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25 votes

Why do we say 'aim high' instead of 'aim highly'?

"Aim high" isn't telling you in what manner to aim, but where to aim. "Aim high, above the basket, in order to have the basketball reach the basket." "Aim carefully" ...
David Peel's user avatar
12 votes

Why do we say 'aim high' instead of 'aim highly'?

It's not an idiom, it's just a directional phrase, similar to "turn left", "go West", or "look up". Here, "high" is indeed an adverb, acting as a direction; you ...
JounceCracklePop's user avatar
9 votes

Why do we say 'aim high' instead of 'aim highly'?

It's idiomatic, one of a family of idioms including "think big", "act bold" and (perhaps) "try hard", in which the word "high/big/hard" serves figuratively in ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
8 votes
Accepted

drive slowly or drive more slowly?

It depends on context. Drive slowly would be appropriate if driving at a normal speed is unsafe, for example in a zone where pedestrian traffic and vehicular traffic are both permitted. Drive more ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 7,567
7 votes

adjective (happy) or adverb (happily)

Your example would be My parents are very happily married. Because that is the common form of that phrase and happily is the adverb form. But, nuance.... My parents are very happy married. works ...
DTRT's user avatar
  • 5,069
6 votes
Accepted

adjective (happy) or adverb (happily)

You should use "happily". This adverb modifies the adjective "married". Adjectives modify nouns; adverbs modify verbs, adjectives and other structures. So you need an adverb ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
5 votes

sings here only on Saturdays

Sentence 1 No, He sings here only on Saturdays means that if he is singing here, it must be Saturday. In other words, he never sings on other days of the week. It doesn't tell us anything about how ...
Friendly Racoon's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

"The layer of haze starts out tenuous": why not "tenuously"?

An adjective can be a "subject complement". If I say "The elephant looks big," then big tells us something about the elephant, not its eyesight. In this case, "tenuous" ...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
  • 15.4k
4 votes

Which one is correct? "decide suddenly to stop" or "decide to suddenly stop"

In the first you "suddenly stop". In the second you "decide suddenly". So the adverb modifies a different verb. The two verbs are chained together, so we understand that a sudden ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
3 votes
Accepted

Meaning of "To think of those old tin-type times about turned my head"

In American English about is colloquial (in this usage) and means "nearly, almost, quite". It can be used to add color and emphasis (a bit of exaggeration) to a story someone is telling: He ...
TimR on some device's user avatar
3 votes

Run Into vs run onto

There is no specfic reason, this sense developed from earlier senses of into, and is now one of the secondary meanings of the word. You could explore the sense development of "into" from a ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
3 votes
Accepted

Kind or kindly ways?

The example is a slightly bizarre / "pathological"1 one. Strictly speaking, kind and kindly are both syntactically / semantically valid choices for both positions. But although I can't say ...
FumbleFingers's user avatar
3 votes

Meaning of 'as saying'

You need to consider 'quoted as saying' as a complete, fixed-phrase, idiom, and that 'as' in this and similar uses is equivalent to 'to be'. It is being used as (!) a preposition showing the ...
Michael Harvey's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Syntax question. Why does this sentence sound awkward when I move the adverbial phrase?

Adverbs modify verbs. This statement is correct, but misleadingly incomplete with respect to English. Adverbs can modify verbs, but also verb phrases. In English, but not in some other languages, ...
Vegawatcher's user avatar
  • 1,407
3 votes

Adjective phrase or adverb phrase

ate can be both transitive and intransitive. In this case, it is the latter. in silence is adverbial here modifying Norma's eating manner.
Seowjooheng Singapore's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Is "targetedly" (i.e. the adverb of targeted) a word?

'Targetedly' is not a recognised adverb. Try: Deliberately Intentionally Willfully Purposefully Consciously Otherwise, just use 'targeted' as the verb: He targeted the football at his teammate's ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 106k
3 votes

drive slowly or drive more slowly?

The adverb slowly is commonly used to modify the verb drive, and I see no reasons why it can't be used without being modified itself.
Seowjooheng Singapore's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Confusing Components in a Sentence: adverbial modifier OR object in a prepositional phrase

And all without the government having to spend any money up-front, which is amazing. I add to what @BillJ said. The gerund-participle phrase is the predicate of the nonfinite clause: the government ...
Seowjooheng Singapore's user avatar
2 votes

Is the phrase "one too many times" an adverb? If it is, what kind of adverb is it?

The phrase is an adverbial: it addresses when something has occurred. Taking each of the words into separate consideration, they may have other parts of speech. "Too" is an adverb, for ...
Biblasia's user avatar
  • 1,532
2 votes

I had just missed your call

Unfortunately 2) has no time frame reference. Do you mean from the time John walked in or from the time the sentence is spoken? In any case, unless there is some other context, native English speakers ...
Peter Jennings's user avatar
2 votes

Phrasal verbs 101

'Wake up' and 'turn up' are certainly have "logical foundations". Consider what "turn the radio" would possibly mean without the adverb of direction - would it mean rotate the ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 106k
2 votes

Any difference between "walking slow" and "walking slowly"?

There's no difference. In He walks so slow, "slow" is an adverb formed by conversion from the adjective "slow". The plain form, "slow", is not acceptable to everyone, ...
BillJ's user avatar
  • 17.2k
2 votes

"The layer of haze starts out tenuous": why not "tenuously"?

The most common situation where an adjective following a verb should not be changed into an adverb is when the adjective is the subject complement of a linking verb. You can tell this case because ...
Vegawatcher's user avatar
  • 1,407
2 votes

"The layer of haze starts out tenuous": why not "tenuously"?

The sentence is parallel to This morning I awoke hungry, A week after the accident, his memory returned intact, Having spent the day digging ditches, she arrived home exhausted, and even The soup ...
Paul Tanenbaum's user avatar
2 votes

Syntax question. Why does this sentence sound awkward when I move the adverbial phrase?

[1] The dog roams the streets [every day]. [2] *The dog roams [every day] the streets. [1] is fine, but [2] is unacceptable because an adjunct can't be inserted between a verb and its direct object.
BillJ's user avatar
  • 17.2k
2 votes

Why does this native english speaker on TV use Present Perfect in her sentence that contains "years ago"? --- "She has given up years ago."

It makes sense that it's in the present perfect tense. I.E., Linda has given up that habit years ago, and she still has kept to that resolution, in the present: "She's," meaning, "She ...
DrMoishe Pippik's user avatar
2 votes

Why does this native english speaker on TV use Present Perfect in her sentence that contains "years ago"? --- "She has given up years ago."

... she's given up years ago, years ago... I think it can be explained by the semantic intent of "years ago, years ago". The speaker isn't placing the act of giving up smoking on a ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 129k
1 vote
Accepted

In this context "Possibly" is modifying what?

Possibly is a 'modifier of uncertainty'* [a term I just made up.] Like 'potentially', 'perhaps', 'might' or 'maybe' it's one of those words** someone uses when they think or estimate a situation has a ...
DoneWithThis.'s user avatar
1 vote

Adverbs in mid postition and end position

Surely, certainly, seldom, always, and hopefully are just a few of the adverbs that can be placed before verbs, though some of them aren’t modifying the verb they proceed. In He seldom drinks tea, ...
Paul Tanenbaum's user avatar
1 vote
Accepted

He is in politics some

Some is an adverb there and Merriam-Webster has this (AE usage): 2 a : in some degree : SOMEWHAT felt some better b : to some degree or extent : a little the cut bled some I need to work on it some ...
philphil's user avatar
  • 1,511

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