Education Deform Home | Cover Letter




FEBRUARY 24, 1998


1. Adjectives are words that point out, describe, or limit the meaning of nouns or pronouns.

2. Adjectives affect the meaning of nouns or pronouns by telling (1) which one, (2) what kind of, (3) how many, (4) whose, (5) how much.

3. Predicate adjectives (P.A.) describe -- not rename -- the subject.

4. Adjective modifiers may be compound: Ex. A tired but happy boy was waiting for me.

5. Possessive adjectives serve as adjective modifiers since they tell whose. Ex. Jane's father played football.

6. Do not use here after the demonstrative pronouns this or these. Do not use there after the demonstrative pronouns that or those.

7. Adjectives have three degrees of comparison: positive, comparative, and superlative.

A. Positive degree names a quality of one person or thing: Ex. This ink is black.

B. Comparative degree names a quality when two persons or things are compared: Ex. This ink is blacker than that.

C. Superlative degree names a quality when three or more persons or things are compared: Ex. This ink is blackest of all.

8. Adjectives of one syllable and some two syllable adjectives -- add er to comparative and est to superlative.

Positive Comparative Superlative

neat neater neatest

9. Many adjectives of two syllables and all of three or more syllables -- add more and most.

Positive Comparative Superlative

honest more honest most honest


10. Some adjectives are irregular and do not follow the standard rules:

Positive Comparative Superlative

good better best

bad, ill worse worst

evil worse (eviler) worst (evilest)

little less, lesser, (littler) least (littlest)

much, many more most

11. When comparing two things or persons (comparative degree) in the same group, be sure to use other after than or after than any. Ex. Tom skates better than the other boys in his group. Ex. Tom skates better than any other boy in his group.

Wrong: Tom skates better than any of the boys in his group. (Since Tom is one of the boys in his group, this sentence says that Tom skates better than himself. This would be an illogical sentence.)

12. Some adjectives cannot be compared e.g., circular, unique, square. It would be illogical to say that something is more "circular" than something else because the definition of "circle" states that everywhere in the plane curve is equidistant from the center. It would be impossible to have something more "circular" than something else. The same holds true for the word "unique." "Unique" means one of a kind; therefore, it would be illogical to say something is more "unique" than something else. Square means four equal sides; nothing could be more "square" than something else.



13. Adverbs limit the meaning of verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. They tell (1) how, (2) when, (3) where, (4) why, or (5) to what extent.

14. Adverbs that modify verbs are most common. Adverbs that modify adjectives strengthen or weaken the meaning of the adjectives. Ex. This candy is especially good.

15. Adverbs that modify other adverbs strengthen or weaken the meaning of those adverbs: Ex. We must move very cautiously.

16. Most adverbs are formed by adding ly to the adjective. Ex. beautiful (adj.) -- beautifully (adv.)

17. Adverbs that do not end in ly include: often, not, never, seldom, also, rather, almost, ever, now, so, soon, then, there, very, always, and here.

18. Adverbs ending in ly use more or most to form the comparative and superlative forms.

Positive Comparative Superlative

rapidly more rapidly most rapidly

19. A few adverbs add er and est to form the comparative and superlative forms.

Positive Comparative Superlative

fast faster fastest

soon sooner soonest

often oftener oftenest

often more often most often

20. Some adverbs are compared irregularly.

Positive Comparative Superlative

well better best

badly, ill worse worst

much more most

little less least

far farther, further farthest, furthest

21. Some adverbs cannot be compared at all: now, then, already, again, yes, no, why, very, too, and not.

22. GOOD -- WELL

A. Always use good as an adjective. Use good when it means
"a sense of elation," "pleasing," "having high quality," "right," "proper," "behaving correctly," "honorable," "worthy," "reliable," "clever." Ex. He is a good man.

B. Use well as an adverb to tell "manner of performance," "fully," "sufficiently," "intimately." Ex. The band plays well. You did well on the test. He knew the lesson well. The roast was well done. The children were well fed.

C. Use well as an adjective to mean "in good health, absence of illness," "of good appearance," "desirable," or "satisfactory." Ex. He looks (intransitive linking verb) well (predicate adjective). All is well that ends well. It is well to start to school early. The book was well written.

23. BAD -- BADLY

A. Use bad as an adjective; use badly as an adverb. Ex. Larry feels bad today; he has a bad headache. Ex. Because of the anesthetic, Larry's sense of touch is very dull; he feels badly with his right hand.

B. A common mistake occurs when people try to use the adverb badly instead of the predicate adjective bad. Ex. He feels (intransitive linking verb) bad (predicate adjective -- use bad after I. L. verbs). Use badly as an adverb when you want to describe a person's ability to touch and feel things. Ex. Laramie feels badly today because of the terrible burns on his hands.


A. The word real means "genuine." Real is an adjective. Ex. Janice has a real diamond.

B. An error occurs when we say, "Janice is real sick." "Real" is an adjective and cannot modify the adjective "sick." It takes an adverb to modify an adjective. "Is" is an intransitive linking verb and takes a predicate adjective after it. "Sick" is a predicate adjective. "Really" is an adverb which modifies the predicate adjective "sick." Correct example: Janice is really sick.


Easy is an adjective; easily is an adverb. Ex. The student in the wheelchair moves around the room easily. (The adverb "easily" modifies the verb "moves.")


Sure is an adjective; surely is an adverb. Ex. Maria was surely sick. ("Sick" is a predicate adjective after the intransitive linking verb "was." "Surely" is an adverb which strengthens the meaning of the adjective "sick." )

27. Avoid double negatives. It does not take two negative words when one is sufficient. Do not combine not with none, no, no one, or nothing.

28. Avoid using hardly, scarcely, or only with negative words.

29. Do not use the adjective awful to take the place of such adverbs as very, really, or certainly. Ex. He is really sick. He is awfully sick.

30. Use comparative degree of adverbs for two and superlative degree for three or more: Ex. Which of these two men works faster? He works the fastest of all three men.

31. Here is a helpful chart:

Adjectives Adverbs

good well (manner of performance-

well ("in good health," after action verb)

"of good appearance," or


bad badly

real (genuine) really

easy easily

sure (certain) surely (certainly)

most almost

some somewhat

32. Do Worksheet # 1.


To the left of each underlined word, put adjective (adject.) or adverb (adv.). Draw an arrow from the underlined word to the word that is being modified.

_____________ 1. The Indians are sure that the volcano will erupt.

_____________ 2. Her husband soon came home from the hospital.

_____________ 3. The philosophy teacher's vocabulary is almost wholly abstract.

_____________ 4. My grape juice still tastes bitter.

_____________ 5. The plants' roots are firmly fixed in the soil.

_____________ 6. That depends on your point of view.

_____________ 7. Stephanie became a sadder and wiser person.

_____________ 8. French is seldom heard in Mexico.

_____________ 9. Put your little foot right there.

____________ 10. Opponents thought he might win again if he really tried hard.

____________ 11. Both students are thinking hard.

____________ 12. At least, Jane thought happily, it will be warm this afternoon.

____________ 13. Under the doctor's care, the little girl felt calm again.

____________ 14. Indeed it seemed very warm for the middle of winter.

____________ 15. She explained the assignment very well.

____________ 16. Feeling her pulse, the nurse said that the child was well again.

____________ 17. The lemonade tasted a little sour to me.

____________ 18. Mrs. Smythe came out holding a dishcloth in her hand.

____________ 19. The policeman certainly helped the motorist.

33. Do Worksheet # 2.


Decide whether to use the positive, comparative, or superlative degree of the adverb which is in parentheses. Then write the correct form on the blank to the left.

___________________ 1. Max played ____ in the game than Hank. (hard)

___________________ 2. Dave played ____ of all the boys. (hard)

___________________ 3. A car travels _____ than a horse. (swiftly)

__________________ 4. However, the airplane travels ___ of all. (swiftly)

__________________ 5. The airplane travels ___ than any of the __ means of __________________ transportation (swiftly).

__________________ 6. Karen usually acts ___ than Ruth. (quickly)




__________________ 7. Beth acts __ than any of the ___ girls. (quickly)


__________________ 8. He acts __ than any of the __ boys in his class. (politely)

___________________ 9. Juanita sings ____ than most of the other girls. (well)

___________________ 10. Danisha spoke ___ than you. (distinctly)

___________________ 11. You should learn to speak ___ than you do. (tactfully)

___________________ 12. Learn to pronounce your words ___ than you do. (slowly)

___________________ 13. Mauricio acts ___ than most of the other boys his age. (sensibly)

___________________ 14. Latrelle speaks ___ than Lillian, but Winnie speaks most distinctly of all the students. (distinctly).

34. Do Worksheet # 3.


Write the correct choice on the line to the left of each sentence.

__________________ 1. Gracie looked (beautiful, beautifully) on the stage.

__________________ 2. She sang (sweet, sweetly).

__________________ 3. The young man appeared to be (honest, honestly).

__________________ 4. The supervisor was (real, really) happy about the decision.

_________________ 5. Grandmother sews as (good, well) as my sister.

_________________ 6. Jack is (sure, surely) tall for his age.

_________________ 7. The employee looks (neat, neatly).

__________________ 8. The team felt (bad, badly) because they lost the championship game.

_________________ 9. The orchid smells (sweet, sweetly).

_________________ 10. Our dog learns tricks quite (easy, easily).

_________________ 11. She seems quite (different, differently).

__________________ 12. Rachel is (surely, sure) a good tennis player.

__________________ 13. Jorge plays the piano (beautifully, beautiful).

_________________ 14. Patrick was dressed (neat, neatly).

_________________ 15. The actress played her part (well, good).

_________________ 16. The cake smelled (fragrant, fragrantly).

_________________ 17. Marsha (sure, surely) cooks well.

__________________ 18. Alicia felt (bad, badly) about all her mistakes on the test.

__________________ 19. Adonicia was (some, somewhat) tired herself.

_________________ 20. The farmer (sure, surely) planted the seeds in the field quickly.

__________________ 21. He did all the work (good, well).

__________________ 22. Natalie did the work (honest, honestly).

__________________ 23. A large crowd cheered (almost, most) continually.

35. Do Worksheet # 4.


Write complete sentences which follow the prescribed elements. Put parentheses around each prescribed element and label the element.

1. A sentence with a prepositional phrase which modifies a noun ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________




2. A compound sentence with an intransitive linking verb, a predicate adjective, and an advderb which modifies the predicate adjective ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


3. A complex sentence which contains a present perfect verb, three adverbs, and a direct object noun ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


4. A compound-complex sentence which contains a relative pronoun, a nominative case pronoun, and two adjectives ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


5. A sentence which contains an introductory participial phrase, an intransitive linking verb, a compound subject, and two prepositional phrases ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


6. A compound sentence which contains an infinitive phrase, an appositive, an indirect object, and three adjectives ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


7. A sentence which contains a prepositional phrase used as an adverb ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


8. A complex sentence which contains an indirect object, a direct object, three prepositional phrases back-to-back, and two adverbs ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________




9. A compound-complex sentence with a transitive active verb, a noun clause, a noun of direct address, and an adjective in the comparative degree ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


10. A sentence which contains a prepositional phrase used as an adjective, a future conditional perfect verb, two adverbs, a noun of direct address, and the relative pronoun "who" ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________