GED Language Arts (RLA) : Adjectives and Adverbs

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GED Language Arts (RLA)

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Finding Context Dependent Meanings Of Words In Literary Fiction Passages

Adapted from "May Day" in Tales of the Jazz Age by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1922)

At nine o'clock on the morning of the first of May, 1919, a young man spoke to the room clerk at the Biltmore Hotel, asking if Mr. Philip Dean were registered there, and if so, could he be connected with Mr. Dean's rooms. The inquirer was dressed in a well-cut, shabby suit. He was small, slender, and darkly handsome; his eyes were framed above with unusually long eyelashes and below with the blue semicircle of ill health, this latter effect heightened by an unnatural glow which colored his face like a low, incessant fever.

Mr. Dean was staying there. The young man was directed to a telephone at the side.

After a second his connection was made; a sleepy voice hello'd from somewhere above.

"Mr. Dean?"—this very eagerly—"it's Gordon, Phil. It's Gordon Sterrett. I'm down-stairs. I heard you were in New York and I had a hunch you'd be here."

The sleepy voice became gradually enthusiastic. Well, how was Gordy, old boy! Well, he certainly was surprised and tickled! Would Gordy come right up, for Pete's sake!

A few minutes later Philip Dean, dressed in blue silk pajamas, opened his door and the two young men greeted each other with a half-embarrassed exuberance. They were both about twenty-four, Yale graduates of the year before the war; but there the resemblance stopped abruptly. Dean was blond, ruddy, and rugged under his thin pajamas. Everything about him radiated fitness and bodily comfort. He smiled frequently, showing large and prominent teeth.

"I was going to look you up," he cried enthusiastically. "I'm taking a couple of weeks off. If you'll sit down a sec I'll be right with you. Going to take a shower."

As he vanished into the bathroom his visitor's dark eyes roved nervously around the room, resting for a moment on a great English travelling bag in the corner and on a family of thick silk shirts littered on the chairs amid impressive neckties and soft woollen socks.

Gordon rose and, picking up one of the shirts, gave it a minute examination. It was of very heavy silk, yellow, with a pale blue stripe—and there were nearly a dozen of them. He stared involuntarily at his own shirt-cuffs—they were ragged and linty at the edges and soiled to a faint gray. Dropping the silk shirt, he held his coat-sleeves down and worked the frayed shirt-cuffs up till they were out of sight. Then he went to the mirror and looked at himself with listless, unhappy interest. His tie, of former glory, was faded and thumb-creased—it served no longer to hide the jagged buttonholes of his collar. He thought, quite without amusement, that only three years before he had received a scattering vote in the senior elections at college for being the best-dressed man in his class.

As it is used in the sixth paragraph, the underlined word “prominent” most nearly means __________.

Possible Answers:

loose

sentient

inconspicuous

pronounced

vibrant

Correct answer:

pronounced

Explanation:

“Large and prominent teeth” means large and showy, or conspicuous, teeth. The closest synonym to these would be “pronounced." To help you, "sentient" means able to think, "inconspicuous" means hidden, not obvious, or not showy, and "vibrant" means colorful or lively.

Example Question #1 : Adjectives And Adverbs

Passage adapted from Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent (1907)

Mr Verloc, going out in the morning, left his shop nominally in charge of his brother-in-law. It could be done, because there was very little business at any time, and practically none at all before the evening. Mr Verloc cared but little about his ostensible business. And, moreover, his wife was in charge of his brother-in-law.

The shop was small, and so was the house. It was one of those grimy brick houses which existed in large quantities before the era of reconstruction dawned upon London. The shop was a square box of a place, with the front glazed in small panes. In the daytime the door remained closed; in the evening it stood discreetly but suspiciously ajar.

What adjective best describes the shop?

Possible Answers:

Kitchy

Welcoming

Dingy

Immaculate

Spacious

Correct answer:

Dingy

Explanation:

The descriptor “grimy” is similar to “dingy,” and the fact that it is “small” and “glazed” suggest it is neither "spacious" nor "immaculate."

Example Question #2 : Adjectives And Adverbs

Following the fall of the Soviet Union, the European education system underwent an overhaul which was, in part, solidified with the creation of the Bologna Process, an agreement among European countries to improve consistency and quality in higher education across the continent. The creation of the Bologna Process has not only improved the standard of education in EU nations, but set a very high bar for nations hoping to join the EU to hurdle. Belarus has already applied and been rejected due to concerns about its academic commitment. So we can see that quality education in Europe is not simply a lucky coincidence, or the natural result of a long history of scholars, but an intentional reform initiative upon which major political decisions, such as the inclusion of countries into the European Union, are made. Eastern European countries also had an especially difficult time transitioning to the new standards required of Bologna Process signatories since they were coming from the Soviet tradition of severely underfunded public schools and widespread bribery as a main criterion for university admission. The Soviet influence on the current state of tertiary education can clearly be seen by comparing eastern and western Germany. Before the implementation of the Bologna Process and formation of the European Higher Education Area, many European countries modeled their higher education system on Germany's, which separated students into academic or vocational training schools from the beginning of high school. This model fit with the Communist rationale of all jobs being of equal value, and the obligation of adolescents to train for the job for which they were best suited in society rather than allowing them to choose a major at the university level.

 Select the answer choice that, when used to replace "tertiary," produces a completed sentence that retains the meaning of the original sentence.

Possible Answers:

mandatory

third

government-sponsored

higher

unnecessary

Correct answer:

higher

Explanation:

"Tertiary education" refers to post-secondary or higher education. Elementary school is often referred to as "primary," high school is "secondary," and college is "tertiary."

Example Question #3 : Adjectives And Adverbs

Passage adapted from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (1890)

"Come on at a footpace! d'ye mind me? And if you've got holsters to that saddle o' yourn, don't let me see your hand go nigh 'em. For I'm a devil at a quick mistake, and when I make one it takes the form of Lead. So now let's look at you."

The figures of a horse and rider came slowly through the eddying mist, and came to the side of the mail, where the passenger stood. The rider stooped, and, casting up his eyes at the guard, handed the passenger a small folded paper. The rider's horse was blown, and both horse and rider were covered with mud, from the hoofs of the horse to the hat of the man.

"Guard!" said the passenger, in a tone of quiet business confidence.

The watchful guard, with his right hand at the stock of his raised blunderbuss, his left at the barrel, and his eye on the horseman, answered curtly, "Sir."

"There is nothing to apprehend. I belong to Tellson's Bank. You must know Tellson's Bank in London. I am going to Paris on business. A crown to drink. I may read this?"

"If so be as you're quick, sir."

He opened it in the light of the coach-lamp on that side, and read—first to himself and then aloud: "'Wait at Dover for Mam'selle.' It's not long, you see, guard. Jerry, say that my answer was, Recalled to life."

Jerry started in his saddle. "That's a Blazing strange answer, too," said he, at his hoarsest.

"Take that message back, and they will know that I received this, as well as if I wrote. Make the best of your way. Good night."

With those words the passenger opened the coach-door and got in; not at all assisted by his fellow-passengers, who had expeditiously secreted their watches and purses in their boots, and were now making a general pretence of being asleep. With no more definite purpose than to escape the hazard of originating any other kind of action.

Which bolded and underlined portion of the passage contains an adverb?

Possible Answers:

The watchful guard

a small folded paper

rider came slowly through

"If so be as you're quick, sir."

Blazing strange answer,

Correct answer:

rider came slowly through

Explanation:

An adverb is a word that qualitatively describes a noun. "Slowly" is an adverb because it describes the verb "came."

Example Question #4 : Adjectives And Adverbs

Passage adapted from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1868)

Gardening, walks, rows on the river, and flower hunts employed the fine days, and for rainy ones, they had house diversions, some old, some new, all more or less original. One of these was the `P.C', for as secret societies were the fashion, it was thought proper to have one, and as all of the girls admired Dickens, they called herselves the Pickwick Club. With a few interruptions, they had kept this up for a year, and met every Saturday evening in the big garret, on which occasions the ceremonies were as follows: Three chairs were arranged in a row before a table on which was a lamp, also four white badges, with a big `P.C.' in different colors on each, and the weekly newspaper called, The Pickwick Portfolio, to which all contributed something, while Jo, who reveled in pens and ink, was the editor. At seven o'clock, the four members ascended to the clubroom, tied their badges round their heads, and took their seats with great solemnity. Meg, as the eldest, was Samuel Pickwick, Jo, being of a literary turn, Augustus Snodgrass, Beth, because she were round and rosy, Tracy Tupman, and Amy, who was always trying to do what she couldn't, was Nathaniel Winkle. Pickwick, the president, read the paper, which was filled with original tales, poetry, local news, funny advertisements, and hints, in which they good-naturedly reminded each other of their faults and short comings. On one occasion, Mr. Pickwick put on a pair of spectacles without any glass, rapped upon the table, hemmed, and having stared hard at Mr. Snodgrass, who was tilting back in his chair, till he arranged himself properly, began to read:

In the bolded and underlined section of the text, what type of word is "great"?

Possible Answers:

Pronoun

Noun

Verb

Adverb

Adjective

Correct answer:

Adjective

Explanation:

Because "great" is describing "solemnity" and solemnity is a noun, "great" is considered an adjective, a word that describes a verb is considered adverb. A "noun" is a person, place, thing, or idea. A "verb" is an action word, and a "pronoun" replaces a noun. 

Example Question #5 : Adjectives And Adverbs

Passage adapted from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1868)

Gardening, walks, rows on the river, and flower hunts employed the fine days, and for rainy ones, they had house diversions, some old, some new, all more or less original. One of these was the `P.C', for as secret societies were the fashion, it was thought proper to have one, and as all of the girls admired Dickens, they called herselves the Pickwick Club. With a few interruptions, they had kept this up for a year, and met every Saturday evening in the big garret, on which occasions the ceremonies were as follows: Three chairs were arranged in a row before a table on which was a lamp, also four white badges, with a big `P.C.' in different colors on each, and the weekly newspaper called, The Pickwick Portfolio, to which all contributed something, while Jo, who reveled in pens and ink, was the editor. At seven o'clock, the four members ascended to the clubroom, tied their badges round their heads, and took their seats with great solemnity. Meg, as the eldest, was Samuel Pickwick, Jo, being of a literary turn, Augustus Snodgrass, Beth, because she were round and rosy, Tracy Tupman, and Amy, who was always trying to do what she couldn't, was Nathaniel Winkle. Pickwick, the president, read the paper, which was filled with original tales, poetry, local news, funny advertisements, and hints, in which they good-naturedly reminded each other of their faults and short comings. On one occasion, Mr. Pickwick put on a pair of spectacles without any glass, rapped upon the table, hemmed, and having stared hard at Mr. Snodgrass, who was tilting back in his chair, till he arranged himself properly, began to read:

Which word in the bolded and underlined sentence is an adverb?

Possible Answers:

hard

stared

put

glass

spectacles

Correct answer:

hard

Explanation:

"Hard" is the adverb because it describes "stared." Stared is a verb. Put is also a verb. Glass and spectacles are both nouns.

Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors

Incompatible Browser

Please upgrade or download one of the following browsers to use Instant Tutoring: