Adverbs / Adjectives / Linking Verbs

The following is a mini-tutorial on the use of adverbs, adjectives, and linking verbs. After you have studied the tutorial, complete the associated exercises. If you are already familiar with these topics, you can skip the explanation and go directly to the exercises.

Adverbs

FORM

[adjective + ly]

There are also irregular adverbs such as "well" and "fast."

USE 1

Adverbs can be used to modify verbs.

Examples:

  • John walked quickly towards the door.
  • Sally sat silently waiting for somebody else to speak first.

USE 2

Adverbs can be used to modify adjectives.

Examples:

  • The redwood tree was impressively tall.
  • The blouse was outrageously expensive.

USE 3

Adverbs can be used to modify other adverbs.

Examples:

  • She spoke extremely confidently.
  • The cheetah ran incredibly quickly.

Adjectives

FORM

There are many different adjective endings including "-ive," "-ous," "-y," "-ful," "-ent" and many others. "Attractive," "envious," "lazy," "beautiful," and "intelligent" are all adjectives.

USE 1

Adjectives can be used to modify nouns.

Examples:

  • Jack drives a big car.
  • Sally writes beautiful poems.

USE 2

Adjectives often follow linking verbs (described below).

Examples:

  • Max is tall.
  • Sandra seems mad.

Linking Verbs

LIST

    • to appear
    • to be
    • to become
    • to feel
    • to get
    • to go
    • to grow
    • to look
    • to prove
    • to remain
    • to seem
    • to smell
    • to sound
    • to stay
    • to taste
    • to turn

USE

The linking verbs above are often followed by adjectives instead of adverbs. In such situations, the adjective describes the subject of the sentence rather than the verb. Study the examples below to learn the difference.

Examples:

  • Mary seemed sad. Correct
  • Mary seemed sadly. Not Correct
  • The cake tastes good. Correct
  • The cake tastes well. Not Correct
  • The train is slow. Correct
  • The train is slowly. Not Correct
  • James grew tired. Correct
  • Sarah remained calm. Correct
  • The milk went bad. Correct
  • The seas turned rough. Correct
  • The negotiations proved pointless. Correct

IMPORTANT

The verbs in the list above are not always used as linking verbs. Compare the examples below.

Examples:

  • Sally grew angry.
    "Angry" describes Sally. In this sentence, "to grow" is being used as a linking verb meaning "to become."
  • The plant grew quickly.
    "Quickly" does not describe the plant, it describes the manner in which it grows. In this sentence, "to grow" is not being used as a linking verb.

EXERCISES AND RELATED TOPICS:

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