Flat Adverbs

Hello, Write Owls. Welcome to Day Six of Grammar 110. Today we are talking about flat adverbs.

Flat adverbs are a common writing mistake. It’s so common I wanted to give it its own lesson. Flat adverbs begin with confusion between adjectives and adverbs. Adjectives describe nouns, pronouns, and sometimes other adjectives. Adverbs describe verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. Some adjectives can be modified to become adverbs.

Examples:

He is a quick runner. (Quick describes the noun runner, so it is an adjective.)

He runs quickly. (Quickly describes the verb runs, so it is an adverb. It tells how he runs.)

A flat adverb is when a writer uses the adjective form instead of the adverb form.

Example:

He runs quick. (Quick is an adjective, yet its function in this sentence is to describe runs, making it an adverb. The correct form is quickly.)

Here are some more examples of flat adverbs and how to correct them.

Incorrect: She did good on her exam. (Good modifies did, so it’s supposed to be an adverb.)

Correct: She did well on her exam. (Well is the adverb form of good. Well can also be an adjective when referring to a person’s health.)

Correct: She did a good job on her exam. (Good is modifying the noun job.)

Incorrect: Drive safe.

Correct: Drive safely.

That’s all I have on flat adverbs. If you pay attention to whether the word is modifying a noun or a verb, you’ll know whether to use the adjective form or the adverb form. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments down below, and I’ll answer them either as a reply or in my Q&A on Saturday.

For practice, determine which of these sentences is correct and which ones have flat adverbs. You can leave your answers in the comments, and I’ll check them.

1. He solved the problem quick.

2. She swam rapidly across the pool.

3. We happily got accepted at the same school.

4. They built the new school good.

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