What is adverb?
A word that describes or gives more
information about a verb, adjective,
phrase, or other adverb. In the sentences
‘He ate quickly.’ and ‘It was extremely
good.’, ‘quickly’ and ‘extremely’ are both
How to recognize adverbs?
We can usually recognize an adverb by its:
• Function (Job)
The principal job of an adverb is to modify (give more information about)
verbs, adjectives and other adverbs. In the following examples, the adverb
is in bold and the word that it modifies is in italics.
a. Modify a verb:
- John speaks loudly. (How does John speak?)
- Mary lives locally. (Where does Mary live?)
- She never smokes. (When does she smoke?)
b. Modify an adjective:
- He is really handsome.
C. Modify another adverb:
- She drives incredibly slowly.
But adverbs have other functions, too. They can:
Modify a whole sentence:
- Obviously, I can't know everything.
Modify a prepositional phrase:
- It's immediately inside the door.
Modify a clause
Perhaps you are correct, but not at first glance. ('perhaps' modifies clause
'you are correct')
Adverbs that end in -ly are formed by adding -ly to an adjective, a present
participle, or a past participle.
- from an adjective
careful - carefully beautiful - beautifully fitting - fittingly
- from a present participle
willing - willingly glowing - glowingly surprising - surprisingly
- from a past participle
assured - assuredly affected - affectedly surprised - surprisedly
When adjective ends in -able or -ible, the adverb is formed by replacing
final -e with -y horrible - horribly terrible - terribly
When adjective ends in -y, the adverb is formed by replacing final -y with ily happy - happily lucky - luckily
When adjective ends in -ic, the adverb is formed by replacing final -ic with
-ically economic - economically ironic - ironically
Some adverbs have no particular form, for example: well, fast, very, never,
always, often, still
Adverbs have three main positions in the
1. Front (before the subject):
- Now we will study adverbs.
2. Middle (between the subject and the main verb):
- We often study adverbs.
3. End (after the verb or object):
- We study adverbs carefully.
KINDS OF ADVERBS
1. Adverb of manner
In English, adverbs of manner (answering the
question how?) are often formed by adding -ly to
adjectives. For example, great yields greatly, and
beautiful yields beautifully. (Note that some
words that end in -ly, such as friendly and lovely,
are not adverbs, but adjectives, in which case the
root word is usually a noun.
2. Adverb of time
• Adverbs of time - answer the question When?
He has not played chess recently.
I haven’t seen Tom recently/lately (= in the
last few weeks).
List: early, never, now, often, soon, then, today,
3. Adverb of place
• Adverbs of place (location, direction) answer the question Where?
• I walked downstairs. Have you ever gone
• I will meet you outside.
List: above, away, below, down, here, inside,
4. Adverb of degree
• Adverbs of degree - answer the question How
• He is totally prepared for his birthday.
• I am too tired to play tennis tonight.
• He is completely tired from the journey.
List: almost, entirely, little, much, rather, very,
Level of degree
The highest level
absolutely, altogether, completely, entirely, quite, totally, utterly
(i.e. I agree with you completely)
very, a lot, a great deal, considerable, extremely
(i.e. Thank you for your extremely useful advice).
Rather, quite, fairly, pretty, slightly, somewhat, a bit, little, a little
(i.e. I was slightly disappointed with my results in the test; I found
it rather difficult).
Quite usually refers to a positive situation, while rather refer to a
negative one, i.e. quite bright, quite exciting, rather boring, rather
extremely, very, rather, fairly, incredibly, pretty, quite.
slightly, fairly, rather, very, extremely, a bit, quite, pretty,
Rather is more formal than the other words and often
describes a negative situation:
We had rather bad weather
The food was rather expensive
For a positive situation, rather often indicates that
something is better than we expected .
Her cooking is rather good quality
Almost, nearly and practically
It’s almost/nearly five o’clock. (=it is probably about 4.57)
I almost/nearly lost the match. (=I won but only just; only by a small
(Not) at all, (not) a bit
That lecture wasn’t at all useful (=it was completely useless)
Hardly, scarcely, barely
Nona is scarcely awake (=almost asleep)
• Incredibly, pretty, and a bit are informal and
mostly used in spoken English; a bit is mostly used
before negative adjectives (not positive ones) or
adjective with negative prefix.
The hotel was a bit disappointing, actually.
I thought she looked a bit unhappy.
5. Adverb of frequency
• Adverbs of frequency - answer the question
• He rarely goes by himself.
• She constantly finishes her job first.
always, never, usually, frequently, sometimes,
(every time) generally
(lost of time)
(not many time)
• Adverbs of frequency go before the main verb with the exception of the verb ‘to
I occasionally see them
She is often late three days
• Sometimes, occasionally, and often can go at the beginning or end of the sentence
They go to the zoo quite often
Some times my parents give me money
Hardly + a positive often has the same meaning as almost + a negative
I hardly had anything to eat for lunch. (=I had almost nothing)
1. Nancy and I (30%) ……….. go out for coffee
2. Andrea (90%)…………… has ice-cream for dessert
3. I (20%) ………………. drive my car to work.
4. Andy (10%) …………… gets to visit with his cousins.
5. It (0%) ……………… rains here in the summer.
• Adverbs as intensifiers
• Adverbs can be used as amplifiers, down toners, or emphasizers.
- as emphasizers.
• · I really like him.
• · I literally wrecked my car.
- as amplifiers
• · They completely abandoned the city.
• · I absolutely refuse to leave.
- as down toners
• · I somewhat like this movie.
• · Peter almost quit that job.