Definition of adjectives and examples

Here is an example showing the difference between adverbs and adjectives.

I have a cat. She purrs.  

Can you close your eyes and imagine my cat? Maybe not, because I haven’t really told you anything about her. Let me try again:

I have an old, stinky, gray cat. She purrs extremely loudly.

Now can you imagine my cat? You probably have a clearer idea of how she looks and sounds because I’ve improved my sentences by using adjectives (old, stinky, gray) and adverbs (extremely, loudly). Adjectives and adverbs can make your sentences more exciting, specific, and detailed.  

An adjective is a descriptive word. Adjectives modify nouns or pronouns. An adjective can tell you more about a noun.  

Here’s another example:  

My iPhone (noun) is old (adjective).  

In this sentence, the word old is an adjective that gives you more information about my iPhone. It’s an important part of the sentence because it tells you that my iPhone is not new. Other adjectives I could use to describe my iPhone include: expensive, silver, cracked, shiny, and thin.  

You can use an adjective before a noun (ex: I have big eyes). You can also use an adjective after a be verb (ex: My eyes are big).

It’s basic English grammar. If you are a beginner at learning English, you need to master the rules of adjectives and adverbs and try to make sentences using different words.

Definition of adverbs and example sentences

What modifies a verb, an adjective, or an adverb?

Now, the answer is very clear. An adverb modifies a verb.

There are many kinds of adverbs!  

Some adverbs modify verbs and tell you how something is done. These are called adverbs of manner. Here are some sentences that include adverbs of manner: 

  • Annie sings beautifully. 
  • Zebras run quickly.  
  • The child sadly cries.
  • We happily learn English.

There are also adverbs of time (already, yesterday), adverbs of frequency (often, sometimes, never), adverbs of degree (very, really), and adverbs of affirmation (obviously, certainly).  

Adverbs don’t only modify verbs. They can also modify adjectives and other adverbs. However, adverbs can not modify nouns or pronouns.

Examples of adverbs and adjectives

Here are thirty more examples of adjectives:

sweet, sparkly, silly, youthful, sad, chubby, thoughtful, brave, obedient, rich, evil, bright, slimy, stark, helpful, thorough, crunchy, bizarre, red, crazy, cranky, kind, malicious, gentle, wooden, French, bumpy, curly, pure, stressful

Here are thirty more examples of adverbs:

Quickly, slowly, boldly, strongly, weakly, brokenly, stubbornly, fast, well, forlornly, nastily, loudly, quietly, stupidly, angrily, happily, menacingly, strangely, beautifully, sneakily, suspiciously, softly, tomorrow, seldom, usually, always, absolutely, extremely, clearly, truly.

Above are the basic English words to describe someone or something. If you would like a vocabulary-building challenge, you can look up any words you don’t know in the dictionary. Then, you can try writing sentences with those words. You could even book a lesson with an online English tutor on italki to practice and receive feedback on your sentences.

How to turn an adjective into an adverb

Many adjectives can be easily turned into adverbs of manner. All you have to do is add the letters ly to the end of the adjective, like this:

sad - sadly

bad - badly

kind - kindly 

If an adjective ends in the letter y, you should say “bye-bye y” and add ily, like this: 

happy - happily

angry - angrily 

crazy - crazily 

In situations where an adjective ends in ic add ally, like this: 

dramatic - dramatically 

If an adjective ends in le, replace the e with a y, like this: 

impossible - impossibly 

Finally, the adverb forms of the adjectives good and fast are irregular and don’t follow any rules. They look like this: 

good - well 

fast - fast

Adjectives and adverbs are important building blocks for creating strong English sentences. Be creative. Use amazing adjectives to describe your nouns, and artfully use adverbs to modify other parts of speech.  

At the beginning of this article, I used adjectives and adverbs to talk about my cat. Can you use them to talk about an animal or a person in your life? If you book an English lesson with me, I’d be happy to help you practice that, or any other aspect of English grammar or conversation, expand your vocabulary.