Grammar Basics: Adjectives vs Adverbs

We often get confused in the usage of adjectives and adverbs. Let’s understand the difference with the help of an example:
‘I am good’ vs ‘I am well’
‘I am good’ refers to the usage of adjective, as ‘good’ is an adjective, while ‘I am well’ refers to the usage of adverb, as ‘well’ is an adverb. The correct sentence is ‘I am good’ if anyone asks ‘how are you?’ In fact ‘I am well’ is an incomplete and ambiguous sentence. This is an answer to the question ‘how you are doing’? Also ‘I am (doing) well’ is an American usage in general. But what are these adjectives and adverbs?
Adjectives are words that describe or modify another person or thing in the sentence.
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For example:
This is a sweet mango.
Mango is a noun, and sweet is an adjective which modifies the word mango.
Adjective is used in three degrees, as it is used to compare.
Positive degree: Positive degree is used to show the equality between two things.
For example: Rina is as good as Tina in maths.
Comparative degree: The comparative degree is used to compare two things.
For example: Rina is better at maths than Tina.
Superlative degree:The superlative degree is used to compare anything more than two.
For example: Rina is the best at maths in the entire class.
An Adverb is a word that modifies a verb, adjective, and another adverb.
For example:
Adverb modifying a verb.
Verb - a word used to describe an action, state, or occurrence, and forming the main part of the predicate of a sentence, such as hear, become, happen.
He did well in his exams.
Did - verb, as it is stating the action of doing in the exam, which is modified by the word well. Hence well is an adverb.
Adverb modifying an adjective.
This is a very sweet mango.
Mango - is a noun.
Sweet - an adjective which modifies the word mango.
‘Very’ is modifying the word ‘sweet’ (adjective) and thereby is an adverb.
Adverb modifying an adverb.
He did very well in his exams.
Did - verb.
Well - adverb.
The word ‘very’ is modifying the adverb ‘well’; hence it too is an adverb.
Let’s discuss some common errors of adjectives and adverbs.
Errors of adjectives:
Error 1: My Dog is ‘ugly than’ your dog
Solution: My dog is ‘uglier’ than your dog as in comparison between two subjects, the degree used is comparative.
Error 2: That is the more unbelievable thing I have ever heard as for more than two subjects, superlative degree is used.
Solution: that is the most unbelievable thing I have ever heard.
Errors of adverbs:
Error 1: He decided to work ‘slow and easy’.
Solution: He decided to work ‘slowly and easily’ as an adjective can be converted into an adverb by adding suffix ‘ly’ at the end of an adjective. Here, we have to modify the ‘way he decided to do something’ and not the subject ‘he’.
Error 2: He played ‘good’ in every game.
Solution: he played ‘well’ in every game as here we want to tell about the way he played and not the subject ‘he’.
Hence, the adverbs and adjectives differ completely in their usage in the sentence.
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