Language Navigator

Language Navigator allows you to search by keyword or by theme to quickly find answers to questions about language or writing in English and French. To learn more about this search engine, consult the section entitled About Language Navigator.

New to Language Navigator? Learn how to search for content in Language Navigator.

Search by keyword

Search fields

Search by theme

Search by theme to quickly access all of the Portal’s language resources related to a specific theme.

About Language Navigator

Language Navigator simultaneously searches all of the writing tools, quizzes and blog posts on the Language Portal of Canada. It gives you access to everything you need to write well in English and French: articles on language difficulties, linguistic recommendations, conjugation tables, translation suggestions and much more.

To translate a term or to find answers to terminology questions in a specialized field, please consult TERMIUM Plus®.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Results 1 to 10 of 47 (page 1 of 5)

Bad vs. Badly

A quiz on when to use the adjective bad and the adverb badly.1. After eating his restaurant meal, Miguel felt quite .badbadly2. If she is caught cheating, things will go very for Emily.badbadly3. Meat goes if it is not refrigerated or frozen.badbadly4. When confronted by his boss, Malcolm handled the situation .badbadly5. Although our mother played the piano , we children cherish the memory today.badbadly6. In the morning, Jamila needs coffee .badbadly7. We all feel for Alice: she lost her partner of 55 years.badbadly8. I never got caught for that misdeed, but I always felt about it.badbadly  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 18,614

Poor or poorly?

A quiz on when to use poorand poorly.Poor is an adjective; it can be used before a noun or after a linking verb. However, poorly can be either an adjective or an adverb. As an adjective, it follows a linking verb and means “sick” or “unwell”; as an adverb, it modifies an action verb and answers the question “how.”Using these clues, see if you can fill in the blanks below with the correct choice.1. Chloé rarely consumes vegetables and seems to relish fried foods. That child eats so .poorpoorly2. Because of macular degeneration, Sylvain’s eyesight is becoming .poorpoorly3. Agathe barely ate her supper; she’s feeling .poorpoorly4. With only one breadwinner now, the family lives quite .poorpoorly5. The food at the restaurant was of quality.poorpoorly6. Tony speaks French, English and Farsi fluently, but he speaks Spanish .poorpoorly7. The weather in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, is today.poorpoorly8. Rafael was so full of anxiety the night before the exam that he slept .poorpoorly9. The children looked for days after the accident.poorpoorly  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 17,247

forward, forwards

A writing tip on the terms forward and forwards.
Forward is an adverb, an adjective, a verb and a noun. Please step forward when your name is called. [adverb] Without reverse gear, we are limited to a forward motion. [adjective] I will forward that email immediately. [verb] In hockey, soccer and football a forward plays on the front line. [noun] Forwards is a variant form of the adverb and is becoming rare. She rocked gently backwards and forwards (or backward and forward).
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 11,113

overall, over all

A writing tip on how to use the terms overall and over all.
The overused adjective overall can be left out entirely or a more precise synonym can be used instead. Depending on the context, choose one of the following: absolute, aggregate, average, comprehensive, general, supreme, total, or whole. The (overall) goal of the provincial program is full employment. The final figures show an overall (total, absolute, average, general) increase in sales. The adverb phrase over all expresses the idea of “all things considered,” and is written in two words. Over all, I would say the party was a great success.
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 10,945

Agile adverbs

An English-language quiz on the position of adverbs.Adverbs enjoy agility. They can move around in a sentence with relative ease, appearing sometimes before or after the verb, sometimes between the helping verb and the main verb, and sometimes at the beginning or end of the sentence. However, some basic rules do govern the position of certain adverbs and adverbial phrases. Put your knowledge of adverb positioning to the test with the quiz below.1. In which of the following sentences does "often" appear in the most appropriate position?Halima often can remember exact dates and times.Halima can often remember exact dates and times.Halima can remember often exact dates and times.2. In which of the following sentences does "gradually" appear in the correct position?Gradually, the department implemented the new communications policy.The department implemented gradually the new communications policy.The department implemented the gradually new communications policy.3. In which of the following sentences is the order of adverbs and adverbial phrases most appropriate?Francis practises diligently for his recital every day for an hour.Francis practises diligently every day for an hour for his recital.Francis practises diligently for an hour every day for his recital.4. Select the more emphatic position for "painstakingly" in the following sentence.Painstakingly, Helen reviewed every figure in each of the tables.Helen painstakingly reviewed every figure in each of the tables.Helen reviewed painstakingly every figure in each of the tables.5. In which of the following sentences is the order of adverbial phrases most appropriate?Zoë rescued her cat outside a mall from a box on a cold fall night.Zoë rescued her cat on a cold fall night from a box outside a mall.Zoë rescued her cat from a box outside a mall on a cold fall night.6. In which of the following sentences does "especially" appear in an appropriate position?Andrew's advice to travel with hand-luggage was practical especially.Andrew's advice to travel with hand-luggage especially was practicalAndrew's advice to travel with hand-luggage was especially practical.7. In which of the following sentences is the order of adverbial phrases more appropriate?Maria drinks tea before breakfast every morning of the work week.Maria drinks tea every morning of the work week before breakfast.either a) or b)  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 8,422

The parts of speech: Introduction

An article listing the various parts of speech with links to other articles.
Traditional grammar classifies words based on eight parts of speech: the verb, the noun, the pronoun, the adjective, the adverb, the preposition, the conjunction and the interjection. Each part of speech explains not what the word is, but how the word is used. In fact, the same word can be a noun in one sentence and a verb or adjective in another. The next examples show how the part of speech of a word can change from one sentence to the next. Following these examples is a series of sections on the individual parts of speech and an exercise. Example Explanation Books are made of ink, paper and glue. In this sentence, books is a noun, the subject of the sentence. Joe waits patiently while Bridget books the tickets. Here books is a verb and its subject is Bridget. We walk down the street. In this sentence, walk is a verb and its subject is the pronoun we. The letter carrier stood on the walk. In this example, walk is a noun that is part of a prepositional phrase describing where the letter carrier stood. The town council decided to build a new jail. Here jail is a noun, which is the object of the infinitive phrase to build. The police officer told us that if we did not leave immediately he would jail us. Here jail is part of the compound verb would jail. The parents heard high-pitched cries in the middle of the night. In this sentence, cries is a noun acting as the direct object of the verb heard. Their colicky baby cries all night long and all day long. Here cries is a verb that describes the actions of the subject of the sentence, i.e. the baby. The next sections explain each of the parts of speech in detail. When you have finished looking at them, you might want to test yourself by trying the exercise. The details Verb - Next Page Noun Pronoun Adjective Adverb Preposition Conjunction Interjection Review exercise: Parts of speech
Source: HyperGrammar 2 (basics of English grammar)
Number of views: 7,433

Review exercise: Parts of speech

A quiz on identifying the parts of speech.
Identify the part of speech of the highlighted word in each of the following sentences.1. The clown chased a dog around the ring and then fell flat on her face. verb noun pronoun adjective adverb preposition conjunction interjection 2. The geese indolently waddled across the intersection. verb noun pronoun adjective adverb preposition conjunction interjection 3. Yikes! I’m late for work. verb noun pronoun adjective adverb preposition conjunction…
Source: HyperGrammar 2 (basics of English grammar)
Number of views: 7,261

seldom, seldomly

A writing tip on using seldom and avoiding seldomly.
Because most adverbs end in ly, some people mistakenly add ly to the adverb seldom. However, seldomly is non-standard English and should be avoided. Instead, use seldom, the correct adverb form: Ontarians seldom (not seldomly) have such warm weather in October. In more formal constructions, the adverb seldom can be used at the beginning of a sentence, with the helping verb before the subject: Seldom do we learn from a first mistake. [Here, the helping verb do is placed before the subject we.]
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 5,443

Adverbially yours

An English quiz in which the user must fill in the blank with the correct adverb.An adverb is a word that modifies a verb, an adjective or another adverb. It answers the questions how, where, when, how often or to what extent. Some words function as both adverbs and adjectives, while some adverbs have two forms with different meanings. Can you tell the difference?See if you can fill in the blanks below with the correct adverb.1. Yannick likes to ride his bike .fastfastly2. Something went in the electrical panel.wrongwrongly3. Raquel works at the beauty salon every day.hardhardly4. Anita's cat eats chicken and rabbit.mostmostly5. The movie started .latelately6. Robin Hood and his Merry Men lived in the forest.deepdeeply7. The kite flew in the sky.highhighly8. The thunderstorm is over.nearnearly9. The car had to stop to avoid hitting the moose.shortshortly10. They serve good Ethiopian food here!realreally  
Source: Quizzes on the Language Portal of Canada
Number of views: 4,937

adverbs

A writing tip explaining the nature and function of adverbs.
In English grammar, adverbs fall into the category called modifiers. (A modifier is a word that either describes or limits the meaning of the word it refers to. There are two main classes of modifiers: adjectives and adverbs.) An adverb is a word that modifies a verb, an adjective, another adverb or sometimes even an entire sentence: The tent collapsed slowly. [slowly modifies the verb collapsed] Amy grew increasingly bored. [increasingly modifies the adjective bored] Jorge played especially well. [especially modifies the adverb well] Naturally, I accepted. [naturally modifies the sentence I accepted] Five common types of adverbs Most adverbs can be divided into the following categories: Adverbs of manner (how?) John tiptoed quietly past the sleeping guard. The cat leaped gracefully down from the ledge. Adverbs of place (where?) Inwardly, Marielle was seething. Eric lives nearby. Adverbs of time (when?) We’ll leave tomorrow. The rickety barn suddenly collapsed. Adverbs of frequency (how often?) Jenna and Kurt visit the East Coast regularly. My sister frequently has to work late. Adverbs of degree (to what extent?) The fire completely destroyed the building. I could barely hear the sound of the distant waves. Common sign of an adverb Many of the adverbs in the examples above end in ‑ly. In fact, the ending ‑ly is the common sign of an adverb. We form most of our adverbs by taking an adjective and adding the ending ‑ly: the adjective quiet becomes the adverb quietly, the adjective careful becomes the adverb carefully, and so on. But there are also many adverbs that do not end in ‑ly. Here are some examples: almost, always, down, fast, hard, here, in, long, never, now, often, out, quite, rather, so, then, there, today, too, up, very, well. Note: The adverbs of degree too and very cannot modify verbs. They are used only to modify adjectives and other adverbs: very happy, too fast. Placement of adverbs in a sentence Adverbs that modify an adjective or another adverb can be found in front of the word they modify: too hot, quite loudly. But an adverb that modifies a verb or a sentence is movable. These adverbs may appear at the beginning or end of the sentence, as well as before or after the verb: Swiftly the runner leaped over the hurdle. The runner swiftly leaped over the hurdle. The runner leaped swiftly over the hurdle. The runner leaped over the hurdle swiftly.
Source: Writing Tips Plus (English language problems and rules)
Number of views: 4,442