New SAT Grammar Rule: Adjectives & Adverbs

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New SAT Grammar Rule: Adjectives & Adverbs

As we know from Prelesson A on Parts of Speech, Adjectives are words that are used to modify nouns - to describe or add detail about nouns or pronouns. They tell us more about what something or someone is like. A few examples of Adjectives are "blue," "fast," "small," "important," and "complete."

We also learned that Adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. Adverbs tell us more about how something is done or further clarify other modifiers. A few examples are "quickly," "fundamentally," "importantly," "completely," "extremely," and "very."

You can imagine adjectives and adverbs as twins separated at birth and raised in different ways. They have something in common: they both modify - describe and add details - to other words.

However, just like twins raised separately could have very different favorite foods, adjectives will only play nicely with one other type of words: Nouns. On the other hand, Adverbs are more omnivorous. They will play nicely with verbs, adjectives, and adverbs -but never with Nouns!

This may seem like a ridiculous distinction, but unfortunately, it's the way the grammar game is played in English. Therefore, for the SAT & ACT tests you need to be able to identify adjectives vs. adverbs and determine if they are "attached" to the right type of word – that is, are they modifying the correct types of words that each of these "twins" plays nicely with?

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