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Something great about Adjectives and Adverbs

 article about Something great about Adjectives and Adverbs

This article belongs to Sweet Grace column.


          There is much confusion in the mind of English users,  including top notch writers,  about Adjectives and Adverbs.  To tell you a truth, an adjective and a particular type of Adverb  are very closely related and in fact they are like cousin brothers/sisters.


          What is an Adjective?

          Adjective is a simple word that describes a Common noun in some way except in terms of its number and is always placed to the immediate left of that common noun and thus becoming its partner.  Do note that a word becomes an adjective only if it is located to the left of a common noun it is describing. If not, its identity would be something else. It is not possible to say  with certainty that a word is an adjective just by looking at it.  Take the word ‘good'.  It  will become an adjective only if it partners a common noun and not otherwise. What will happen if ‘good' is  some words away from a common noun; what would be its identity then?  In actual fact, it will be an Adverb of Manner.


           What is an Adverb

            There are three types of Adverbs:  Adverb of Manner, Adverb of Place and Adverb of time.


             Adverb of Manner is similar to Adjective and  would also describe a  noun in terms of its quality but standing quite a few words away at the right side of the concerned noun. Consider the sentence, "Judy acted brilliantly  in yesterday's drama." The word ‘brilliantly' describes Judy in terms of her quality, which happens to be a proper noun and a subject  as well and is away by one word and is all by itself. So, Adverb of manner could describe a proper noun also while Adjective wouldn't.  Here is another sentence. "My mother manages her kitchen marvellously well."  "Marvellously  well" is related to the subject – My mother  and describes the quality of  a common noun.  Adverb of Manner will always answer the Test question, HOW?


             Adverb of Time and Place   will give information about the Place and Time the Subject is involved in. These two varieties of Adverbs are concerned  only with  the Subject of a sentence and no other noun.. Here are two examples.

(a)    John is in the toilet.  ‘Toilet' is a place and is linked with the subject, John.

     ‘Toilet' will answer the Test question, WHERE? John is 


       (b) Monica returned from her school after 10 p.m.  "After 10 p.m"

             is a time and   is the answer for the test question, WHEN and is

             related only to Monica, a proper noun.


       Do remember  that an Adverb of manner would describe a common noun or proper noun standing away from it. While the Adverb f Time and Place are the time and place the ‘subject noun'  is being led into. They will have nothing to do with any other noun found in a sentence. Examine the following sentence:


(c) George did teach  me mathematics  on a Sunday morning.    

         S         A    V     O1       O2                    Adv of Time


       In the sentence above, there are two objects – me and mathematics. But the adverb of Time ‘Sunday morning' is linked only with George, the subject and not with ‘me' and ‘mathematics'.


       Adverb of Time and Place may have some supporting words like "on"and "a".


        Some users think that any Noun found after the grammar part of a sentence, is Object. Wrong. If that Noun  is a noun of a :"person or thing only",  it would be object. Any other noun would be a noun of Place or Time and would  be Adverb of Place or Time.


       Part of speech identity


        If I show you a word like "fine" and ask you to give its identity, you should say, "Adjective cum adverb" or, "Adverb".  You can never call it "Adjective" until it is placed to the left side of a common noun. 


       Incidentally, all Adjectives could be used as  ‘Adverb of Manner'. But, the reverse statement is not true since there are some  ‘pure adverbs' which we  could never  use as Adjectives. There comes to my mind just two  pure adverbs  soon and well. There  could be more.  You may like to do some research on it.



                                 Israel Jayakaran  [ Sweet grace ]

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