In the following sentences:

  • I can move quicker than she can.
  • She moves quickly, but I can move quicker still.
  • Between us, I move quickest.
  • Between us, I move quicker.
  • I am even quicker than she.

I am apparently trying to modify the verb "move" with the adjectives "quicker" and "quickest".

It seems to me that I have been speaking like this all my life, but just now I've been told that adjectives may not modify verbs, and that these sentences are grammatical garbage. Yet, when it comes to:

I can move quicker than she can.


I can move more quickly than she can.

The first sentence sounds just as good as the second, to me, at least. Cannot the word "quicker" serve as both adjective and adverb?

  • I suppose it all depends who can SHOUT LOUDEST. It seems self-evident to me that if loudest is used adverbially to modify shout, then in that context it must be an adverb. It's obviously adjectival if we ask who has the LOUDEST VOICE, but that's another question. (This is my roundabout way of saying I think this might be a duplicate. The short answer is "YES" :) Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 1:57
  • As far as I can see, you're modifying the verb "move" with the adverbs "quicker" and "quickest". The adverbial use of "quick" is labeled "informal" in the dictionary I consulted, but "informal" is a long way from "grammatical garbage." Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 2:02
  • @FumbleFingers, I asked this question in precisely this fashion because I used exactly those examples in an answer I put out, and someone downvoted my use of an adjective to modify a verb. I am trying to get clarification on the principle in such as way as to get the downvoter to reconsider his action. Thanks for the YES, by the way. Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 17:04
  • Interesting, @FumbleFingers. I've never heard the term "flat adverb". Learn something new every day! And thankyou. For that as well as the phrase "pedantic prescriptivism". That perfectly describes me on the odd occasion, and sounds delicious. Well said! Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 17:50
  • @ Cyberherbalist: I've always thought people who complain about usages like "Come quick!" (saying it should be quickly) are the most irritating kind of pedants (I count you as one of the least irritating type of pedant! :). But I didn't know myself until I read it here on ELU a few months ago that they're called "flat adverbs". Maybe not every day, but I do learn the odd new thing every now and then! Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 0:27

2 Answers 2


The issue here is that some adjectives can be used as adverbs to modify verbs. While most adjectives get -ly when turned into adverbs, a few do not. And in some cases they can be used without -ly but only in a somewhat less formal context. I should say quick (and quicker) can be used as adverbs informally, but perhaps not in formal prose. The adjective fast, however, can be used as an adverb even in (fairly?) formal prose:

Germany moved fast and secured the fortress before the French could intervene.

  • You need but look at the the NP “shouting louder (than before, than the next fellow, so we can hear you, etc)” to see that loud is there acting as an adverb in the comparative degree. People get far too hung up on what some little grammar-school dictionary pretends that this or that word “is” that they lose track of the only thing that counts: it’s what a word does that matters, and the only thing that matters.
    – tchrist
    Commented Feb 7, 2014 at 22:15
  • @tchrist: Yes, although one must not take that maxim to extremes; both form and function must be taken into consideration, usually. Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 16:56

Yes , there can which can both be used as Adjective or Adverb.

1.Adverbs are modifiers or descriptive words, phrases, or clauses that add detail to your sentences.Adverbs are words that describe verbs.

2.Adjectives describe, quantify, or identify pronouns and nouns and answer the following questions: what kind? how many? how much? and which one?. Adjectives are words that describe nouns.

Here’s an example with easy (adjective) and easily (adverb):

(a)The English test was easy.

(b)I easily finished the English test in 45 minutes.

You can see that easy describes the test (n.) whereas easily describes the action of finishing (v.) the test.

A lot of adjectives and adverbs have the same meaning – for example, easily means “an action done in an easy way.”

  • 1
    The question asks whether a single word can act as both an adjective and an adverb so your example of the two different words "easy" and "easily" does not answer the question. Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 11:05

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