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Adjectives/adverbs

Adjectives - word order: When there are two or more adjectives before a noun there are some complicated "rules" for the order in which they should appear. These are the most important:

  1. opinion adjectives come before fact adjectives
  2. fact adjectives appear as follows: size - age - colour - origin - material

Here are some examples:

You will need to consult a good reference grammar for full details on the order of adjectives, and how they should be punctuated.

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Adjectives: -ed or -ing? English contains numerous -ed or -ing adjective pairs derived from verbs. To avoid mixing these up, remember that the -ed adjectives are used to describe how you feel, and the -ing adjectives are used for what it is that makes you feel that way. Here are some examples:

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Adjective or adverb? In English most (but not all) adverbs have a different form (spelling) than their corresponding adjective. It is important, therefore, that you know whether you need an adjective or an adverb in the sentences you want to say or write. Generally, adjectives are used to describe nouns and adverbs are used with verbs to say how things are done. In the following examples, the adjectives are red and the adverbs are blue:

Adverbs are also used to give extra information about adjectives (or other adverbs), as in the following examples:

After certain verbs (e.g. be, become, seem, look, taste, smell, etc.) the adjective, not the adverb, is used:

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Read about the comparative/superlative of adjectives and adverbs.


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