When we want to add extra descriptive detail to a sentence, we use adjectives and adverbs. These are words that modify other words or clauses in a statement.\n\nBut there\u2019s an important distinction between adjectives and adverbs, which is crucial to understand if you want to make sure your writing is grammatically correct. In the following, we explain how each of these word types should be used.\nAdjectives (Modifying Nouns)\nAdjectives are mostly used to modify nouns and pronouns, usually to tell us something about the properties or character of an object, concept or person.\n\nThis can be useful for identifying a specific individual. For instance, the adjective \u201csad\u201d can be combined with the noun \u201cclown\u201d to make the noun phrase \u201csad clown.\u201d This would make the clown in question distinct from a \u201chappy clown.\u201d\n\n[caption id="attachment_2581" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Life is hard when your emotions depend on your makeup.[\/caption]\n\nDifferent adjectives are used to describe different qualities, including:\n\n \tSize and shape (e.g., \u201cshark\u2019s teeth are small and triangular\u201d)\n \tColor (e.g., \u201cthe red sky\u201d)\n \tTexture (e.g., \u201ca fuzzy kitten\u201d)\n \tTaste (e.g., \u201ca minty flavor\u201d)\n \tSound (e.g., \u201ca deafening explosion\u201d)\n \tAge and time (e.g., \u201cthe old man gave a lengthy speech\u201d)\n \tEmotions and character (e.g., \u201cshe was pleased with the result\u201d)\n \tQuantity (e.g., \u201cmany people\u201d)\n\nThe key thing is that adjectives name an attribute of a noun.\nAdverbs (Modifying Action)\nA verb is an action word. To show how an action was performed, we use adverbs. For example, to describe the speed that something happened, we could use an adverb like \u201cquickly\u201d or \u201cslowly\u201d:\nPut the gun down slowly and raise your hands!\n\n\n[caption id="attachment_2580" align="aligncenter" width="339"] "Should I raise them quickly or slowly?"[\/caption]\n\nSome adverbs can also be used to modify an adjective and add extra detail. In the following sentence, for instance, the adverb \u201ctruly\u201d is used to emphasize to the adjective \u201cterrible\u201d:\nI feel truly terrible about the incident with the gun.\nIn addition, adverbs can modify other adverbs. The adverb \u201cmore,\u201d for example, can be used to show the degree to which another adverb (e.g., \u201csincerely\u201d) applies:\nYou need to apologize more sincerely than that!\nIt\u2019s often easy to spot an adverb because many end in \u201c-ly.\u201d But this isn\u2019t always the case, such as with \u201cmore\u201d or \u201cvery,\u201d and not every word that ends \u201c-ly\u201d is an adverb, so you should be careful when using this guideline.\nForming Adverbs from Adjectives\nMany adverbs are formed by adding \u201c-ly\u201d to the end of an existing adjective (or replacing the \u201c-y\u201d with \u201c-ily\u201d if the adjective already ends in a \u201cy\u201d). However, if you\u2019re not sure whether you\u2019ve formed or used an adverb correctly, having your work proofread can help.