• All About Adjectives, Adverbs and a Food You Literally Can’t Overcook

    This week’s riveting lesson takes a look at how to add enthusiasm and excitement to our speech with adjectives and adverbs.  This is especially helpful for those of us that need to do presentations at work or school, or need to pitch an idea to our company.  Proper use of adjectives and adverbs also makes our English sound more fluent and our stories more interesting.  So, if you literally can’t wait a second longer, let’s begin!


    Note about ‘literally’-while it’s formal definition is ‘in a literal manner of sense/exactly,’ people very commonly use this word informally–for emphasis, while not being literally true.  


    • Modify nouns
    • Possible endings: -0us, -ent, -ful, -y, -ed, and more.
    • Example: I am envious of her apartment.
    • Often follow linking verbs to describe the subject of the sentence:
      • Be: She is happy today.
      • Look: You look tired.
      • Smell: Dinner smells good!
      • Taste: The soup tastes delicious.
      • Sound: That band sounds horrible.
      • Feel: It feels warm outside.

    Many of my students have questions about adjectives that end in -ed and -ing because they sound like conjugated verbs.  For example, I asked a student, “How was school?” and they replied, “I was so boring!”  Was the student a boring person?  No!  He was so bored.  Find out why by watching this exciting video:

    I.  Use what you’ve learned to choose the correct answer. Remember to write your answers in comments and we will respond.

    1. My English classes via Skype are very (interested/interesting).
    2. The students are never (bored/boring) in our classes.
    3. I was (irritated/irritating) that I had to wait 2 weeks to see the movie.
    4. He was (embarrassed/embarrassing) that he hadn’t studied his English adjectives.
    5. The news that the economy is (improved/improving) was good news to everyone.
    6. We are (excited/exciting) that our new video is finished.
    7. I think that animation can be very (entertained/entertaining).
    8. We plan on having a (relaxed/relaxing) weekend.
    9. This month’s results are (encouraged/encouraging).
    10. I hope this lesson wasn’t (confused/confusing) for you.

    Adjective Exercises:

    Think you’ve got it?  Try the quiz here!

    Have you ever heard the saying, ‘the rich get richer while the poor get poorer’?  In this sentence, the adjectives ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ become nouns.  Find out how this works with the following video:

    II.  Time to practice again!  Change the following sentences to use the adjective as a noun. Write your answers in comments and we will respond.

    1. The people who live in Spain go to bed very late.
    2. It is good to take care of people that are old.
    3. The worst season for people without a home is the winter.
    4. Things that are unknown, like God and space are very interesting to me.
    5. I like dark beer but most people prefer light beer.

    Try out the full lesson, including a exercise about gentrification in Rio here!

    Ok, we’re finally moving on to adverbs!

    Adverbs: (adjective)+ly

    • Modify verbs: She spoke confidently when she pitched her idea to the team.
    • Change or Modify adjectives: Apartments in Amsterdam are outrageously expensive.
    • Alter or Modify other adverbs: She spoke extremely confidently.
    • Common irregulars:
      • Well: He did remarkably well on his exam.
      • Fast: People don’t walk fast enough on the sidewalk.
      • Hard: They work hard to improve their English.

    Now, have a look at another enormously helpful video about using adverbs to modify adjectives, and complete the short exercise that follows.  Remember to always write your responses in the comments section.  We’re more than happy to respond with corrections and/or explanations!

    III.  Choose the correct adverb to modify the adjective below.

    1. “How was the test?” “Not good, it was (absolutely/really) difficult.”
    2. “Are you hungry?” “Yes. I’m (absolutely/very) starving.”
    3. “Did you like the movie?” “No. I thought is was (totally/very) awful.”
    4. “Did you have a good vacation?” “Yes. It was (really/very) fantastic.”
    5. “Do you like talking about business?” “Yes. I think it is (very/absolutely) interesting.”

    Check out the full lesson with the incredibly awe-inspiring TED Talk here!


    Now, listen for examples of the adjectives and adverbs that you’ve learned about today.  Fill in the blanks about this extraordinary video.  Don’t forget to share your answers and/or questions with us in the comments section, and we’ll respond!

    1. Most foods we cook require _______ attention to cooking temperature and time in order to get ____ results.
    2. There’s one food that’s __________ _________.
    3. Like their higher protein content and ______ flavor, they are ______ in another way.
    4. Mushrooms have a _____ texture over a ____ range of cooking times and temperatures.
    5. Steamed them in a basket in a _____ Dutch oven.
    6. The tenderloin, portobello and zucchini required 186, 199 and 239 grams of force ____________ to be compressed 3mm.
    7. The tasters noted that all of these samples were ______.
    8. This picture changed ____________ after five more minutes of steaming.
    9. Tasters found the tenderloin tough and leathery, and the zucchini was ______ ____.
    10. The portobello on the other hand remained _______ _________.
    11. Eventually turning a ________ 293% tougher, while the zucchini decreased in firmness by 83% and turned _____ and _____________.
    12. Tasters still found the mushrooms to be ________ ______.
    13. Chitin is ____ ____-______.
    14. This ______ structure allows us to _______ sauté mushrooms for just a few minutes, or roast them for the better part of an hour.
    15. All the while, achieving ____-_______, _________ ______ specimens.



    Find all of the adjectives and adverbs hidden throughout this post, and complete the table with the adjective or adverb and a creative sentence of your own!


    If you want to really improve your English speaking, try a class with LOI English, and soon enough you’ll be speaking English quite fluently!

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