Adjectives vs Adverbs


1. Adjectives are used before a noun.
She has got long hair.

2. Adjectives are used after appear, be, become, get, feel, look, seem, smell, sound, stay, taste, grow, turn as linking verbs.
These roses smell nice. She looks good. We feel comfortable. It tastes bitter.

3. Adjectives appear, get, feel, look, grow, turn in the other not linking verb meaning are used with adverbs.
She looked angrily at the man behind the counter.

4.Order of adjectives Opinion SAShTCOMP (size, age, shape, temperature, colour, origin, material, purpose).
It is a lovely small old square brown Chinese wooden writing table.

5. Nouns of material, purpose or substance as adjectives can not be compared.
A summer suit, a television series, a silk dress, a stone wall, a gold ring, a feather pillow, metal-rimmed glasses, a leather coat, a lead pipe, a steel-plated tank.

6. Metaphorical use of material and substance adjectives.
Silky skin, stony look, golden eagle, feathery snowflakes, metallic paint, leathery meat, a leaden sky, a steely character.

7. Group nouns as adjectives are always plural and used with the. They include general social groups, specific groups, some nationalities: the blind, the hungry, the disabled, the elderly, the homeless, the deaf, the dead, the old, the poor, the rich, the sick, the strong, the weak, the unemployed, the living, the middle-aged, etc.
The injured were rushed to hospital. The French have introduced new housing regulations in Paris. The disabled need help and understanding.

8. Adjective / noun / adverb + present participle = a compound adjective.
A smart-looking man, a sharp-cutting knife, a fun-loving person, etc.

9. Adjective / noun / adverb + past participle = a compound adjective.
A long-awaited letter, a well-taught student, a much-liked colleague, a well-known singer, a perfectly-tended garden, an ill-advised action, a badly-treated animal, a well-established firm etc.

10. Cardinal number + noun = adjective.
A two-month holiday, a seven-km speed limit, a three-year degree, a seven-day journey.


1. Identical adverb and adjective forms:

    best, better, big, cold, clean, daily, dead, deep, direct, dirty, early, easy, extra, far, fast, flat, fine, hourly, free, further, hard, high, inside, kindly, last, late, long, low, monthly, past, right, straight, sure, thick, tight, weekly, well, wide, wrong, yearly, etc.

2. Adverbs with either -ly or with no -ly have no difference in meaning:

    cheap, clear, close, dear, fine, loud, quick, quiet, thin, slow, sweet,etc.

3. Adverbs with ly change their meanings:

Сlean = completely
Сleanly = not roughly
It broke clean in two.
I tackled him cleanly.

Deep = a long way down
Deeply = greatly
Deep in my heart I know it is over.
I was deeply hurt.

Direct = by the shortest rout
Directly = immediately
We are flying direct.
I will tell you directly.

Easy = gently and slowly
Easily = without difficulty
Just go easy on him.
I can easily do it.

Flat = against another surface
Flatly = completely
He fell flat on his face.
He flatly refused to go off.

Free = without cost
Freely = willingly
I got some free tickets.
She freely admits that she's not right.

Full = exactly, very
Fully = completely
He was kicked full in the head.
I fully understand you.

Hard = intently / with effort
Hardly = scarcely
It was raining hard.
It hardly matters now.

High = at a high level
Highly = very much
The dancer leapt high.
He is highly thought of.

Last = after all others
Lastly = finally

Who was second to last?
Lastly, I want to comment this initiative.

Late = not early
Lately = recently
He arrived late.
I have not seen him lately.

Near = close
Nearly = almost
I want to sit near a window.
He's nearly as tall as his father.

Pretty = fairly
Prettily = in a pretty way
Try and do it right this time.
It is easy as you rightly say.

Sharp = exactly
Sharply = harshly
Be there at 12 sharp.
I was sharply reprimanded.

Short = suddenly
Shortly = soon
I wanted to explain it fully, but
the chairman stopped me short.

I will shortly be seeing my family.

Sure = certainly
Surely = without a doubt
I feel absolutely sure you're right.
The problem surely lies in the design.

Tight = firmly
Tightly =
Hold me tight.
Hold on tightly.

Wide = off-target
Widely = to a large extent
The ball was wide of the leg stump.
We have both travelled widely.

Wrong = incorrectly
Wrongly = unjustly
You are doing it all wrong.
He was wrongly convicted.

4. Ordinal numerals as adverbs have no the
I was the first person there.
I arrived first.

5. Happier, the happiest,

  • bigger, the biggest,
  • narrower, the narrowest,
  • politer, the politest,
  • completer, the completest,
  • more careful, the most careful,
  • less careful, the least careful, etc.


  • good, better, the best
  • bad, worse, the worst
  • far, farther/further, the farthest/ furthest
  • old older/elder, the oldest/eldest
  • many/much, more, the most
  • little, less, the least.

6. Comparative adjectives add er… than for one or two syllables and more/less + adj / adv… than for more than two syllables. Superlative adjectives add the adj + est for one or two syllablesand the most / least for more than two syllables.

She works as a teacher. Do it as I showed you. He is known as an expert in this sphere. She works like a slave. It feels like velvet.

7. As and like. As + noun = reality, a role. As + a verb phrase.

Accept as, be known as, class as, refer to as, use as

As usual, as mush, the same as…

Like + noun / pronoun = comparison, likeness.
Feel like, look like, smell like, taste like, sound like + a noun

8. The structures to compare and contrast things: much the same / the same… as different… from + positive degree not as / so +positive degree…as +positive degree
nowhere near as + positive degree…
as + positive degree… as + positive degree
such + adj+noun
so + adj / adv but such a lot
the + comparative adj / advthe + comparative adj / adv
twice/ three times / half +positive adj / adv + as…
comparative and comparative
He has the same views as his father. She is not different from her sister. She is not as/so tall as her sister. He is as handsome as everyone says he is.
This is such a spacious room.
He is so lazy.
The more we discuss it, the less I understand it.
The longer I carried the box, the heavier it became.
She puts four times as much sugar in her teas as me.
It is getting colder and colder every day.

9. Emphasizers: much, far, very much, a lot, rather, a little, a bit, even, slightly + comparatives. Emphasisers: much, by far, quite, almost, practically, nearly, easily + superlatives.

Much older than, far more difficult than, very much nicer, a lot happier, rather more quickly, a little less expensive, a bit more sensible, even worse, slightly higher.
He is much the most imaginative of them all.
She is by far the oldest.
He is quite the most stupid.
I am nearly the oldest in the firm.
This is nearly the worst party I have been to.

10. Much more. Many more. Much/ far/ a lot more money Many/ far/ 

A lot more opportunities / A lot fewer accidents / Much less information

11. Preference. 

prefer + -ing form/noun + to + -ing form/noun (general preference) 

would prefer + to-ing + rather than + infinitive without to (specific preference) 

would rather / sooner + inf without to + than + infinitive without to 

I prefer eating healthily to eating junk food. Children usually prefer chips to vegetables. 
I would prefer to go swimming rather than watch television all day. I`d rather eat than drive.

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