while 'almost' is traditionally an adverb, it can sometimes directly modify a noun, giving it an adjective-like function. In these cases, 'almost' describes a state that is very close to but not quite reaching the full definition or characteristics of the noun it modifies.
'Almost' can be used to indicate that something is close to being in a particular state or condition but hasn't fully achieved it.
We had an almost certainty that he would arrive on time.
She showed almost genius-level talent in her work.
The project was an almost success, but we faced a few hurdles at the end.
When 'almost' is used in this adjective-like manner, it often emphasizes the surprising or unexpected nature of the noun it modifies. While 'almost' can modify nouns directly in some contexts, it's more commonly used as an adverb to modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. Ensure that the context warrants its use as a direct modifier of a noun.
Almost can be used as an adverb to modify a verb and describe an action that is almost ready to be completed, or nearly complete. It typically implies that the action isn't quite finished, but is close to being completed.
1. She was almost done painting when she ran out of paint.
2. He almost won the race, but was overtaken at the last second.
3. The soccer team was almost celebrating their victory when the other team scored a goal at the last minute.
It can be confusing to decide between almost and nearly; while both can be used in many of the same contexts, it is usually almost that is used to describe close-but-not-quite situations or near completions of actions.