Adverbs vs. Adjectives

English Grammar Rules


Adjectives

Adjectives describe nouns (things).

Slow is an adjective since it describes the noun (my dog).


Adverbs

Adverbs describe verbs (actions).

Slowly is an adverb since it describes the way my dog eats.


Some adverbs are used to modify an adjective.

Adverbs that do this are: very, extremely, really, totally, absolutely, quite, fairly, well. These are normally placed before the adjective.


Adverbs and Adjectives with the same form

There are a number of adjectives / adverbs that take the same form. It therefore depends on the sentence context as to whether it is an adjective or an adverb.

The adjectives / adverbs that take the same form include:
fast, hard, early, late, high, low, right, wrong, straight and long.


Good vs. Well

Good and Well are two words that tend to create confusion for learners of English.

Good is an adjective
Well is an adverb.

Though sometimes we use well as an adjective when we are talking about health and well-being.

(I'm well is a better and more common answer to this question than 'Fine' or 'Good', although these are also reasonably common.)



Next activities

To practice the difference between adverbs and adjectives, try our interactive game at:
Adverbs vs. Adjectives

Check out our grammar notes about Compound Adjectives which sometimes contain both adjectives and adverbs.


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