Grammatically Correct, 2nd Edition by Anne Stilman
THE ADVERB-ADJECTIVE DISTINCTION
Much could be written on adverbs, but the most needful point to make about them is simply. USE THE DARN THINGS WHEN THEY’RE CALLED FOR! (Primers on e-mail etiquette advise that all-caps text can be interpreted as shouting. Yes, this text is shouting). Far too many people use an adjective when an adverb is the correct choice.
What is wrong with the following sentences?
I was shaking so bad I could hardly make out what the letter said.
I can’t walk as quick as you—please slow down.
It was real nice of you to come.
The roads are slippery, so do drive careful.
The kids are being awful quiet—should we check on them?
Adverbs are not a difficult concept, you may think but like adjectives, they are modifiers, but while adjectives modify nouns, adverbs modify verbs and adjectives. Most (though not all) adverbs are formed by adding “ly” to an adjective. Answers: In the sentences above, shaking, walk, and drive are verbs. Nice and quiet are adjectives. Accordingly, their modifiers are NOT the adjectives bad, quick, real, careful, and awful, but the adverbs badly, quickly, really, carefully, and awfully.