What is the difference between adjectives and adverbs in English?
This basic grammar point is something you must learn when you are at beginner English level.
Read the Adjectives vs Adverbs rules below and then do the Grammar Quiz near the bottom of the page. What test score will you get?
Adjectives are used with nouns. An adjective normally gives you more information about things or people.
A blue ball
A tall man
The fast car
You use an adjective before a noun.
Here’s an SGI video that gives you an A-Z of adjectives for the word ‘great’
Adverbs are used with verbs. An adverb tells you more about the verb
She ran quickly (NOT …ran quick)
He is reading slowly (NOT …reading slow)
Stefano speaks English perfectly (NOT … speaks English perfect)
ADJECTIVE vs ADVERB
Look at the position of the words in the next 2 sentences and then you will understand the difference between adjectives and adverbs
Stefano speaks perfect English (adjective + noun)
Stefano speaks English perfectly (verb + noun + adverb)
Let’s look at another example…
It was a quick meal (adjective + noun)
He is eating the meal quickly (verb + noun + adverb)
MORE GRAMMAR RULES ABOUT ADVERBS
1. You can use adverbs before adjectives
That was a totally stupid thing to do
She was surprisingly good at English for a beginner
Sara is absolutely brilliant at speaking English but not so good at writing tasks.
He said he was terribly sorry for what he did.
2. You can use adverbs TOGETHER WITH other adverbs
She finished the IELTS writing exam amazingly quickly.
I complained because they made my coffee incredibly slowly.
3. You can use adverbs with PAST PARTICIPLES
They have been happily married for 15 years.
Don’t go home until you have completely finished what you are doing!
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE….
Adjective Alphabet – A list of adjectives that you can use in a writing task that will be marked by an SGI teacher
Better English vocabulary – An A to Z of adjectives all describing ‘great’
No Native English speaker says this: Grammar Rule of the day – How NOT to mix adjectives and adverbs
Adverb Rules for Intermediate level – Ban the Eurovision song contest (An article that uses lots of adjective and adverb sentences)
FREE ONLINE GRAMMAR TEST – Test your English knowledge with the SGI Grammar test. There are 40 grammar questions and then you get your results which gives you an idea about your current level of English.