menacing strong ( menacing is the verb form) iii. Woven basked ( woven is the verb form) d. Hyphenated adjectives: i. Half-baked bread ii. French-speaking people iii. Fast-moving car iv. Well-conceived idea II. Adverbs: Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. Most adverbs are created with the ly ending (quickly, steadily, precisely, comfortably), although not all adverbs assume this ending (very, fast [when it modifies a verb]). Some words end in ly but are not adverbs: lovely, unfortunately. a. Adverbs modifying verbs: The crowd slowly made its way out of the stadium. ( slowly modifies made ) b. Adverbs modifying adjectives: The impossibly slow crowd made its way out of the stadium. ( impossibly modifies slow ) c. Adverbs modifying other adverbs: The crowd very slowly made its way out of the stadium. ( very modifies slowly ) III. Comparison of Modifiers (adjectives and adverbs): There are three degrees of comparison: positive, comparative, and superlative. a. Regular comparison: One-syllable modifiers have three possible endings to express degrees of comparison.

2 Online Writing Center, Darton State College 2 Modifier Positive degree Comparative Degree Superlative Degree (Ø ending) (-er ending) (-est ending) nice nice nicer nicest new new newer newest weak weak weaker* Weakest** * Use the er ending when comparing two subjects. Mary is the tallest person (between two people). ** Use -est ending when comparing three or more subjects. Mary is the tallest (among three or more people.) b. Two-syllable modifiers may form the degrees of comparison with the Ø, -er, or est ending, or take on the more or most. Modifier Positive Degree Comparative Degree Superlative Degree gentle gentle gentler gentlest lively lively livelier liveliest agile agile more agile most agile clearly clear more clearly most clearly Use more when comparing two subjects. Mary is the more delightful person (between two people). Use most when comparing three or more subjects. Mary is the most delightful person (among three or more people.) c. Modifiers with three or more syllables assume more and most to form degrees of comparison. Modifier Positive Degree Comparative Degree Superlative Degree expensive expensive more expensive most expensive delightful delightful more delightful most delightful comfortably comfortably more comfortably most comfortably* d. To express the decrease in quality, modifiers assume less in the comparative degree and least in the superlative degree, regardless of the number of syllables. Modifier Positive Degree Comparative Degree Superlative Degree

3 Online Writing Center, Darton State College 3 gentle gentle less gentle least gentle lively lively less lively least liveliest agile agile less agile least agile expensive expensive less expensive least expensive e. Irregular modifiers do not follow the above patterns: Modifier Positive case Comparative case Superlative case little little less least (as in amount, not physical size) far farther/further farther/further farthest/furthest well well better best good good better best bad bad worse worst many many more most much much more most f. Absolute adjectives do not vary in degree; therefore, they do not have comparative or superlative forms: complete, equal, perfect, correct, eternal, round, dead, full, square, empty, impossible, true, endless, infinite, unique

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