Grammar Guru: I especially like/ I like especially

Last week the Grammar Guru question was: Which two are correct?

  1. Many emails are written needlessly. (100%, 9 Votes) = correct
  2. Many emails are needless. (67%, 6 Votes) = correct
  3. Many emails are written needless. (0%, 0 Votes) = incorrect
  4. Many emails are needlessly. (0%, 0 Votes) = incorrect

Why didn’t everybody choose “Many emails are needless,” the shorter version?  I think it’s because the verb “to be” takes adjectives, not adverbs, which is tricky! Other verbs take adverbs, even when they are in the passive, like here.

A classic drill: Take a list of verbs and adverbs that go together: “compete successfully; laugh loudly;  sleep soundly” and make a sentence related to them. Then turn the verb into a noun, and the adverb into an adjective, so: “successful competition/competitors; a loud laugh; sound sleep”, and rephrase the sentence.

This week’s question again invites discussion. It’s about word order. Which one sounds better?

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Teaching English for business communication skills, writing online for learners, translating, sailing whenever I can, from Washington, D.C.

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