NCO Primary Leadership Subjects
We create confusion in the minds of our readers if we fail to arrange our sentences
logically. This is especially true when we use modifiers and pronouns incorrectly or
fail to tie our thoughts together through logical sentence structure.
Modifiers expand sentences by describing or limiting nouns and verbs. They add
detail to what we know about the subject or object of a sentence.
The simplest modifiers are adjectives and adverbs. Adjectives qualify or limit nouns
and pronouns while adverbs describe the action of verbs. They also modify
adjectives, other adverbs, and phrases. In the examples below, modifiers are shown
in italics. The words they describe or limit are underlined.
The whole earth trembled. (limits "earth")
The city was nearly destroyed. (describes "destroyed")
Fortunately, we were not hurt. (modifies the rest of the
The governor quickly declared the entire city a disaster area.
("quickly" describes "declared"; "entire" limits "city")
Adverbs usually (but not always) end with -ly.
happily, quietly, badly
here, where, always, never Continued on next page
Continued on next page
Writing Mechanics and Composition