When you’re speaking (or writing) in English you always have a choice: keep it simple, or try to be more descriptive. By using English adverbs with adjectives, you can make your speech and writing much more fluent. However, you have to be careful! There are rules about using them, and you have to get them right.
In today’s post, we’ll explain the rules to you, and give you examples of when using English adverbs with adjectives
Using adverbs with adjectives in English: How and Why
On our Facebook page, we recently explained the basic rules of using adverbs with adjectives in a live video.
Be more fluent in English with this #QuickEnglish lesson! For more info & advice after the video, check out https://goo.gl/dAuIlh .
Posted by English42 on Tuesday, 15 November 2016
Basically, if you want to sound fluent in English, it helps to use long sentences. When we’re dealing with adjectives in sentences (like “hungry”, “cold” or “attractive”) you can keep it simple, or you can add an adverb like “very”, “quite” or “really”. We use these adverbs to make the adjective stronger. So, for example, you can say “It’s cold” in London in wintertime, but you can say “It’s very cold” in Russia in the wintertime. (You can also use “so”, but you need to be careful. See here for more information about this strange word.)
If you want to be even stronger, you can change the adjective to a more “extreme” adjective. So, we can say “starving” instead of “hungry”, “freezing” instead of “cold”, or “beautiful” instead of “attractive”.
An extreme adjective is more or less the same as a “normal” adjective with an adverb like “very”.
You can go even further. We can add an extreme adverb to the extreme adjective to give it maximum strength. Adverbs like “totally”, “completely” or “absolutely” are perfect here. (Note that these words, as adjectives are: “total”, “complete” or “absolute”. All of these adjectives mean “100%”. This might help you to remember them.)
Finally, we must be careful.
It’s very strange to use extreme adverbs with normal adjectives, and it’s also strange to use normal adverbs with extreme adjectives. So sentences like these are not quite right for English speakers:
I’m absolutely hungry.
It’s very freezing.
She’s absolutely attractive.
A list of English adverbs with adjectives
Here is a chart of popular English adjectives. It’s free to download, so you can being improving your English vocabulary today! Note that the main words are the Normal adjectives and the Extreme adjectives. The adverbs are (in brackets) to show you that these words are optional.
Continuing your English vocabulary
This list is not complete: it doesn’t contain all of the adjectives and adverbs which exist in English. Also, for each of the words you can see here, there are synonyms: for example, immense can also have the exact same meaning as huge or enormous. (These words have the same meaning and are used in exactly the same way: for example, “Russia is absolutely enormous.”)
A great English communicator is a person who knows different ways to say the same word. So, we strongly recommend that you continue your English vocabulary studies by following the advice we gave in this post about English vocabulary. Most importantly: check out a thesaurus to find synonyms.
For lots more English vocabulary, make sure you stay with English42 and continue your learning!