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The difference is what they modify: adjectives modify nouns and pronouns while adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. Some words can act as either an adjective or an adverb, depending on what they are modifying.


Adjective: A word that describes, identifies or qualifies a noun or pronoun. An adjective usually comes before the noun or the pronoun which it modifies. But it can also follow a linking verb.

For example:

  • The cute cat was sleeping.
  • The cat was cute. The word "cute" is describing and modifies the noun cat.
  • The plum was purple.
  • The girl is pretty.
  • The duckling is fuzzy.
  • That is a sweet little dog.


Adverb: An adverb is a bit more flexible because it describes or modifies a verb, adjective, or another adverb. Unlike an adjective, an adverb can be found in various places within the sentence. Adverbs are most likely to end in -LY (but not always). An adverb indicates manner, time, place, cause, or degree and answers questions such as "how," "when," "where," "how much".

For example:

  • The dog quickly ran to his owner. The word "quickly" describes and modifies the verb ran. It also answers the question "how". How did the dog run? It ran "quickly".
  • He chewed slowly.
  • She dove deeply.
  • The mouse nervously scurried.

Examples of adverbs modifying adjectives:

  • It is too cold to go outside.
  • She is quite beautiful.
  • This is a rather lengthy explanation.

Examples of adverbs modifying other adverbs:

  • She speaks very slowly.
  • Becky worked really hard today.

So basically, adjectives are used to describe nouns or pronouns, while adverbs are used to describe verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.
An adjective describes a person, place or thing. An adverb describes an action.

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7y ago
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13y ago

Adjectives are words that are used to describe a Noun. Adverb are words used in a sentence to describe or emphasize a Verb.

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Q: What is the difference between adverbs and adjectives?
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Related questions

What is the difference between an adjective and an adverb?

An adjective can only describe a noun or pronoun, while an adverb can describe verbs, adjectives and adverbs. Some words can be both adjectives and adverbs depending on their use, and some adjectives and adverbs may be used as other parts of speech.

What is the difference of above and over?

The difference is both above and over function as adverbs, prepositions, and adjectives, but since there is no overlap in meaning with the adjectives, I'll only address the adverbs and prepositions here.

What modifies verbs adjectives and adverbs?

Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.

How are adverbs different from adjectives?

Adverbs modify verbs or adjectives or other adverbs, and adjectives modify nouns.

Are nouns modified by adjectives or adverbs?

Nouns are modified by adjectives. Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.

Can adverbs modify adjectives?

Adverbs modify verbs. Adverbs can also modify adjectives and other adverbs.

Do adverbs modify adjectives?

Yes, adverbs do qualify adjectives.

What is the similarity between adverbs and adjectives?

Both adjectives and adverbs modify or describe other words.

What is the difference between the comparative and superlative forms of adjectives and adverbs?

Comparative is like She is TALLER than him. Superlative is like She is the TALLEST in the class.

What do adjectives and adverbs do the same?

adjectives are describing words and adverbs are the word when,where and who.

Do adverbs or adjectives end in 'ly?


What do adjectives an adverbs modify?

Adjectives modify nouns, while adverbs modify verbs.