Grammar: Adjective/Adverb

Grammar in EAP



Although adjectives and adverbs are quite complicated, there are some simple differences which are often confused. These mistakes can simply be avoided by proof-reading.

Adjectives have many uses but one main use is as a modifer in a noun phrase. For example, a rich man, or a difficult exam. There are different categories of adverb with different functions but one main category is the degree adverb and typically it modifies an adjective (extremely difficult) or a verb phrase (he walks quickly).

Adjectives and adverbs often come in pairs (quick/quickly, easy/easily, strange/strangely, direct/directly) and these are often confused.

Read the following text and observe the adjectives and adverbs:

Peasant populations are often highly conservative and are suspicious of those outside their small circle of neighbours and kinfolk. Well-intentioned government health officers, peace corps volunteers, and development technicians are frequently unable to secure the confidence of the peasant communities that they wish to help. Technical assistance specialists conclude, therefore, that the prime obstacle to development is the peasants’ irrational aversion to novelty. In most cases, however, this conclusion depends upon wrenching the peasants’ conservative values and attitudes out of the colonial and postcolonial context in which such attitudes and values are realistic and perfectly rational.

(Marvin Harris, Culture, people, nature.


Try exercise 1, exercise 2 and exercise 3.

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