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Adverbs – Part Two

What Words Serve as Both Adjectives & Adverbs?

Adverb lessons - what do adverbs modify in writing? How do I use adverbs in writing my book novel manuscript? Is it okay to use adverbs in fiction?

Yes, some words can serve as both adjectives and adverbs.

  • He swung hard with a right hook.

Here, hard serves as an adverb which modifies the verb swung.

  • When he fell, his head hit the hard concrete.

Here, hard is an adjective modifying the noun concrete.

Occasionally, some adverb-adjective pairs create problems for writers.

good – well

Good is an adjective, while well is an adverb.

The adjective good can modify only nouns and pronouns.

While the adverb well can modify only adjectives and verbs.


  • Samantha always cooks good omelets.

The adjective good modifies the noun omelets.

  • Samantha always prepares omelets well.

Here, the adverb well modifies the verb prepare.

Exception alert!!!

Well can also be an adjective, but only in regards to a person’s health.

  • Eamon didn’t feel well after gorging on bacon lobster.

Here, well is an adjective referring to the noun (Eamon’s) health.

bad – badly

Remember, adverbs must follow or modify action verbs, while adjectives must follow non-action or linking verbs

All the be verbs are linking or non-action verbs – be, been, being, am, is, was, are, were, – and as such, should be followed by an adjective

  • Liora tested (bad? badly?) on her calculus exam.

Badly, since it follows the action verb tested.

  • Liora felt (bad? badly?) when she saw the starving kitten outside in the rain.

Here, felt is a linking verb, linking the noun, Liora, with what?

Remember, since an adverb cannot modify a noun, we need an adjective. Liora felt bad when she…

Do all adverbs end with ly? What are common adverbs? How do I use adverbs correctly in writing?

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