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21. Adjective or adverb 1

FORM 7

1 Introduction

Vicky: I like that song that Natasha sang.
Rachel: Yes, it's a nice song. And she sang it nicely, too.

An adjective (nice) describes a noun (song).
The man had a quiet voice.
Cia ire wears expensive clothes.
The runners made a slow start.

An adverb (nicely) describes a verb (sang).
The man spoke quietly.
Claire dresses expensively.
They started the race slowly.
We do NOT say She sang it nice.

We can use adverbs in other ways. An adverb like really or very can be combined with an adjective (hot) or another adverb (carefully).
It was really hot in the sun.
Andrew checked his work very carefully.
An adverb like fortunately or perhaps says something about the whole situation.
Fortunately nothing was stolen.
Perhaps Sarah is working late.

2 The -ly ending

We form many adverbs from an adjective + -ly. For example politely, quickly, safely.
But there are some special spelling rules.

3 Looked nice and looked carefully

Compare these two structures.

LINKING VERB + ADJECTIVE

Tom was hungry.
The children seemed happy.
My soup has got cold.
An adjective can come after a linking verb such as
be.

ACTION VERB + ADVERB

Paul ate hungrily.
The children played happily.
The man stared coldly at us.
We use an adverb when the verb means that
something happens.

Some verbs like look, taste and appear can be either linking verbs or action verbs.

LINKING VERB + ADJECTIVE

Mike looked angry.
The medicine tasted awful.
The man appeared (to be) drunk.

ACTION VERB + ADVERB

He looked carefully at the signature.
Emma tasted the drink nervously.
A waiter appeared suddenly.

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