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Dear Sir,

1. An adjective describes a noun

2. An adverb describes a verb; An adverb can also modify an adjective or another adverb.

The bank made a net loss of 950m Swiss francs (£440m; $700m) in the last three months of 2002, pushing into a full-year loss of 3.3bn francs.

But Credit Suisse still aims to return to profit as early as this year, and is cutting its dividend payout by 95%, and shedding up to 1,250 jobs, to stem outgoings.

The axe will fall the heaviest in its financial services division, which includes banking, wealth management and insurance operations.

The heaviest = adjective or adverb?

I can’t find the noun and the verb!

Your advice will be very much appreciated!
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Comments  
.
Adverb:

Fall heavily
Fall heavier
Fall heaviest
Nokia88The axe will fall the heaviest in its financial services division, which includes banking, wealth management and insurance operations.

The heaviest = adjective or adverb?
An interesting point, Nokia! In some languages, including my mother tongue, both an adjective and an adverb could be used in your sentence - and they would be different in form. Comparison is a vague and inexact form of art in English. Emotion: smile Logic says that it makes no actual difference whether we considerthe heaviest an adjective or an adverb. Its grammatical form suggests that it is an adjective. Heavy is a disyllabic adjective ending in y, and adverbs are formed by using the ly inflection from such adjectives. Examples:
It rained heavily today. It rained even more heavily yesterday. It rained [the] most heavily last week.
Heavier and heaviest are adjectives: My brother is heavier than me/I. He is the heaviest man I know.
CB
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Dear MM,

May I make an assumption here, are you saying:

Fall heaviest = verb + adjective (superlative)=adverb

And, it can also be written as:

Fall the heaviest ( when the is inserted in between Fall and Heaviest the phrase becomes adjective ) ?

I still don’t understand what is the rule of “the” plays in the phrase?

Would you kindly define!

Thanks in advance.
Dear Cool Breeze,

Rained = verb

Are you saying that the following examples:

(adjective phrase)

It rained heavily today. It rained even more heavily yesterday. It rained [the] most heavily last week.

Can be rephrased as:

(adverb phrase)

It rained heavily today. It rained even heavier yesterday. It rained the heaviest last week.

As a second language learner, I learn through asking a lot of questions that annoy many good teachers here.
Thank you and forgive me!
.

Fall heaviest = verb + adverb (superlative). The adverb has taken the adjective form because otherwise it becomes overly formal: The axe will fall the most heavily....

The plays no part in this explanation. It is optional here, as often holds with the superlative.
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Dear MM,

I sincerely appreciate your great explanation (The answer probably can't be found elsewhere. Not to mention the Grammar books).

Some online dictionaries stated that the inflected forms of both the adjective and adverb of "heavy" are the same that confuse me.

http://www.bartleby.com/61/59/H0115900.html

ADJECTIVE: Inflected forms: heav·i·er, heav·i·est

ADVERB: Inflected forms: heav·i·er, heav·i·est

http://www.yourdictionary.com/heavy

ADJECTIVE: heav·i·er, heav·i·est

ADVERB: Inflected forms: heav·i·er, heav·i·est

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=heavy*3+0&dict=A

Heavy (GREAT DEGREE)

ADJECTIVE: heavy snowfall/rain/fog; a heavy fine

ADVERB: heavily armed; she's heavily involved in politics; the news weighed heavily on his mother.

Is The English Grammar rule fixed? (I mean for usage of Adjective and Adverb at the basic level in this part. Especially, when an adjective is also an adverb.) I will presumably think that I may be able to solve the problem of this sort as long as I stick to the following rule1 & 2. But not sure if this is the right way to learn.

1. An adjective describes a noun.

Examples: Louise caught the fast train; We didn't have a long wait; I had an early night.

2. An adverb describes a verb; An adverb can also modify an adjective or another adverb.

Examples: The train was going quite fast; We didn't have to wait long; I went to bed early.


Thanks for the further advice!
Cool Breeze
Nokia88The axe will fall the heaviest in its financial services division, which includes banking, wealth management and insurance operations.

The heaviest = adjective or adverb?
An interesting point, Nokia! In some languages, including my mother tongue, both an adjective and an adverb could be used in your sentence - and they would be different in form. Comparison is a vague and inexact form of art in English. Logic says that it makes no actual difference whether we consider the heaviest an adjective or an adverb. Its grammatical form suggests that it is an adjective. Heavy is a disyllabic adjective ending in y, and adverbs are formed by using the ly inflection from such adjectives. Examples:

(A): It rained heavily today. It rained even more heavily yesterday. It rained [the] most heavily last week.

(B): Heavier and heaviest are adjectives: My brother is heavier than me/I. He is the heaviest man I know.

CB

Dear Cool Breeze,
I am sorry!
I didn't know what had happened to me that day when I was reading your perfect post. I must have been over tired that I comprehended the two sets of examples just opposite.
The first set you wrote:
(A): It rained heavily today. It rained even more heavily yesterday. It rained [the] most heavily last week (adverb modifies verb).
(A): I misunderstood it as (adjective modifies noun).
The second set you wrote:
(B): Heavier and heaviest are adjectives: My brother is heavier than me/I. He is the heaviest man I know (adjective modifies noun).
(B): I misunderstood it as (adverb modifies verb).

Great Post!
Thank you very much!
Best regards, Nokia88
Hi Nokia,

Personally, I think the sentence was structured rather strangely. Even in metahpor, We only picutre the axe falling quickly and should have no variation of speed or change in velocity.
<<The axe will fall the heaviest in its financial services division, which includes banking, wealth management and insurance operations. >>

Logic aside, If I use the same structure on a different contex, i.e. The rain will be falling the heaviest when the hurricane makes landfall by midnight tonight. [the heaviest] is functioning as an adverb from this angle.

If I say " the rain fall will be the heaviest when the hurricane makes landfall midnight tonight" . [the heaviest] is working as adjective.
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