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Adverb - Common Errors / Mistakes


Rules:

COMMON ERRORS IN THE USE OF ADVERBS

1 Very, Much

The four facts to be noted are: (a) "Much" qualifies adjectives or adverbs in the Comparative degree. (b) "Very" qualifies them in the Positive degree. (c) "Much" is more commonly used than "very" for qualifying Past participles. (d) "Very" is used for qualifying Present participles.

Erroneous Sentences:

  1. I am very surprised at the news.

  2. This news is much surprising.

  3. I am much sorry to hear this.

  4. I accept your offer much gladly.

  5. He is very more industrious than you.

  6. The air is very hotter today than yesterday.

Corrected Sentences:

  1. I am much surprised at the news.

  2. This news is very surprising.

  3. I am very sorry to hear this.

  4. I accept your offer very gladly.

  5. He is much more industrious than you.

  6. The air is much hotter today than yesterday.

2 Too

This adverb means more than enough and should not be used in the sense of "very" or "much."

Erroneous Sentences:

  1. My son's health is too good.

  2. Sugar is too sweet.

  3. He was too distressed at his friend's death.

  4. A cow's milk is too wholesome.

  5. Your spelling is too accurate.

Corrected Sentences:

  1. My son's health is very good.

  2. Sugar is very sweet.

  3. He was much distressed at his friend's death.

  4. A cow's milk is very wholesome.

  5. Your spelling is very accurate.

3 Quite

This adverb means "completely," "perfectly," and should not be used for "very."

Erroneous Sentences:

  1. This bridge is quite dangerous.

  2. Bad water is quite unwholesome.

  3. I was quite sorry to hear of his illness.

Corrected Sentences:

  1. This bridge is very dangerous.

  2. Bad water is very unwholesome.

  3. I was very sorry to hear of his illness.

Note: "Quite" is sometimes used with Past participles in the sense of "much," as in "quite delighted," "quite distressed," "quite frightened."

4. Little, A Little

"Little" is a Negative adverb and means not much or not at all. "A little" is an Affirmative adverb and means to a slight extent or for a short time.

Erroneous Sentences:

  1. I was little vexed at having failed.

  2. He was a little pleased at his failure.

Corrected Sentences:

  1. I was a little vexed at having failed.

  2. He was little pleased at his failure.

375. By and By

This adverb means after an interval and should not be used in the sense of "little by little," "gradually," or "one by one."

Erroneous Sentences:

  1. The visitors went away by and by.

  2. He recovered his health by and by.

  3. The water all flowed out by and by.

Corrected Sentences:

  1. The visitors went away one by one.

  2. He gradually recovered his health.

  3. The water all flowed out little by little.

5 Of Course

This adverbial phrase signifies in the course of nature. It should not be used loosely in the sense of certainty in general.

Erroneous Sentences:

  1. Of course, she sings very well.

  2. Did he win a prize last term? Of course, he did.

Corrected Sentences:

  1. She certainly sings very well.

  2. Did he win a prize last term? Certainly, he did.

376a. Yes, No

If the answer to a question is "yes," the verb following must not be negative. If the answer is "no," the verb following must not be affirmative.

Question: Is the sky cloudy today?Correct Answers:

  • Yes, it is cloudy.

  • No, it is not cloudy.

Incorrect Answers:

  • Yes, it is not cloudy.

  • No, it is cloudy.

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