Mr.Maru: You are looking happy today. What happened, Sparky?
Sparky: I met a girl yesterday. She was prettily attractive.
Mr.Maru: Don't you mean pretty attractive?
Sparky: Mmm, yeah, pretty attractive. Anyway, she was dressed pretty.
Mr.Maru: Prettily, she was dressed prettily.
Sparky: Well, she was attractive. So, I asked her out.
Mr.Maru: What did she say?
Sparky: She said she had to wash her hair, and then she left.
Mr.Maru: That's pretty bad.
How do we use pretty? Is it prettily or pretty? Let's take a look at the differences between these two adverbs. They are used in two different situations.
We can use the adverb 'pretty' to mean 'quite' or 'more than expected, usual, or wanted'. It is not as strong as 'very' though. For example,
She is pretty smart. (She is not very smart, but she is smarter than usual.)
You can change 'pretty' with 'rather' and the sentence has almost the same meaning:
She is rather smart.
This sounds a little more formal and is more common in British English.
We can use prettily as an adverb with the meaning 'in a way that is pleasing to the eye, ear, or mind'. It is not often used. For example,
Calligrapher drew the characters prettily. (The calligrapher drew the characters in a way that is pleasing to the eye.)
Be careful! Sometimes, native speakers use pretty instead of prettily. This is considered informal.
Do you think you understand? Let's take a short quiz.
1) She can dance _______ well.
2) Jenny plays the flute ______.
3) The florist made a ________ nice bouquet.
1) – A) The adverb 'pretty' is modifying 'well'.
2) – B) Jenny is playing the flute in a way that is pleasing to the ear.
3) – A) The adverb 'pretty' is modifying 'nice'.
That's it for this week. Do you have any questions about grammar? Please let me know in the comments!
|Last Updated on Monday, 21 February 2011 15:30|