Nouns as Adjective

Sometimes in the English language, a noun is used to describe another noun; in other words, the first noun performs the function of an adjective. Look at the following examples:


Basketball coach – here the noun basketball is being used to describe the noun coach

Garment shop – here the noun garment is being used to describe the noun shop

Painting exhibition – here the noun painting is being used to describe the noun exhibition


In all the above examples, the first noun acts as an adjective.


Rules related to Nouns as Adjective

1. The ‘nouns as adjective’ always come first or before the second or main noun. Let’s see a few more examples:

A cricket bat

A soccer ball

A car race

A love story


2. In general, like adjectives, nouns being used as adjectives are used in the singular form, although in the case of certain words, like clothes, customs, sports, etc, an exception is made. For example:

Bathroom or bathrooms, and not bathsroom or bathsrooms

Badminton racket or badminton rackets, and not badmintons racket or badmintons rackets

In short, the plural form will always appear on the second noun only.

Some nouns are always written or spoken in the plural forms, but we generally treat them as a singular form. For example:

A billiards player

A news editor


Some nouns are always treated in the plural forms when used as an adjective. For example:

Sports museum

Clothes outlet

Accounts manager


3. Multiple nouns can also be used as adjectives. For example:

School cricket team coach

Motor production cost

Child health care research centre


4. We can also use a true adjective before nouns as adjective. For example::

Famous Indian cricket player

Cute coffee mug

Delectable Chinese cuisine

Honest school teacher

Increasing air pollution


Using Nouns to Show Possession

Possessive nouns are those nouns that show possession. Possessive Nouns are used to show ownership.

A noun is possessive only when a phrase can be modified to say that an idea or commodity belongs to something or someone. Possessive nouns are an integral part of learning English, use them as often as you can to gain confidence.
In the singular form, the possessive case is formed by adding ‘s to the noun.

  • The clothes of the girl.
    The girl’s clothes.
  • The toys of the boy.
    The boy’s toys.
  • Mary goes to this school.
    This is Mary’s school.

King’s castle, grandfather’s stick, my dog’s bowl and all of the above are formed by adding the ‘s.

Modify the following sentences by using the apostrophe (‘) to show possession:

The king’s servants.

The computer’s cover.

My phone’s charger.

  • The servants of the king.
  • Cover of the computer.
  • The charger of my phone.

For certain words, instead of ‘s, only ‘ is used to avoid a hissing noise. Keep this is mind when using possessive nouns.

Some examples would be:

  • Boss’ office.
  • Dr.Briuss’ house.
  • For goodness’ sake.

There are two rules to follow in case the noun is in plural form.

  • If the noun ends in s then the possessive case is formed by adding the apostrophe
    E.g. the donkeys’ tail, the boys’ hostel, the cousins’ aunt.
  • If the noun does not end in s then the possessive case is formed by adding ‘s.
    E.g. the children’s park, the men’s room.

It’s simple as long as you know the plural form of the noun. The plural form of ‘god’ will be ‘gods’ and so the apostrophe will be used after ‘s’ (gods’). In case of nouns like ‘woman’, the plural form is ‘women’ and so the apostrophe followed by ‘s’ will be used (women’s).

Add the apostrophe in the following sentences.

  • Our cousins short uncle.                  (Apostrophe can be before or after ‘s’)
  • Businessmens briefcase.                (Businessmen’s)
  • The ladies washroom.                     (Ladies’)

Here are some more examples to show you other possible cases.

  • Alex and Philip’s shop. (Two nouns are used closely and showing joint possession; here, the apostrophe will be used with the second noun)
  • Shakespeare’s and Wordsworth’s works. (Two nouns are used together yet separate possession is implied thus the apostrophe is used with both nouns)

Collective Nouns

Collective nouns are the name we give to a group of nouns to refer to them as one entity. The most common method of doing this is by using words like group or bunch that can be applicable to most of the nouns in the language today. But there are some specific names given for certain groups of nouns to make things more interesting and funny.

Now, these collective nouns are not based in scientific thought or fact. Most of them come from the poetry and imagination of early to late Medieval English times e.g. – an eloquence of lawyers – Eloquence itself is defined as fine persuasion in speaking or writing, so this particular collective noun is a comment on the profession of lawyers while being their collective noun as well.

The same goes for the collective nouns we find for animals; the names arose from 15th century French and English hunting traditions, where hunting was common and names and terms were given to all aspects of the sport. These names were called Terms of Venery and it had become a tradition of the court to keep extending the list and by the 1500s the list was up-to 165 items long.

Here we have listed some of the more commonly used collective nouns for humans, animals and objects.


These collective nouns are commonly used under the category of people.

  1. A class of students.
  2. An army of soldiers.
  3. A choir of singers.
  4. A crew of sailors.
  5. A band of musicians.
  6. A bunch of crooks.
  7. A crowd of people/spectators.
  8. A gang of thieves.
  9. A group of dancers.
  10. A team of players.
  11. A troupe of artists/dancers.
  12. A pack of thieves.
  13. A staff of employees.
  14. A regiment of soldiers.
  15. A tribe of natives.
  16. An audience of listeners.
  17. A panel of experts.
  18. A gang of labourers.
  19. A flock of tourists.
  20. A board of directors.

Collective Nouns Exercise 1

Collective Nouns Exercise 2

The following collective nouns are used for animals.

  1. A catch of fish.
  2. An army of ants.
  3. A flight of birds.
  4. A flock of birds.
  5. A haul of fish.
  6. A flock of sheep.
  7. A herd of deer/cattle/elephants/goats/buffaloes.
  8. A hive of bees.
  9. A litter of cubs.
  10. A host of sparrows.
  11. A team of horses.
  12. A troop of lions.
  13. A zoo of wild animals.
  14. A pack of wolves.
  15. A litter of puppies/kittens.
  16. A swarm of bees/ants/rats/flies.
  17. A team of horses/ducks/oxen.
  18. A murder of crows.
  19. A kennel of dogs.
  20. A pack of hounds.

The following collective nouns are used for things.

  1. A group of islands.
  2. A galaxy of stars.
  3. A wad of notes.
  4. A forest of trees.
  5. A stack of wood.
  6. A fleet of ships.
  7. A string of pearls.
  8. An album of stamps/autographs/photographs.
  9. A hedge of bushes.
  10. A library of books.
  11. A basket of fruit.
  12. A bowl of rice.
  13. A pack of cards.
  14. A pair of shoes.
  15. A bouquet of flowers.
  16. A bunch of keys.
  17. A chest of drawers.
  18. A pack of lies.
  19. A range of mountains.
  20. A cloud of dust.

Collective nouns are endless and these are just a list of those used more often. As you continue to work on improving your English, you will stumble across many more. Be sure to add them to your list and use them as frequently as you can.



Nouns are simply the names we give to everything around us, whether it be a person, an event, a place or an object, etc. Every particular name used to define something is a noun. E.g. : Amsterdam, Anita, Blackberry, Honesty, Waiter, etc.

The names given to a group of noun to identify them as a whole are called Collective Nouns. E.g.:  pride of lions, gaggle of geese etc.

Nouns or pronouns can also modify themselves to show possession of another noun, usually by attaching‘s to the end of the noun. These nouns that show possession are called Possessive Nouns.

Sometimes nouns have different forms for different genders, although this practice has been largely abandoned by the people who prefer to use the same noun for both genders. For example – Actor (male) – Actress (female), but people nowadays refer to women who act as female actors rather than actresses.

Most nouns can be converted into plural forms by adding ‘-s’ or ‘-es’ at the end of the word. E.g.:  box-boxes, cat-cats, echo-echoes , etc.

But some nouns require the last consonant to be modified before adding ‘-es’. For e.g.: the ‘Y’ in ‘city’ changes to ‘I’ to form  cities, kitty to kitties and ‘f’ to ‘v’ in  dwarf to dwarves, wharf to wharves, etc.

Some nouns become plurals irregularly by changing the entire word: mouse- mice, ox – oxen, etc.

You can learn more about Plurals here: How to make Plurals : Making Plurals-Easy Guide


Grammarians have divided nouns into different categories based on their use and purpose. Learning these divisions within the nouns will help in sentence construction and vocabulary.  The different types of Nouns are –



These nouns are the names of specific people and places. These nouns also refer to the names of the days of weeks and months, and also the various names for religions, organizations, institutions, etc. Proper nouns basically refer to the names that are specific to that particular noun.  These nouns are always capitalised as they need to be distinct from other nouns.

  • William Shakespeare was a playwright. – Proper noun that is the name of a specific person.
  • I will be visiting New York next month. – Proper noun that is the name of a specific place.
  • Everyone dislikes Monday mornings. – The names of days are proper nouns.
  • The holy book of Islam is the Koran. – Name of a religion and religious text.


These are the nouns that are used to denote a general category of people, places or things. They are capitalized only when they are at the beginning of a sentence. Common Nouns don’t refer to something specific rather they are a general term used for every noun of a particular kind or type.

  • The boys went to play cricket. – Both boys and cricket are common nouns as they can refer to any boy or any cricket match. There is nothing specified by these nouns.
  • This neighbourhood is one of the best in the area. – Here neighbourhood is the common noun as there are innumerable neighbourhoods all over the world.
  • She was trying to answer her phone while buying coffee. – Here we see phone and coffee that both are general indicators of the object and the drink.


These nouns are the names of things that we cannot perceive through our five senses of touching, smelling, seeing, hearing and tasting. These nouns can also refer to medical conditions related to the mind and are also used to express  thoughts.

  • She screamed with great delight. – Delight is an abstract noun as it tells about the state of a person’s mind and any actual physical thing.
  • His bravery in the war won him a medal. – The abstract noun bravery is used to name the motivation behind certain actions made by people.
  • One should learn to be as independent as possible. – Here, independent describes a state or a way of being, hence it is an abstract noun.


The nouns that fall under this category are the ones that have both singular and plural forms. They can be counted either relatively or completely, and form plurals to associate with plural verbs in a sentence. They can also be expressed in numerical terms

  • I need to buy four new suitcases for my trip.  – Suitcase (s) is a countable noun as adding ‘s’ to it makes it plural.
  • Does anyone want some oranges? – Here some is being used to count the noun orange(s).
  • She had a pet dog. – Dog is also a countable noun as its plural is dogs.


These nouns are the exact opposite of Countable Nouns. These nouns are the names of things that cannot be counted and have only a singular form. These nouns use singular verbs in a sentence.

  • The furniture was damaged in moving out. – Furniture is an uncountable noun and therefore, we use the singular ‘was’ in referring to it.
  • Is 250gms of sugar enough? –  Here, sugar is an uncountable noun as sugar itself cannot be counted. It can only be weighed.
  • He always answers questions with honesty. – Honesty is an uncountable noun as it has no plural and cannot be counted in physical terms either.

List of Nouns, Noun Examples

Nouns Exercise 1

Actor Garden Oil
Advertisement Gas Orange
Afternoon Ghost Oxygen
Airport Girl Oyster
Ambulance Glass Painting
Animal Gold Parrot
Answer Grass Pencil
Apple Greece Piano
Army Guitar Pillow
Australia Hair Pizza
Balloon Hamburger Planet
Banana Helicopter Plastic
Battery Helmet Portugal
Beach Holiday Potato
Beard Honey Queen
Bed Horse Quill
Belgium Hospital Rain
Boy House Rainbow
Branch Hydrogen Raincoat
Breakfast Ice Refrigerator
Brother Insect Restaurant
Camera Insurance River
Candle Iron Rocket
Car Island Room
Caravan Jackal Rose
Carpet Jelly Russia
Cartoon Jewellery Sandwich
China Jordan School
Church Juice Scooter
Crayon Kangaroo Shampoo
Crowd King Shoe
Daughter Kitchen Soccer
Death Kite Spoon
Denmark Knife Stone
Diamond Lamp Sugar
Dinner Lawyer Sweden
Disease Leather Teacher
Doctor Library Telephone
Dog Lighter Television
Dream Lion Tent
Dress Lizard Thailand
Easter Lock Tomato
Egg London Toothbrush
Eggplant Lunch Traffic
Egypt Machine Train
Elephant Magazine Truck
Energy Magician Uganda
Engine Manchester Umbrella
England Market Van
Evening Match Vase
Eye Microphone Vegetable
Family Monkey Vulture
Finland Morning Wall
Fish Motorcycle Whale
Flag Nail Window
Flower Napkin Wire
Football Needle Xylophone
Forest Nest Yacht
Fountain Nigeria Yak
France Night Zebra
Furniture Notebook Zoo
Garage Ocean



What is an article?

An article is a word that modifies or describes the Noun. It is used before the noun to show whether it refers to something specific or not. So, in a way, articles can also be described as a type of adjectives as they also tell us something about the nouns, like adjectives.

Types of Articles

There are two types of Articles in the English language. They are as follows:

Definite article: Definite means to be clear, exact or obvious about something. It is called definite because it is used in relation to a particular thing or person. “The” is the definite article in English, which is used to refer to particular nouns, the identities of which are known. The definite article indicates that the noun is specific. The speaker talks about a particular thing. For example:

The cat sat on the couch.

The dog attacked me and ran away.

Notice how the reference is not left indefinite in both the sentences. It is clear that a particular cat sat on the couch in the first sentence and a specific dog that attacked the speaker is being spoken about in the second example.

Indefinite articles: Indefinite means something which is not clear, obvious or exact. They are called indefinite because the identity of the thing or person being spoken about is left unclear or indefinite. The indefinite article indicates that the noun is not someone or something in particular. The speaker talks about any one of that type of things. The indefinite articles in English are “a” and “an.” For example:

Do you have a pencil?

I want to have an apple.

Notice how the speaker is not asking for a particular pencil or apple, but any pencil or apple in the above sentences.
Difference between “A” and “An”


Indefinite articles ‘a/an’ are used as follows:


‘A’ is used before a word beginning with a consonant sound.  Consonant letters in the English alphabet are B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, M,N, P, Q, R, S, T, V,W, X,Y, Z.

For example: A boy, a cat, a dog, a fight, a gym, a horse, a joke, a kite, a lion, a mirror, a noise, a pin, a quilt, etc.


‘An’ is used before a word beginning with a vowel sound. Vowel letters in the English alphabet are A, E, I, O, U.

For example: An apple, an elephant, an idiot, an orange, an umbrella, etc.


Note here that the usage is on the basis of sound and not only the letter the word starts with.

For example:

“An hour”
“An honest man”
“A one eyed dog”


Do these seem wrong to you?


They’re not and the reason is that the ‘usage is on the basis of sound’. The words ‘hour’ and ‘honest’ both begin with a vowel sound, as the consonant ‘h’ is not pronounced. Similarly, the word ‘one’ begins with the consonant sound of ‘w’ and hence is written as ‘a one eyed dog’, not ‘an one eyed dog’.


Also, remember that we use “a” and “an” only before a singular noun. We can’t use “a” and “an” before a plural noun. For example:

A book – correct

A books – incorrect

An egg – correct
An eggs – incorrect


Tips to remember the differences in a nutshell

Ø  a + singular noun beginning with a consonant: a bag; a pen, etc.

Ø  an + singular noun beginning with a vowel: an egg; an orphan, etc.

Ø  a + singular noun beginning with a consonant sound: a user (sounds like ‘yoo-zer,’ i.e., gives a ‘y’ sound, so ‘a’ is used); a university; a European, etc.

Ø  an + nouns starting with silent “h”: an hour; an honest man, etc.


These rules also apply in Acronyms.

For example:

He is a DU (Delhi University) student.

He is an IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) graduate.

The rule also applies when acronyms start with consonant letters but have vowel sounds.

For example:

She is an MBA (Master of Business Administration).

When/If the noun is modified by an adjective, the choice between a and an depends on the initial sound of the adjective that immediately follows the article.

For example:

a beautiful umbrella

an unusual situation

a European country (pronounced as ‘yer-o-pi-an,’ i.e., sounds like consonant ‘y’)

A/An is used to indicate membership in a group.

For example:

  • I am a journalist. (I am a member of a large group of professionals known as journalists.)
  • She is an Indian. (She is a member of the people from India, known as Indians.)


Difference between “A” and “The”

“The”, as mentioned earlier, is used to give information about particular or known nouns. These are usually things that have been mentioned before or that the listener is familiar with. On the other hand, “A” or “an” is used to talk about things which are not particular. Usually, these are things that haven’t been mentioned before or that the listener is unfamiliar with.

For example, study these sentences:

I went to see a tattoo artist.

The tattoo artist has given me an appointment next week.

It is clear that in the first sentence, the speaker did not go to see a particular tattoo artist. He/she went to see any tattoo artist and was speaking to a friend about the same. The tattoo artist in this case has either not been mentioned before or is not that important, and therefore their identity is unknown.

Whereas in the second sentence, the speaker refers to the tattoo artist that had already been mentioned before. The identity is already known, therefore, “the” has been used to refer the tattoo artist.

Usage of ‘the’

Let’s study the different cases where ‘the’ can or cannot be used.

Count and Noncount Nouns

The can either be used with noncount nouns or the article can be omitted entirely. For example:

She liked to sail over the water. Here, some specific body of water is being talked about.

She liked to sail over water. Here, no particular water is being talked about. It can refer to any water.

‘A’/’An’ can be used only with single count nouns.

I need a bottle of juice.

I need an eraser.

Use of ‘the’ in case of geography

There are some specific rules for using ‘the’ with geographical nouns.

Do not use ‘the’ before:

Ø  names of most countries/territories: India, Brazil, Canada; however, the Netherlands, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, the United States

Ø  names of cities, towns, or states: Toronto, Delhi, Sao Paolo

Ø  names of streets: Callowhill Drive, Park Avenue

Ø  names of lakes and bays: Lake Michigan, Lake Ontario; except while referring to a group of lakes – the Great Lakes

Ø  names of mountains: Mount Everest, Mount Fuji except with ranges of mountains like the Andes or the Rockies or unusual names like the Matterhorn

Ø  names of continents: Asia, Europe

Ø  names of islands (Easter Island, Maui, Key West) except with island chains like the Andaman Islands, the Canary Islands

Use ‘the’ before:

Ø  names of rivers, oceans and seas: the Ganga, the India Ocean

Ø  points on the globe: the Equator, the South Pole

Ø  geographical areas: the South East, the Asia Pacific

Ø  deserts, forests, gulfs, and peninsulas: the Kalahari, the Sunderbans


Where articles are not used?

The usage of articles is one of the most confusing things to remember for many English learners. It is not always necessary to use articles everywhere. Our tip is to remember the cases where articles should not be used.

Do not use articles:

Ø  When you talk about things in general.

For example: I like birds.

Here, the speaker wants to imply that he/she likes any bird in general, and not a specific type of a bird.

Ø  When talking about plural count nouns.

For example: Dogs make great pets.
Here, you are not talking about one specific dog or one specific pet; you are talking about all dogs in general.


Ø  When talking about non-count nouns.

For example: I love music.
Here, the speaker is saying that he enjoys music, in general – not any specific kind of music or song.


Ø  When talking about specific days or holidays, geography, companies, languages.
For example: I have bought candles for Diwali.

Here, the speaker is talking about the candles he has bought to use on the day of Diwali.


Ø  When talking about Geography.

Articles are not used before countries, states, cities, towns, continents, single lakes, single mountains, etc.

For example: I live in Canada.

                    Mt. Rosa is part of the Alps mountain range.
Here, Mt. Rosa is one mountain, whereas The Alps refer to a group of mountains.



The United Arab Emirates, The Russian Federation”, The People’s Republic of China, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, The Dominion of Canada, etc., all contain articles because of the usage of common nouns such as kingdom, republic, states, united, dominion, emirates, etc.

The Netherlands, the Philippines, The Bahamas, The Maldives, etc. have ‘the’ before them due to the plural nature of the names of the countries.

The Ukraine, the Sudan, etc. are exceptions to all of these rules. It is perhaps, due to common use, or at least previous common use. There have been historical uses of articles before names of countries that don’t fit into either category.


Ø  When you talk about companies.

For example: Steve Jobs founded Apple.

I use Facebook every day.

Here, the speaker is referring to companies like Apple and Facebook.


Ø  When you talk about languages.

For example: I speak Hindi.  

Here, the speaker is talking about the language Hindi.               


Ø  When you talk about places, locations, streets.

For example: My house is located on Callowhill Drive.

I left my pen at home.

Here, a street called Callowhill Drive and speaker’s home are being talked about.

However, there are specific places that do need the use an article. For example:
the bank, the hospital, the post office, the airport, the train station, the bus stop, etc.


Ø  When you talk about sports and physical activities.
For example: I love to play cricket.

                             She enjoys dancing.

Here, cricket and dancing is being talked about.

Ø  When there is a noun + number

For example: She is staying at the Hilton hotel in room 127.
The train to Montreal leaves from platform 9.

Here, the nouns are followed by numbers; hence, no article is used.

Ø  When talking about academic subjects.

For example: I hate attending Mathematics classes.

Here, the mathematic classes are being discussed.


A table to remember when or when not to use Articles

Different cases


‘A’/ ‘An’ is used

When mentioning something for the first time.

I went for a movie.

When talking about something which belongs to a set of the same thing.

This is a pen.

When talking about someone who belongs to a certain group.

She is an engineer.

When talking about a certain kind of a thing.

I’ve have made a great movie.

When wanting to say that someone is a certain kind of person.

She is a shy girl.

‘The’ is used

When talking about a particular thing.

The movie that I went for was fantastic.

When talking about something that you are sure of.

I cleared the interview.

When there is only one such thing.

I don’t like to go out in the sun.

No article is used

When talking about
something in general.

Swimming is a great physical activity.

When talking about cities,
countries, streets, sports, etc.

We visited France.

We watched soccer together.


Forming Adverbs from Adjectives

Here are some guidelines on forming adverbs from adjectives:

  1. In a large number of the cases, the adverb can be formed by simply adding ‘-ly’ to the adjective.

ADJECTIVE                                                  ADVERB

Cheap                                                              Cheaply

Quick                                                              Quickly

Strong                                                             Strongly


  1. If the adjective ends in with ‘y’, replace the ‘y’ with an ‘i’ and add ‘-ly’.

ADJECTIVE                                                  ADVERB

Ready                                                              Readily

Merry                                                              Merrily

Easy                                                                Easily


  1. If the adjective ends with ‘-le’, replace the ‘e’ at the end with ‘y’.

ADJECTIVE                                                  ADVERB

Understandable                                               Understandably

Forcible                                                           Forcibly

Possible                                                           Possibly


  1. If the adjective ends with ‘-ic’, add ‘-ally’.

ADJECTIVE                                                  ADVERB

Idiotic                                                             Idiotically

Tragic                                                              Tragically

Basic                                                               Basically

An exception to this rule is ‘public’, whose adverbial form is ‘publicly’.


  1. Some adjectives do not change form at all.

ADJECTIVE                                                  ADVERB

Fast                                                                 Fast

Straight                                                           Straight

Hard                                                                Hard


  1. In the case of the adjective ‘good’, the corresponding adverb is ‘well’.


Placement of Adverbs

Adverbs can be used in diverse ways, which means that they are very flexible in sentences; they can be moved around quite a bit without causing any grammatical irregularities.

Take a look at the following sentence: The speaker grimly faced the audience. The adverb in this sentence is ‘grimly’; moving it around a little, we get The speaker faced the audience grimly. There is nothing wrong with either of the two sentences. What this goes to show is that an adverb can be positioned at multiple points in a sentence, and the guide below will help you decide where your chosen adverb should go:


Adverbs used to begin sentences/clauses

Connecting adverbs

To place an adverb at the beginning of a sentence or clause is also known as ‘initial position adverb placement’, and the adverbs that are commonly used in these positions are known as ‘connecting adverbs’, such as:






These adverbs are known as connecting adverbs, quite simply, because they are used at the beginnings of phrases and sentences to connect them to what has been said before. For e.g.:

  I did not care for her tone. However, I let it go.

I began to dislike my course within months having signed up for it. Consequently, I never did well.

That was the Medieval section of the museum; next, we have the Industrial Revolution.


Adverbs of time

Time adverbs, like ‘tomorrow’, ‘yesterday’ and ‘sometimes’, are among the most flexible of all adverbs, and can often take initial position. For e.g.:

            Yesterday I was very busy, which is why I was unable to meet you.

            Tomorrow I am leaving for Calcutta.

            Sometimes we feel as if we do not belong in this group.


Adverbs in the middle

Focusing adverbs

‘Focusing adverbs’ are those adverbs that emphasise a part of the clause or sentence to which they belong, and are generally used mid-sentence. Focusing adverbs include adverbs of frequency (often, rarely, never, always, etc), adverbs of certainty (perhaps, probably, certainly, maybe, etc) and adverbs of comment (adverbs that are used to express opinion, such as smartly, responsibly, intelligently, etc). For e.g.:


            You are always late.

            I will probably be absent at the party.

            He acted responsibly by informing the authorities about the wallet he had found.


Note: Adverbs of frequency are used before the main verb, not the auxiliary verb.


Adverbs to end sentences

This is the most common position for adverbs in sentences.

Adverbs of manner

Adverbs of manner are used to describe how something is done, and are generally placed at the ends of sentences or clauses. For e.g.:

He wrote the answers correctly.

            His stammer caused him to speak haltingly.


Adverbs of place

Adverbs of place are used to describe the place where an event occurs, and are also positioned at the ends of sentences or clauses. For e.g.:

Father is sleeping upstairs.

            In a couple of days I will be travelling north.


Adverbs of time

Adverbs of time, as discussed earlier, can also find their ways to the ends of sentences or clauses. For e.g.:

I leave tomorrow afternoon.

Resources -> Grammar -> Adverbs



Adverbs are words that are used in sentences to describe or change the meaning of a Verb or Adjective or even another Adverb. They add description to the sentence to make it more detailed and interesting.  For example:

He walked slowly across the square.

Here, one can see that the Adverb ‘slowly’ is describing the Verb ‘walk’ by telling that the person was walking slowly.


Types of Adverbs

Adverbs are used in sentences to answer many questions about the Verbs/Adjectives/Adverbs themselves. The different types  of Adverbs are as following:


Adverb of Time

E.g.: The results were announced yesterday.

Here the Adverb is yesterday which is answering the question: When were the results announced?  ‘Announced’ is the verb in this sentence.

She will visit the hospital tomorrow.

Here the Verb is ‘visit’ and the Adverb is tomorrow as the question being asked is: Whenwill she visit the hospital?

Other examples of Adverbs of Time are – Once, Never, Tomorrow, Daily etc.


Adverb of Place

E.g.:They will meet you there.

The Adverb here is there that is specifying a place for the Verb meet and the question being answered is: Where will they meet you?

In spring, flowers bloom everywhere.

Here the Verb is bloom and the Adverb is everywhere, answering the question: Where do the flowers bloom in spring?

Other examples of Adverbs of Place are – Anywhere, Somewhere, Near, Far etc.


Adverb of Manner

E.g.: He quietly slipped away.

The Adverb here is quietly which is telling the way or manner in which the action was carried out and the Verb is slipped which is telling: How did he slip away.

She works fast

The Verb here is work and the Adverb is fast and the question being asked is: How does she work?

These Adverbs tell about the manner of the action being done, whether it is done happily or haltingly etc.  Other examples of Adverbs of Manner are – Honestly, Joyfully, Cunningly etc.


Adverb of Frequency

He likes to watch TV every day.  

Here, the Adverb is every day and it is telling about the amount of time spent in doing the Verb, which is watch. The question in this sentence is: How often does he watch TV?

They meet every week

The Adverb here is every week and it is telling the frequency and the Verb is meet. The sentence is telling us: How often do they meet?

These Adverbs are used to show the duration or timing of the action that is happening/had happened/will happen. They also tell us how often and how long these actions would be.  Other examples of Adverbs of Frequency are – Frequently, Often, Yearly, Briefly etc.


Adverbs of Degree

She almost finished the work.

The Verb here is finished and the Adverb is almost which is telling us about the amount of the work finished. The question being asked is: How much of the work did she finish?

They were completely surprised by the windfall.

The adverb here is completely which is showing the degree to which ‘they’ were surprised which is the Verb.  The question being asked here is: How much were they surprised?

The Adverbs of Degree are used to show to what extent or how much has an action been done or will be done. Other examples of these Adverbs are – Fully, Partially, Altogether etc.


Adverbs of Confirmation and Negation

They will certainly like this vase.

The Adverb here is certainly which is reinforcing the Verb like in answer to the question: Will they like this vase?

He never leaves his house.

The Adverb never is negating the Verb leave. It is answering the question in denial: Does he ever leave his house?

These Adverbs either confirm or deny the action of the Verb. They are also used to reinforce the action that is described by the Verb. Other examples of Adverbs of Confirmation are – Definitely, Absolutely, Surely etc. Examples for Adverbs of Denial or Negation are – No, Don’t, Can’t etc.


Adverbs of Comment

These Adverbs are used to make a comment on the entire sentence. They give a look at the speaker’s viewpoint or opinion about the sentence.  These Adverbs don’t just change or describe the Verb; they influence the whole sentence.

They found his secreteasily.



Unfortunately, they found his secret easily.

 Here, we see that adding the Adverb unfortunately has changed the entire tone of the sentence. Earlier, it was a passive tone, now it has a negative or disappointed tone.

Other examples of Adverbs of Comment are –

  • Luckily, the dog did not bite the children.
  • Happily, the power returned before the big match.
  • Did he honestly expect me to lie for him? (Adverb adds comment on the anger of the speaker.)
  • And they would win the world cup, obviously. (Can be said in a sarcastic as well as positive manner)


Adverbs of Conjunction 

These Adverbs are used to connect ideas or clauses, they are used to show consequence or effect or the relation between the two clauses.  To use these Adverbs to conjugate two clauses you need to use a semicolon (;) to connect them.

Clause 1: He was going for an important interview.

Clause 2: He made sure he reached on time.

He was going for an important interview; accordingly, he made sure he reached on time.

Here, we see how the Adverb ‘accordingly’ is joining the two clauses and showing the relation between them with the use of a semicolon (;).  Accordingly means- therefore or that is why.

A few other Adverbs of Conjunction are –

  • However             –  Yet, on the other hand, in spite of
  • Consequently   –  As a result, resulting in
  • Moreover           – Beside, in addition
  • Conversely         – Opposite of, contrary to


Adverbs Exercise 1
Adverbs Exercise 2

List of Adverbs, Adverb Examples


Accidentally Happily Really
Always Highly Regularly
Angrily Honestly Reluctantly
Arrogantly Hopelessly Repeatedly
Badly Immediately Rudely
Beautifully Innocently Sadly
Bitterly Instantly Safely
Blindly Interestingly Seldom
Boldly Jealously Selfishly
Bravely Joyfully Seriously
Briefly Kindly Silently
Busily Lazily Slowly
Carefully Less Softly
Certainly Loudly Sometimes
Clearly Lovingly Soon
Courageously Loyally Strictly
Cruelly Madly Suddenly
Curiously More Surprisingly
Daily Mysteriously Sweetly
Delightfully Naturally Terribly
Easily Nearly Thankfully
Enthusiastically Nervously Thoughtfully
Eventually Never Tomorrow
Exactly Obediently Unexpectedly
Excitedly Officially Unfortunately
Extremely Often Urgently
Fairly Openly Usually
Faithfully Painfully Valiantly
Fast Patiently Very
Foolishly Politely Violently
Fortunately Poorly Well
Frankly Positively Wisely
Generally Properly Yearly
Generously Quickly Yesterday
Gently Quietly
Gracefully Rarely


Comparison of Adjectives

When we want to compare two or more nouns using adjectives, we use the comparative and superlative forms of the adjective to show the comparison between the nouns.  E.g. –

Honey is sweet, sugar is sweeter but victory is the sweetest.

In this sentence, we are comparing the three nouns using the positive, comparative and superlative forms of the word ‘sweet’.


Positive Form

These are the simple adjectives that simply describe the noun without comparing it to another – big, sweet, clean, etc.

She has a big black dog.

He is a sweet boy.

The cupboard is clean.

Comparative Form

These are used when we are comparing two nouns and need to show which noun possesses the adjective or character in a greater or lesser amount, when compared with the other.  – bigger, sweeter, cleaner, etc.

I have a big dog but hers is bigger.

He is sweeter than the other boys.

The cupboard is cleaner than before.


Superlative Form

This form is used when three or more nouns are being compared and we need to show that one or more of the nouns posses the adjective or characteristic to the highest amount possible. We usually add ‘the’ before the superlative form. – biggest, sweetest, cleanest, etc.

She has the biggest dog in the colony.

He is the sweetest boy in his class.

The cupboard is the cleanest thing in the house.



 Making Comparatives and Superlatives

There are certain rules that must be followed in the making of the comparatives and superlatives of the adjectives. Not all adjectives form their comparatives and superlatives in the same way and there are also some irregular adjectives that form completely different comparative and superlative forms.


Single Syllable Words and Double Syllable Words ending with -y, -er, -ow, -le

We use ‘-er’ to make the comparative and ‘-est’ to make the superlative.














When there is a silent ‘e’ at the end of the positive form, we remove that and add ‘-er’ and ‘-est’













When the adjective ends with a ‘y’, we convert the ‘y’ into ‘i’ before adding ‘-er’ and ‘-est’












If the adjective is a small one with little stress on the vowel, we double the last consonant.
















Other Words with Two or More Syllables –

For  other double syllable words that do not end with -y, -er, -ow, -le, and for adjectives with more than two syllables we use more and most to form the comparatives and superlatives.





More Difficult

Most Difficult


More Careful

Most Careful


More Handsome

Most Handsome


More Interesting

Most Interesting

Special Adjectives

There a few adjectives that can use both ‘-er and -est’ and ‘more’ and ‘most’ to form their comparative and superlative forms. The distinction between these is that ‘-er and -est’ are used when we are comparing the noun to another noun and ‘more’ and ‘most’ is used when we are comparing characteristics within the noun.






Cleverer/ More Clever

Cleverest/Most Clever

He is cleverer than her.

He is more clever than studious.


Quieter/ More Quiet

Quietest/ Most Quiet

This is the most quiet it gets here.

This is the quietest place.


Braver/ More Brave

Bravest/ Most Brave

She is braver than other girls.

She was more brave than afraid.


Surer/ More Sure

Surest/ Most Sure

He was surer of the result than others.

You’ll be more sure about the concept after you read the chapter.



Irregular Comparisons –

These adjectives do not make their comparative and superlative forms using the rules above. Their comparative and superlative forms are different words altogether.










Far (place & time)



Far (place)



Old (people)



Little (amount)



Late (order)




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