Adverbs (Adverbials) tell us more about a verb e.g The boy ran quickly.
Adverbs modify or qualify verbs, answering questions of how, when, where, 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:
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:
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:
in order to
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:
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:
Adverbs of Completeness
How Adverbs Are Formed
1. In most cases, an adverb is formed by adding ‘-ly’ to an adjective:
- 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’:
If the adjective ends in –‘able’, ‘-ible’, or ‘-le’, replace the ‘-e’ with ‘-y’:
If the adjective ends in ‘-ic’, add ‘-ally’:
Exception: public – publicly
2. Some adverbs have the same form as the adjective:
|Adjective and Adverb|
3. ‘Well‘ and ‘good‘
‘Well’ is the adverb that corresponds to the adjective ‘good’.
Also see: Degrees of Comparison