How To Use Adverbs and Adjectives

All That's Written ...

Adverbs, let’s look at them and determine what they are and if we really need them.

From the Oxford Dictionary:



  • a word or phrase that modifies the meaning of an adjective, verb, or other adverb, expressing manner, place, time, or degree (e.g.gentlyherenowvery). Some adverbs, for example sentence adverbs, can also be used to modify whole sentences.


late Middle English: from Latin adverbium, from ad- ‘to’ (expressing addition) + verbum ‘word, verb’

And let’s also look at Adjectives, the words we need to set the scene.

Again from the Oxford Dictionary:



  • a word naming an attribute of a noun, such as sweetred, or technical.

Let’s start with looking at the real troublemakers among the adverbs,  those that answer the question how.


Generally speaking, if a word answers the question how

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Grammar quiz!

Those are hiring words

Face it, we writers are word nerds and often more than a touch OCD when it comes to getting it right. I thought it would be fun to take a look at grammar tripwires that drive us nuts. But some of them are debatable, even among writers. Here’s one to ponder over your morning coffee. And because it’s nowhere near as much fun without knowing the “why” behind your choice, please explain in comments!

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Creative (adj.) Creatively (adverb) Creativeness (noun) Creativity (noun)

Pass the buck!


Producing or using original and unusual ideas.


a creative person/artist/designer/programmer
creative talents/powers/abilities
creative thinking

Too many rules might deadencreativity.

Creativity, ingenuity, and flair are the songwriter’s real talents.

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An Apple for the Student: Descriptive Writing



As a teacher’s aide I work with students from every grade–kindergarten through sixth–who need a little extra help.  For a number of years my schedule has included two or three writing groups a day, with children from a wide range of abilities.  I’ve used a variety of writing programs and approaches over the years.  I modify content and the expected rate of completing each assignment, to the needs of my students.

It’s always been a challenge to keep their interest and inspire them.  They come from a full spectrum of cultural backgrounds and life experience.  Expressing themselves is especially difficult for students who, for a myriad of reasons, have a limited speaking vocabulary.  When they don’t know how to say something, their natural instinct is to leave it out, resulting in short sentences that are vague and void of all the captivating details.  They miss out on the joy and interaction associated with sharing what’s on their minds, and of course that kind of writing isn’t fun

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How much is too much?

Anarchic Writing

Frozen yogurt. Do you ever go to those frozen yogurt places where you get a plastic bucket and you fill it with various yogurts, toppings, seasonings, and other tasty stuff? If you’re like me, you probably go overload the bucket with more toppings than actual yogurt. Admit it, you’ve done this also. If done right, your yogurt tastes amazing.

However, although we have the freedom to fill the cup with toppings, we don’t. We usually limit ourselves and draw a line. Why? Because, well to me, too much sugar becomes too… untasty. [plus, fattening. (citation needed)] Have you ever noticed that if you eat one chocolate bar, it tastes like heaven? But how about if you eat five more? It tastes good, but not heavenly anymore. Fifty more? You’re probably tired of chocolate by then. A hundred? You probably don’t want to eat chocolate anymore.

Just like in writing, sometimes…

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