Is Nervous Adjective, Adverb Or Verb? 5 Complete Facts

Adjectives, adverbs, and verbs are three different parts of speech with unique functionalities of their own. In this article, we shall examine to which of these “nervous” belong.

The word “nervous” is an adjective because it qualifies, modifies, or describes a singular or plural naming word (noun phrase/noun/pronoun) by stating additional or supplementary details and information about it.

This article, with the aid of some interesting facts, related examples, and suitable explanations, will explain to us why the word “nervous” is an adjective.

When is “nervous” an adjective?

Adjectives are solely used for describing nouns by offering some extra information about them. Here we shall see in what instances the word “nervous” functions as an adjective.

Based on the supplementary information the word “nervous” offers about nouns, the table below details the situations when it is an adjective.

Instances When “Nervous” is an Adjective Examples Explanations
1. When used to qualify a naming word that shows or experiences anxiety or fear due to some feeling, situation, event, emotion, etc., Suchitra felt nervous while she was giving her speech on the stage in front of so many people. Since “nervous” modifies the name word ‘Suchitra’ (a person), it is an adjective in this sentence. The adjective “nervous” states the anxiety and fear that were caused to Suchitra while she was giving her speech on the stage.
2. When used to modify a naming word (a person) who is most likely to be worried, scared, or be upset easily and often Since a young age, Vittal has always been a nervous person. The adjective “nervous” in the given sentence is modifying the naming word ‘person’ to indicate that Vittal is a person who gets scared, worried, and upset from a young age.
3. When used to describe an illness, disorder, or condition (naming word) related to the nerves in the body Since you have a nervous condition, do not drink or eat anything cold. In this line, the adjective “nervous” describes the noun ‘situation,’ which is why it is an adjective. The adjective “nervous” conveys that ‘you’ have some problem related to the nerves and he/ she should not drink or eat anything cold.
Instances When “Nervous” Is An Adjective

Is “nervous” a descriptive adjective?

Quantitative, qualitative, descriptive, numeral, interrogative, demonstrative are some of the types of adjectives. We shall check if the word “nervous” is a descriptive adjective.

The word “nervous” is a descriptive adjective since it modifies the naming word (may it be noun, pronoun, or noun phrases) by giving a description of its nature, behavior, attitude, state of mind, characteristic features, and so on.

Example: Why is Varsha so nervous when she has not done anything wrong?

In the above example, the term “nervous” is used as an adjective to describe the single noun “Varsha” (a person). Since the adjective “nervous” tells us about the scared, anxious, and worried nature, state of mind, or behavior of Varsha. It is a descriptive adjective.

When is “nervous” a descriptive adjective?

The word “nervous” is a descriptive adjective when it is stating or conveying the worried, anxious, upset, scared, frightened behavior, nature, or state of mind of a naming word and when it is describing the problems, conditions, or illnesses related or associated with the nerves in the human body.

We shall now read through the examples in the tabular column below to make sure we get a detailed understanding of the usage of the word “nervous” as a descriptive adjective.

Examples Explanations – Usage Of “Nervous” as a Descriptive Adjective
1. Do not worry, as it is very normal for all women to feel nervous at the final stages of pregnancy. In this sentence, the predicate descriptive adjective, “nervous” is qualifying the plural naming word ‘women’ (people). The usage of the adjective “nervous” denotes the scared and anxious state of mind of all women at the final stages of pregnancy.
2. The nervous small kid ended up doing things which were wrong and which she should not have done. “Nervous”, the attributive descriptive adjective used here, indicates the scared and worried nature of the small kid who ended up doing the wrong things. The adjective “nervous” modifies the naming word ‘kid’ (a person) along with yet another describing word (adjective) ‘small’ here.
3. Suhana’s emotions and feelings were revealed in her nervous smile. The attributive descriptive adjective “nervous” is utilized in the given sentence to qualify the naming word ‘smile’. The adjective “nervous” here indicates the anxious and stressed nature of Suhana’s smile, through which her emotions and feelings were revealed.
4. Since last week, my grandmother has been having this nervous twitch. “Nervous”, the attributive descriptive adjective in the given sentence is stating the uncontrolled movements in the speaker’s grandmother from yesterday, which were caused by a problem in the nerves.Nervous” is here qualifying the noun ‘twitch’.
5. Though Narendra was confident, he still had a nervous look on his face. In the given sentence, the attributive descriptive adjective “nervous” is used to qualify the naming word ‘look’ in order to indicate the scared, worried, and upset nature of Narendra’s look, though he was confident.
6. Even a small problem is enough to break my grandmother’s already nervous demeanor. “Nervous”, the attributive descriptive adjective used in this sentence, modifies the naming word ‘demeanor’ by conveying the speaker’s grandmother’s nature or behavior of getting worried or upset easily.
7. The nervous problems Sahil is experiencing can only be treated by a neurologist. ‘Problems’ is the plural naming word that the attributive descriptive adjective “nervous” is describing in this sentence. The use of “nervous” here conveys that the problems related to nerves Sahil is facing can be treated only by a neurologist.
Usage Of “Nervous” As A Descriptive Adjective

Is “nervous” an adverb?

An adverb is any word that modifies a verb, adverb, or an adjective. We will now check and find out if the word “nervous” does the function of an adverb or not.

The word “nervous” is not and can never be an adverb as it does not do the work of modifying verbs, adverbs, or adjectives but only modifies a noun. However, ‘nervously’ is the adverb form of the word “nervous,” which is used to modify an action or activity that is done with nervousness or in a nervous way.

Examples Explanations
1. Suhana is a nervous woman, and that is one of her major weaknesses. The word “nervous” in the given sentence is not an adverb but an adjective that is modifying the naming word ‘woman’ (a person). The usage of the adjective “nervous” states the scared, upset, and worried nature of Suhana, which is one of her major weaknesses.
2. Sanjeev was walking around the room nervously while he was waiting for his exam results. In this sentence,the word ‘nervously’ is functioning as an adverb which is modifying the action word ‘walking’ (verb). The usage of the adverb ‘nervously’ conveys the nervousness with which Sanjeev was walking around the room while waiting for his exam results.
Usage Of “Nervous” and ‘Nervously’

Is “nervous” a verb?

A verb is any word that depicts an action, state of being, or activity. We shall here find out if the word “nervous” represents an action or a state of being.

The word “nervous” is not and cannot be a verb since it does not perform the function of showing an activity, state of being, or action. The word ‘nerve’ can be regarded as the verb form of the word “nervous,” and it shows the action of giving oneself courage or mental strength to do something that is hard.

Examples Explanations
1. Even though Raashi was well prepared for her tests, she was still nervous. The word “nervous” here is not functioning as a verb since it is not showing any past, present, or future action. It is an adjective that is describing the pronoun ‘she’ (Raashi – a person) by revealing the stressed, worried, and scared state of mind in which Raashi was, though she had prepared well for her tests.
2. Tanisha nerved herself to speak in front of the crowd so that she could overcome her stage fear. In this sentence, the word ‘nerved’ (past tense of ‘nerve’) is a verb because it represents the action of Tanisha encouraging herself to speak in front of the crowd in order to overcome her stage fear.
Usage Of “Nervous” And ‘Nerve’


Hence, this article gives us a detailed and clear explanation of why, how, and when the word “nervous” is an adjective and also why it is not an adverb or verb.