I really really really want to know why. Why do people say we can’t use adverbs? I’ve read books and they use adverbs. What’s with adverbs really? By the way, i love you blog—it’s been said many times already but there’s nothing else I could do to make you happy but know it. - drowningchimes
Do not believe anything that tells you you can’t use this or that in your writing. There is not, by any means, a right way to write. You can use adverbs in your writing. Adverbs are a fundamental part of speech, no different than any other.
The problem comes when people use them a lot. When you use any word or type of word continuously, it shows. It gets repetitive. It gets annoying. They also happen to be the part of speech most likely to clutter your sentence to no avail. They can weaken your prose:
- They can be reduntant. E.g: “I hate these idiots!” He yelled angrily. You have a strong verb right here, no need to use “angrily”, I got the idea he was angry.
- They can prop up a weak verb. Let’s take a look at “to boldly go”. Okay, split infinitive. What I mean is that just saying “to go” sorta sounds bland. You may think the adverb is necessary. But no. The verb just happens to be weak, generic, bland. How about replacing the verb? “To venture”, “To explore”. These verbs are more specific, more evocative so to speak.
- The speech tags deal. We go back to talking about “said”. Instead of picking some pompous word to replace said, we spice it up with an adverb. This is often (yet, not always) unecessary. Most of the time, you can let the dialogue speak for itself. Or you can use more things to explain how the characters are saying it, if it’s not clear. “I am dying here!” Kyle waved his arms in the air, trying to make his friends notice him.
- You (probably are) telling instead of showing.
Before using an adverb, you can ask yourself these questions:
1) Does it change the word it modifies? Does it make the verb or adjective mean something drastically different?
2) Does it convey some vital piece of information in a way that’s better or more evocative than real description or a stronger verb by itself?
It’s a thing on style, however. If you like to use lots of adverbs, and feel like they’re necessary, go for it.
In the end, yes, books have adverbs. You can use adverbs. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t. Do ask yourself if the message you’re trying to get across with your writing is being sent the best way it can be.
We hope this answered thy question regarding “thou,” “thee,” “thy,” and “thine.” If thou has any further questions on this topic, tweet us @The_YUNiversity. Cheers.
Apart(adv): Separated by distance or time; into pieces or parts; separately.
- Even when we’re far apart, Skype brings us together.
- My brother and I were born five years apart.
- He ripped the book apart.
- What makes you think you have the right to keep us apart?
A part (n): A piece of something that forms the whole of something; a portion of a whole.
- I refuse to be a part of something that will cause you unhappiness.
- Come on! At least give me a part of your sandwich!
- Once you are a part of the club, you have a lifetime membership.
- We’ve all had a part to play in this.
Writers, when penning scenes in which two or more characters are of the same gender, often encounter the problem of how to distinguish one person from the other. If everyone is a “she” or a “he,” how is the audience to know which character is doing or saying what and when?
As I’ve often noticed in slash fanfic, writers have the tendency to twist their prose into knots, trying to accomplish this in a “creative” fashion. If I had a nickel for every time Tony Stark was referred to as “the billionaire,” or “the resident genius” in fanfic, I’d be sipping Mai Tais off the coast of Florida instead of running this blog. “But Dr. E,” you might say, “if I don’t use descriptors, how will my readers ever understand who’s doing what in my story?”
Well, here are a few tips that may help you:
You know the grammar in this country has really gone down hill.
We saw a post from fycd yesterday about writing clearly when there are several subjects using the same pronouns (it, they, she, he, xe, etc.) around. It can be confusing. With that in mind, here are three excellent resources for pronouns and antecedent reference.
Subordinating an idea means that you consider it less important than another idea. A sentence that contains a primary idea and subordinate idea(s) can act as a good thesis statement because it can suggest a focus for a paper and provide some of the reasoning behind your views. Subordinating ideas also helps you make smooth transitions between sentences and paragraphs.
Suppose you want to combine these ideas:
Fewer and fewer oysters are left in the Chesapeake Bay. Increasing numbers of fishermen tong for oysters during the bleak winter months.
You can combine the statements to emphasize the increasing number of fishermen (which becomes your primary idea):
Increasing numbers of fishermen tong for oysters during the bleak winter months, so fewer and fewer oysters are left in the Chesapeake Bay.
You could also write the sentence to have your primary idea be the fact that fewer oysters are left:
Fewer and fewer oysters are left in the Chesapeake Bay because increasing numbers of fishermen tong for oysters during the bleak winter months.
In both examples, the primary idea could stand alone as a complete sentence, whereas the subordinate ideas begin with subordinating conjunctions “so” and “because”. These words indicate that what follows receives less weight in the sentence.
Some Subordinating Conjunctions:
Contrast: although, even though, while
Degree: inasmuch as, insofar as, to the extent that
Cause: because, since, as
Time: when, whenever, while, once, before, after, since, until, as long as, as soon as
Condition: if, when, provided that, in case, assuming that, as long as
Place: where, wherever
Negative Condition: unless
Alternative Condition: whether or not
ekmw asked: Excuse me, I have one tiny question. I searched your Google bar, and didn’t find what I’m looking for. When is it more appropriate to use ate VS eaten? One of my friends asked, and I was literally stumped. Thanks, WW!
It might help to know that to eat (or just plain eat) is an irregular verb in English. It might also help to learn some vocabulary terms regarding verb conjugation, so we’ll do that as we go along.