Adverbs

Adverbs (Adverbials) tell us more about a verb e.g The boy ran quickly.

Adverbs modify or qualify verbs, answering questions of how, whenwhere, why and how often (frequency) e.g Yesterday, the boy ran home quickly from school because it was his mum’s birthday.

 

Types of Adverb

An adverb is a modifying part of speech. It describes verbs, other adverbs, adjectives, and phrases. They are used to describe how, where, when, how often and why something happens.

 

 

Adverbs of manner describe how something happens. Some commonly used adverbs of manner include:

carefully
correctly
eagerly
easily
fast
loudly
patiently
quickly
quietly
and well.

Consider the following example:

She decided to write her paper. (no adverbs)
She quickly decided to write her paper. (her decision was quick)
She decided to write her paper quickly. (her writing was quick)

Where there are two or more verbs in a sentence, adverb placement affects the meaning.

 

 

Adverbs of place describe where something happens.  Some commonly used examples include the following:

abroad
anywhere
downstairs
here
home
in
nowhere
out
outside
somewhere
there
underground
upstairs.

 

Examples:

I wanted to go upstairs.
She has lived in the city since June. (in the city – prepositional phrase)

Most adverbs of place are also used as prepositions.

 

 

Adverbs of purpose describe why something happens. Here are some common examples:

so
so that
to
in order to
because
since
accidentally
intentionally
and purposely.

 

Examples:

Jenny walks carefully to avoid falling.
Bob accidentally broke the vase.

 

 

Adverbs of frequency describe how often something happens. The following adverbs are commonly used in this way:

always
every
never
often
rarely
seldom
sometimes
and usually.

 

Examples:

Mackenzie gets a ride from her brother every day.
The fish usually swims near the top of its tank.

 

 

Adverbs of time describe when something happens. These examples are commonly used:

after
already
during
finally
just
last
later
next
now
recently
soon
then
tomorrow
when
while
and yesterday.

 

 

Adverbs of Completeness
Everywhere
here
there

 

How Adverbs Are Formed

1. In most cases, an adverb is formed by adding ‘-ly’ to an adjective:

Adjective Adverb

cheap
quick
slow

cheaply
quickly
slowly

 

Examples

  • Time goes quickly.
  • He walked slowly to the door.
  • She certainly had an interesting life.
  • He carefully picked up the sleeping child.

If the adjective ends in ‘-y’, replace the ‘y’ with ‘i’ and add ‘-ly’:

Adjective Adverb

easy
angry
happy
lucky

easily
angrily
happily
luckily

If the adjective ends in ‘able’, ‘-ible’or ‘-le’replace the ‘-e’ with ‘-y’:

Adjective Adverb

probable
terrible
gentle

probably
terribly
gently

If the adjective ends in ‘-ic’, add ‘-ally’:

Adjective Adverb

basic
economic
tragic

basically
economically
tragically

Exception: public – publicly

 

 

 

2. Some adverbs have the same form as the adjective:

Adjective and Adverb

early
fast
hard
high

late
near
straight
wrong

 

 

 

3. ‘Well‘ and ‘good

Well’ is the adverb that corresponds to the adjective ‘good’

Also see: Degrees of Comparison

 

 

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