What is an adjective?
An adjective describes a noun (a thing, place or person – dog, London, table). So an adjectives describes a noun and makes the sentence more useful and interesting.
e.g. “The dog jumped up” becomes “The brown dog jumped up”.
“The table wobbled” becomes “The old table wobbled”.
Can I use more than one adjective?
Yes, multiple adjectives can be added; you simply separate each one with a comma, ensuring you don’t have one at the end.
e.g. “The soft, hairy, brown dog jumped up” or “The old, varnished, ramshackle table wobbled”.
What is an adverb?
An adjective tells us more about a noun. An adverb tells us more about a verb (a doing word) – sing, spoke, walk.
The dog jumped up energetically.
The dog jumped up sleepily.
The dog jumped up reluctantly.
The dog jumped up angrily.
As you can see this can change the thrust of a sentence quite dramatically. Our private tutors in Cambridgeshire, often do this as a fun word game to improve and change a sentence.
Why do we have adjectives and adverbs?
Essentially, it helps us and our kids to be clear in writing.
If we compare “The dog jumped up” to “The old, grey, matted dog jumped up reluctantly” or “The lithe, bouncy, dog jumped up energetically” we get a very different meaning in the sentence.
How can I help my kids write better?
Often when our private tutors and I work with kids, we get them to play around with various options either in their heads, on paper or on whiteboards. Often the first idea is not the best one. Our tutors also encourage our students to use a thesaurus to look up ‘better’ or more appropriate word choices.
A great game to play is where one person starts off saying ‘My Aunt went to Paris and brought home a…. and the next person adds an adjective.
Person 1: My aunt went to Paris and brought home a tree.
Person 2: My aunt went to Paris and brought home a large tree.
Person 3: My aunt went to Paris and brought home a large, overhanging tree.
Person 4 or back to Person 1; My aunt went to Paris and brought back a large, ornamental, overhanging tree.
until you run out of ideas or can’t remember them all.
This also serves as a memory game which is also good for improving working memory (which can be an issue with dyslexia).
This can be adapted for adverbs too. Linking a string of adverbs is less usual in writing so it’s more useful to think of different adverbs to change the meaning.
Person 1: The man walked into the room.
Person 2: The man walked extravagantly into the room.
Person 3: The man walked softly into the room.
Person 4: The man walked sternly into the room.
Person 1: The man walked timidly into the room.
Yes, I know this is another one of my made up words, but like numerateness it fits the bill!
Children need to know how to construct sentences and also understand what the component parts of a sentence are. There is a new focus on English Grammar across primary and increasingly secondary schools too.
Reading to your children and encouraging them to read themselves too (especially as they get older) is a great way to boost children’s vocabulary and help reinforce how sentences are constructed. A trial of children reading ebooks which shows that reading attainment, especially in boys, increases with the use of ebooks. Take a look here.
Getting help from a private tutor in Cambridgeshire.
If you would like further information on our private tutors in Cambridge, Ely and the surrounding areas, there’s more information on the Tutor My Kids website here or you can call Rachel Law for a chat on 01223 858421.
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