Adverbs

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Hey. I’m Marlon James from the English department, and the subject of this microlecture is the adverb. Adverbs like adjectives are sentence modifiers. The big muscular horse ran quickly. Except adverbs, instead of making a sentence more clear, actually makes it more vague. How about instead, the stallion galloped. We get rid of big and muscular because with big and muscular we’re not sure if its a Clydesdale or a thoroughbred. And with galloped, its more specific than ran quickly. Four students in a room, that’s four different definitions of run quickly. So as you write, think of the ways in which your sentences are actually becoming less clear, not more, and nine times out of ten the guilty party is that nasty little adverb. Adverbs are your enemy. Use them as little as possible. Good luck, and write well.