: Business Grammar Builder. : (.. .. )


: 4302

Unit 31 adjectives and adverbs


 Adjectives and adverbs A


 An adjective describes a noun. Last year we had a significant increase in profits.


 An adverb says how (quickly), when (tomorrow) or where (over there)

something happens.


 Adverbs can come in different positions. 'How' adverbs usually come after the verb. We planned everything very carefully. The economy is growing slowly.


Frequency adverbs come after be and auxiliaries, but before other verbs.

She is never late. She has never arrived late. She never goes there.

Other 'when' adverbs can come before or after the verb. Last year our profits

rose slightly. Our profits rose slightly last year.

If we have several adverbs together, the usual word order is: HOW - WHERE - WHEN

Our profits rose slightly in Germany last year. (NOT lost year in Germany)


 As well as describing verbs, adverbs can also describe adjectives and other adverbs. It's relatively expensive, (adverb + adjective) He arrived extremely late, (adverb + adverb)


 Form of adverbs B


 Many 'how' adverbs are formed by adding -ly to an adjective. A few add -y - ally, or -ily, depending on the spelling of the original adjective.


slow - slowly slight - slightly careful - carefully


full - fully dramatic - dramatically steady - steadily


 Some adverbs and adjectives have the same form. Examples include fast hard, early, late, high, low, right, wrong, daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly. This is a fast machine, (adj.) This machine goes very fast, (adv.)



Companies have been slimming down to improve their efficiency.(=if a company slims down or is slimmed down, it makes itself smaller by getting rid of some of its workers)


 Note that the adverb hardly is not related to the meaning of hard. It's so noisy

I can hardly think, ('hardly' = almost not)


 Note that good is an adjective and well is an adverb. She's a good negotiator.

She negotiates well.


 Gradable and non-gradable adjectives C


 Look at these sequences:


boiling ----- hot, warm, mild, cool, cold ----- freezing excellent/fantastic ----- good, bad ----- awful/terrible enormous ----- large/big, small, tiny ----- minute

 Adjectives in the middle of the sequence are 'gradable'. We can make them stronger or weaker with words like very, a bit, quite, reasonably, relatively, extremely. The weather was quite hot/cold. The meal was very good/bad.


 Adjectives at the end of the sequence are 'non-gradable' or 'extreme'. With these adjectives we use absolutely. The talk was absolutely excellent/awful.


 Order of adjectives D


 When we have more than one adjective we use this order:


Opinion wonderful, lovely, nice, difficult, important

Size large, small, long, short


Other qualities cheap, clean, quiet, fast


Age new, old, second-hand


Shape, pattern, colour circular, flat, striped, red, black


Origin, nationality French, Japanese, American, Scandinavian


Material wooden, metal, plastic, steel


Type (what kind?) economic (policy), investment (bank), face (cream)


 Words in the final two categories can be nouns used as adjectives.




Mary applied for the post but she was turned down.(=to refuse to do what someone asks or suggest)


 Here are some examples:


a 10-page American legal contract (size, nationality, type)


a fast new sports car (quality, age, type)


an efficient worldwide distribution network (opinion, size, type)

a cheap clean energy source (quality, quality, type)


 Adjectives ending -ing and -ed E


 Adjectives ending -ing describe something we are reacting to (outside us).

Adjectives ending -ed describe our feelings and reactions (inside us). The meeting was very interesting. I was interested in your idea about outsourcing.


 Other pairs like this are: bored/boring, confused/confusing, excited/exciting, fascinated'/fascinating, surprised/surprising, tired/tiring

I found her comments quite surprising. I was surprised by her comments.




I can check you out on cash register 5.(=to add up prices of a customers goods in a shop and take payment for them)




Exercise 1 (A, B)


Complete the second sentence so it has a similar meaning to the first sentence.


1 There was a slight fall in profits in April.

In April profits ..... .

2 There was a dramatic improvement in our share price last month.

Last month our share price ..... .

3 There has been a significant drop in demand for oil over the last few months.

Demand for oil ..... over the last few months.

4 Let's have a brief pause for coffee.

Let's ..... for coffee.

5 There has been a steady improvement in the inflation figures.

The inflation figures ..... .

6 There was a slow recovery in consumer confidence last year.

Consumer confidence ..... last year.

7 There has been a gradual rise in unemployment.

Unemployment ..... .

8 There has been considerable growth in Korean GDP over recent years.

Over recent years Korean GDP ..... .


Exercise 2 (C, E)

Underline the correct adjective.


1 I couldn't do any more work last night. I was just so tired/tiring.

2 I don't think the audience liked the talk. They looked bored/boring.

3 I don't think the audience liked the talk. It was a bit bored/boring.

4 Your new multimedia project sounds really excited/exciting.

5 You look worried/worrying. Is anything the matter?

6 Their profits last year were extremely large/enormous.

7 Their profits last year were absolutely large/enormous.

8 The sales figures last month were very bad/terrible.

9 Warsaw is absolutely cold/freezing at this time of year.




Well done, people! Keep up the good work.(=continue to work hard and well)


Exercise 3 (D)

Put each group of words into the best order.


1 old-fashioned a large machine cutting .....

2 wooden square two cartons .....

3 new package an amazing software .....

4 period a transition three-month difficult .....

5 chips computer Taiwanese high-quality .....

6 a strategy well-planned investment .....

7 access cheap Internet high-speed .....

8 a new revolutionary computer handheld .....

9 a powder washing new wonderful .....

10 awful plastic cheap souvenirs .....


Exercise 4 (A, B)

Complete the sentences with a word from the list below. At the end of each sentence write adj. (adjective) or adv. (adverb) to show how the word in the gap is being used. good well fast fast hard hard hardly late late monthly


1 We're going to introduce a ..... newsletter for all employees.

2 I'm sorry, your goods are going to arrive about a week ..... .

3 That flight time is too ..... .Haven't you got anything earlier?

4 Everything's fine. The meeting is going very ..... .

5 I was so tired that I could ..... keep my eyes open.

6 The hotel was ..... , but we didn't like the food in the restaurant.

7 It's a ..... choice, but I think Carla is the better candidate.

8 I had to work very ..... to get everything finished on time.

9 I'm sorry, I don't understand. You're talking too ..... .

10 We'll have to make a ..... exit if things start going wrong.



The workers decided to sit in until their demands were met.(=to take part in a protest in which people sit down, especially to block a road or other public place)


| |