Adjectives and adverbs are both modifiers. The difference is in the part of speech they are modifying. Adjectives only modify nouns, while adverbs modify verbs and adjectives and even other adverbs (and can often employ prepositions to do it, too!). The following worksheets ask your students to identify whether selected words are adjectives or adverbs, rewrite words to create their adverbial form, choose whether a blank should be filled with an adjective or adverb, and more.
Please note: While answer sheets have been provided for each worksheet for the instructor where necessary, in some cases, answers will vary by student.
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An adverb describes a verb. An adjective describes a noun. Read each sentence below and decide whether the blank requires an adjective or an adverb to complete the sentence. Write either adjective or adverb on the line.
Read the sentences below. In each sentence the verb is underlined. Circle the adverb that describes the verb. On the line to the right, write whether the adverb describes how, when or where the action happens.
Read the sentences below. Does the blank require an adjective or an adverb to complete the sentence? Choose the correct answer and write it on the line. Then complete the sentence with an adjective or an adverb of your choosing.
Choose the correct underlined word to complete each sentence. Choose the correct word from the Word Box to complete each sentence.
How to Tell If Something is an Adjective or Adverb
English grammar can be confusing because there are so many rules, and even the experts sometimes disagree about those rules. In addition, English has words that are spelled the same but have different meanings depending on how they are used in a sentence.
Similarly, distinguishing between adjectives and adverbs can be confusing because they look alike, but fret not; we have solved your problem.
What are Adjectives?
Adjectives are words that describe or modify a noun or pronoun. They are one of the most important parts of speech because they add detail and specificity to what we say. Without adjectives, our language would be quite bland.
For example, instead of saying, "I have a yellow pencil," you could say, "I have a sunny-yellow pencil with a green eraser." The first sentence is okay, but the second sentence is much more interesting because it contains adjectives that provide specific details about the pencil.
What are Adverbs?
Adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. They describe how, when, or where something is done. For example, the word "slowly" is an adverb that describes how an action is done.
Types of Adverbs
There are many types, each with its function. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Those that describe the manner of how something is done. For example, "He slowly walked across the room."
- Some indicate frequency ofhow often something happens. For example, "I always brush my teeth before bed."
- They can time tell when something happens. For example, "I will call you tomorrow."
- They can be used to indicate place and tell where something happens. For example, he is sitting underneath the table."
Note: Adverbs can be placed in different positions within a sentence, depending on what they are modifying. For example, if an adverb modifies a verb, it will usually come after the subject.
However, if an adverb is modifying an adjective or another adverb, it will usually come before that word.
Adverbs and Position
Here are some examples of adverbs in different positions:
- He slowly walked across the room.
- I always brush my teeth before bed.
- I will call you tomorrow.
- Put the book on the shelf over there.
(The four sentences above display it modifying a verb)
- She is a very beautiful woman. (modifying an adjective)
- He drives quite slowly. (modifying anadverb)
Remember, adverbs are a great way to add more information and detail to your writing. Next time you are revising your work, take a look at your sentences and see if there is any room to add an adverb.
How to Distinguish Between Them
An adverb modifies a verb, adjective, or another adverb. It typically answers when, how, where, why, or to what extent. An adjective is a word that modifies a noun or pronoun and typically answers the question of which one.
- Adverbs can be used to modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. For example, the adverb "quickly" can modify the verb "ran" to indicate how fast the person ran.
- The adjective "blue" can be modified by the adverb "deeply" to describe the blue color's depth, and the adverb "loudly" can modify another adverb, "shouted," to intensify the shouting.
When an adjective modifies a noun or pronoun, it usually comes before the noun or pronoun that it modifies. For example, in the sentence "He's a slow driver," the adjective "slow" modifies the noun "driver."
In contrast, adverbs typically come after the verb, adjective, or other adverbs they modify. So in the sentence "He drives slowly," the adverb "slowly" modifies the verb "drives." Although, this is not acceptable every time.
For example, when the verb is a form of the verb "to be," the adverb usually comes before the verb. So in the sentence "She is quickly becoming my favorite student," the adverb "quickly" modifies the verb "becoming."
Now that you know the difference between between these parts of speech, look at your writing and see if you can identify and distinguish between them easily!