Adverbs | Definitions, Rules, and Examples

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What Is an Adverb?

An adverb is a word that describes or gives more information about a verb, an adjective, another adverb, or a whole sentence.

Examples:

Cora finished lunch quickly. (The adverb "quickly" modifies the verb "finished".)

Ryan is too fat. (The adverb "too" modifies the adjective "fat".)

Maya spoke quite excitedly. (The adverb "quite" modifies another adverb "excitedly".)

Thankfully, tomorrow is a holiday. (The adverb "thankfully" modifies the sentence "Tomorrow is a holiday".)

Types of Adverbs

  • Adverbs of Manner

    In simple words, adverbs of manner tell us how an action happens.

    Example:

    Martin spoke slowly. (The adverb "slowly" tell us how or the manner in which Martin spoke.)

  • Adverbs of Place

    An adverb of place tells us where an action happens.

    Example:

    Martha studied here. (The adverb "here" tells us where or the place in which Martha studied.)

  • Adverbs of Time

    An adverb of time tells us when an action happens.

    Example:

    Dad is traveling next week. (The adverb "next week" tells us when or the time in which Dad is traveling.)

  • Adverbs of Duration

    An adverb of duration tells us for how long an action happens. Adverbs of duration mostly contain one of the two words: since or for.

    Example:

    We have been on holidays for a week. (The adverb “for a week” tells for how long we have been on holidays.)

  • Adverbs of Frequency

    An adverb of frequency tells us how often an action happens.

    Example:

    We go to the movies once in a week. (The adverb “once in a week” tells how often we go to the movies.)

  • Adverbs of Degree

    An adverb of degree tells us about the degree or intensity of a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.

    Example:

    I have almost finished the work. (The adverb “almost” tells how much I have finished work.)

Click on the Circles to Spot the Six Adverbs

good
excitedly
massive
swiftly
big
funnily
boringly
generously
gently
tasty
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How Are Adverbs Different from Adjectives?

While an adjective describes a noun, an adverb can describe a verb, adjective, clause, or another adverb. In other words, adverbs have a wider scope than adjectives.

Examples:

This is a beautiful dress. (adjective)

The dress is designed beautifully. (adverb)

How to Form Adverbs

  • Most adverbs are formed by adding -ly to adjectives.

    Examples:

    quick - quickly

    wise - wisely

  • Adjectives ending with -y are made adverbs by changing -y to -ily.

    Example:

    happy - happily

  • Adjectives ending with -able or -ible are made adverbs by changing -e to -y.

    Examples:

    approachable - approachable

    horrible - horribly

  • Adjectives ending with -c are made adverbs by changing -c to -cally.

    Example:

    ironic - ironically

The Number One Function of an Adverb

The most popular role of an adverb is to describe a verb. We find this function of adverbs in nearly every sentence that we read or hear.

Examples:

The job was done easily.

Aunt Julia left early this time.

Other Functions of Adverbs

  • Adverbs Describing Adjectives

    Adverbs are often used to describe adjectives.

    Examples:

    This is a very good movie.

    Sandra worked at an amazingly fast pace.

  • Adverbs Describing Other Adverbs

    It's not unusual for an adverb to modify another adverb in a sentence.

    Example:

    Kiara went through the book fairly quickly.

  • Adverbs Describing Clauses

    Interestingly, adverbs can sometimes be used to describe an entire clause.

    Example:

    Remarkably, China was at the top of the list.


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Sample Worksheets

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