She sings very quietly.
adverb phrases perform five main
grammatical functions within
sentences in the English
correctly speak and write
with adverbs and adverb
phrases in English.
Adverbs are traditionally defined as
"words that describe verbs, adjectives,
and other adverbs."
Adverb phrases are defined as
phrases that consist of an adverb plus
any modifying adverbs and adverb
For example : very, incredibly , quickly,
and however are all adverb phrases.
The five functions of adverb phrases are:
1. Adjective phrase modifier
2. Adverb phrase modifier
3. Verb phrase modifier
The first grammatical function that adverb
phrases can perform is the adjective phrase
- For example, the following italicized
adverbs and adverb phrases function as
adjective phrase modifiers:
Your newborn baby daughter is very tiny.
Students who are clearly sick may not
• The second grammatical function that
adverb phrases can perform is the
adverb phrase modifier. Adverb phrase
modifiers are defined as words and
phrases that describe an adverb or
EX :My use of adverbs is almost always
The music from next door is
blaring extremely loudly.
• The third grammatical function that adverbs
and adverb phrases can perform is the verb
phrase modifier. Verb phrase modifiers are
defined as words and phrases that can
describe a verb or verb phrase
• EX :
Residents must quickly and quietly exit the
building during the fire drill.
Her husband almost always forgets to take out
The fourth grammatical function that
adverb phrases can perform is the
adverbial. Adverbials are defined as words,
phrases, and clauses that modify an entire
clause by providing information such as
time, place, manner, condition, reason, or
The woman waited in line patiently
The new mother looked at her new
The fifth grammatical function that
adverbs and adverb phrases can perform
is the adjunct. Adjuncts are defined as
words and phrases that frame an entire
Do you like to write about grammar, too?
Nevertheless, students must turn in all
assignments before the next class.
Syntax of the Adverb Phrase
Like Adjective, Adverbs can be introduced by
• Comparison:more/most, less/least
• Intensity: too, very, so, quite…
_Franz walks more quickly than Hans.
_Sora ate her lunch too fast.
_Nika speaks so quietly.
Can Adverb introduce other Adverb?
• Franz walks amazingly quickly.
• Sora ate her lunch incredibly fast.
• Nika speaks extremely quietly.
These are also Degree words
_She sings terribly.(= in a terrible manner)
Evidence that a DEGREE WORD “goes with” an
ADVERB to form a phrase:
_Charlie drives very carefully.
_Charlie drives how carefully?
_How carefully does Charlie drive?
_How does Charlie drive carefully?
how carefully is a constituent = ADVP
Wh-proforms can also pronominalize for entire
ADVP in a way that it often can’t for AP:
Ricky drives [ADVvery fast].
How does Ricky drive? (very fast)
Charlotte is [APreally nice].
What is Charlotte? (≠ really nice)
The singer sang softly.
The singer sang very beautifully.
The soprano sang softly and very
[softly] and [very beautifully] are
“softly and very beautifully”
Type Adverb phrase Example
Manner With a hammer
The carpenter hit the nail with
Place Next door
The woman who lives next
door is a doctor.
Time Before the holidays
We must finish our
project before the holidays.
Frequency Every month
Sally buys two CDs every
Purpose For his mother
John bought the flowers for