What Is an Adverb? | Definitions, Rules, and Examples
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An adverb is a word that describes or gives more information about a verb, an adjective, another adverb, or a whole sentence.
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".)
Adverbs of Manner
In simple words, adverbs of manner tell us how an action happens.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
This is a beautiful dress. (adjective)
The dress is designed beautifully. (adverb)
Most adverbs are formed by adding -ly to adjectives.
quick - quickly
wise - wisely
Adjectives ending with -y are made adverbs by changing -y to -ily.
happy - happily
Adjectives ending with -able or -ible are made adverbs by changing -e to -y.
approachable - approachable
horrible - horribly
Adjectives ending with -c are made adverbs by changing -c to -cally.
ironic - ironically
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.
The job was done easily.
Aunt Julia left early this time.
Adverbs Describing Adjectives
Adverbs are often used to describe adjectives.
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.
Kiara went through the book fairly quickly.
Adverbs Describing Clauses
Interestingly, adverbs can sometimes be used to describe an entire clause.
Remarkably, China was at the top of the list.