Inglês Geral: The Adjective and The Adverb

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The Adjective modifies or qualifies a substantive (noun or pronoun), altering in some way its meaning or range. They are classified according to the work they do:

DESCRIPTIVE ADJECTIVE describes or characterizes a substantive. There are two types of descriptive adjectives:

Common Adjective: applies to a class of things, rather than to a particular thing - happy years, industrious beaver, lone ranger, yellow journalism, little man.

Proper Adjective: applies to one particular member of a class, rather than to the class as a whole. Proper adjectives derive from proper nouns - often proper nouns are used to modify: Sunday punch, Roman holiday, American way, Panama hat, English literature.

LIMITING (or DEFINING) ADJECTIVE: limits or defines the meaning of the noun - restricts its application. There are several kinds of limiting adjectives:

Pronominal Adjective: is a word, commonly used as a pronoun, that modifies a substantive. They can be:


This book

That book

These books

Those books


What directions did the actor give?

In which directions does the dog print?

By whose direction are we held?

The underlined words each modify direction.


Select which paper you like.

I selected the rapier whose metal had been tested.


Some days, any stick, no islands, every man, each age, other times, neither alternative, both ends.


My eyes, your tooth, his hair, her lips, its tongue, our bodies, your heads, their hands.


The very likeness, the very thought.


The same story, the usual excuse.


Three men, the third man.

Articles: the definite article the and the indefinite articles a and an function as limiting adjectives.

Definite Article: the particularizes a noun; that is, it specifies a particular thing, distinct from the others of the same kind:

The monkey has a beard.

The children are monsters.

He is not the man I thought he was.

Indefinite Article: a and an generalize a noun; that is, they point to an object as one of a general class:

Scratch a lover, and find a foe.

Though he seemed a man of distinction, he acted like an ape.

A jug of wine, a loaf of bread, and thou.

A stich in time saves nine.

Her perfume costs a dollar an ounce.

He works seven days a week.

So, an adjective, as mentioned above, always modifies a substantive (noun or pronoun).

ADVERBS modify:

  1. Verbs: He drives carefully.

  2. Adjectives: His mind is rather slow.

  3. Adverbs: He drives quite carefully.

Depending on their use, adverbs are classified as simple or conjunctive.

The Simple Adverb alters the meaning of a single word in some way. It answers one of several questions, deriving its name from the kind of answer it gives:

Adverbs of Time answer the question When?

He will come today or tomorrow.

Now, soon, still, then, today, tomorrow.

Adverbs of Place answer the question Where?

He has gone here, there, everywhere.

Around, besides, away, far.

Adverbs of Manner answer the question How?

He talks well, slowly, distinctly, and lucidly.

Adverbs of Degree or Measure answer the question How much?

He seemed quite rich, very knowledgeable, but hardly enthusiastic.

Very, too, hardly, rather, almost, fairly.

Adverbs of Frequency answer the question How often?

He goes to the dentist once a week.

Always, seldom, often, never, ever, once, rarely, sometimes.

The Conjunctive Adverb acts like a conjunction and like an adverb. It is really a conjunction but it functions as an adverb. As a conjunction it joins two independent clauses; as an adverb, it modifies the clauses in which it appears: He knows nothing; moreover, he doesn’t know that he knows nothing.

The more common conjunctive adverbs are:









on the contrary

at any rate

In other words

on the other hand


In short






in fact









Forms of Adverbs: most adverbs are formed by adding -ly to the corresponding adjective:

Adjectives: slow - bad - cold

Adverbs: slowly - badly - coldly

Many adverbs, however, especially those long in common use do not end in -ly:

Very - much - little - almost - often, etc.

On the other hand, many words ending in -ly are not adverbs.

Ex.: a lovely lady, an ugly man, a pretty baby (all these words are adjectives).

Also, sometimes adverbs have the same form as the corresponding adjectives.

Ex.: He had a fast hold. (adjective)

He held fast. (adverb)

John is my best friend. (adjective)

Who knows best? (adverb)

So, many times it is difficult to determine whether a word is an adjective or an adverb in a given sentence. Only its use determines its classification. But this problem is easy to solve. Keep in mind the following statements:

If a word is modifying a Noun or a Pronoun, it is an ADJECTIVE.

If a word is modifying a Verb, an Adjective, or an Adverb, it is an ADVERB.



  1. Write the word or phrase that is modified by the underlined word.

  2. If the word is unsuitable, write the correct form.

  3. State whether the underlined word is an adjective or an adverb.

Ex.: Until we get clear of the cobras, Kurt, we had better step extremely careful.

  1. Step 2. carefully 3. adverb

  1. Thelma skipped nimble up the steps just ahead of her sister.

  2. 2. 3.

  1. Julia will become much more confidently when she gets older.

  2. 2. 3.

  1. Greg applied himself and became an extreme successful sales representative.

  2. 2. 3.

  1. The rats were still waiting patient in the corner of the room.

  2. 2. 3.

  1. Dating is a ratherly popular activity among teenagers.

  2. 2. 3.

  1. He spends his money too rapid.

  2. 2. 3.

  1. The sunshine felt wonderfully.

  2. 2. 3.

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