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In the following sentence, "he" is the subject, "stood" is a conjugated verb, "brazenly" is an adverb, and "naked" is an adjective.

He stood, brazenly naked.

What confuses me is that "brazenly" is a "manner adverb" which means that it is saying "in a brazen manner."

But it is not the verb ("to stand") that is being done brazenly. (In that case, it would be "he stood brazenly, naked.")

Instead, it is the nakedness that is brazen. However, in this sentence, "naked" is being used as an adjective- and I do not think that adjectives can be modified by adverbs.

Does it have something to do with the fact that some of the information is parenthetical? Or because of the word order?

I would appreciate some analysis/explanation.

The same thing is happening in this sentence too.

She resisted, defiantly rebellious.

(It is the rebelliousness that is defiant, not the resistance)

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    Brazenly refers to naked…what’s unclear about it? Adverb , a word that describes an adjective, a verb, or another adverb.
    – user 66974
    Mar 14, 2023 at 15:02
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    Adverbs commonly modify adjectives. Mar 14, 2023 at 15:02
  • He stood [in a] brazenly naked [manner].
    – Lambie
    Mar 14, 2023 at 15:47
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    It's the nakedness that's being characterised as "brazen", not the way he stood. The adverbial usage for that second case would be He brazenly stood naked. Compare He stood completely naked, noting that He completely stood naked isn't a valid English utterance. Mar 14, 2023 at 16:04
  • Look at this question about "stand taller".
    – Stuart F
    Mar 14, 2023 at 16:26

1 Answer 1

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Despite the name, adverbs are not only for verbs:

An adverb is a word or an expression that generally modifies a verb, adjective, another adverb, determiner, clause, preposition, or sentence.

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