FAQ - English & Grammar

What Is an Adverb? Definition and Examples

What Is an Adverb?

 

An adverb is a part of speech that modifies another word. More specifically, it can describe a verb (an action word), an adjective (a word that describes a noun), another adverb, or a clause. Adverbs can also function as prepositions, which are words that show the relationship between other words in a sentence. These are called prepositional adverbs. How do you identify an adverb in a sentence? In many cases—but not all—adverbs end in -ly and are, therefore, easy to locate.

 

Examples of adverbs:

 

·         Brian slowly ate his sandwich. (describes the verb “ate”)

·         The boy was really excited to see his mother. (describes the adjective “excited”)

·         David very calmly answered her questions. (describes the adverb “calmly”)

 

Example of prepositional adverb:

 

·         As Cindy walked by the field, she smelled the flowers. (describes the verb “walked”)

 

What Are the Types of Adverbs?

 

In the English language, there are five basic types of adverbs that answer the “when,” “where,” “how,” “how often,” or “to what degree” question. The five adverb types include:

 

·         Time

·         Place

·         Frequency

·         Manner

·         Degree

 

What Is an Adverb of Time?

 

Adverbs of time answer the “when” question. It provides information about the time that a verb/action occurs.

 

·         The boys run. When do they run? The boys run tomorrow.

·         Solomon kicked the ball. When did he kick the ball? Solomon kicked the ball yesterday.

 

What Is an Adverb of Place?

 

Adverbs of place answer the “where” question. It provides the added detail about the location that a verb/action occurs.

 

·         The kite drifted. Where did the kite drift? The kite drifted above the trees.

·         After Jacob hit the piñata, the candy spilled. Where did the candy spill? After Jacob hit the piñata, the candy spilled everywhere

 

What Is an Adverb of Frequency?

 

Adverbs of frequency answer the “how often” question. It provides the added detail about how often a verb/action occurs.

 

·         Jessica brushes her cats. How often does she brush her cats? Jessica brushes her cats regularly.

·         Kobe cooks for his family. How often does he cook? Kobe cooks daily for his family.

 

What Is an Adverb of Manner?

 

Adverbs of manner answer the basic “how” question. It provides the added detail about the manner in which a verb/action occurs.

 

·         Suheer folds her clothes. How does she fold her clothes? Suheer folds her clothes neatly.

·         Benjamin declined the offer. How did he decline the offer? Benjamin reluctantly declined the offer.

 

What Is an Adverb of Degree?

 

Adverbs of degree answer the “to what extent or level” question. It provides the added detail about the level of intensity of a verb, adjective, or adverb.

 

·         Erin was tired. To what extent was she tired? Erin was extremely tired.

·         Joshua’s glass was empty. To what extent was his glass empty? Joshua’s glass was almost empty.

 

What Are Some Common Adverbs?

 

There are hundreds of adverbs in the English language, but the following are some of the most common ones, categorized by type:

 

Time

 

Later

Now

Soon

Today

Tomorrow

Tonight

Yesterday

 

Place

 

Above

Away

Behind

Everywhere

Here

Inside

Outside

Frequency

 

Always

Daily

Frequently

Never

Normally

Occasionally

Often

Sometimes

Manner

 

Carefully

Easily

Happily

Loudly

Proudly

Quickly

Quietly

Sadly

Slowly

 

Degree

 

Almost

Barely

Completely

Deeply

Entirely

Extremely

Fully

Very

 

Where Should Adverbs Be Placed in a Sentence?

 

An adverb that describes a verb usually appears before or after the verb in a sentence. It can also appear before the subject and the verb with its direct object. However, adverbs that describe adjectives or other adverbs must be placed immediately before the adjective or adverb they modify.

 

·         Before verb:  She quickly escaped.

·         Before subject:  Quickly, she escaped.

·         After verb:  She escaped quickly.

·         After verb and direct object:  She escaped the storm quickly.

 

Adverbs at a Glance

 

Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, other adverbs, or phrases. They fall within one of five basic types: time, place, manner, degree, and frequency. In a sentence, adverbs that modify verbs can be placed before or after the verb. Adverbs that modify adjectives and adverbs must be placed immediately before the adjective/adverb. Adverb examples: quickly, everywhere, and completely.

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