Adverbs: Types and features


The main function of an adverb is to give more information about a verb. An adverb is said to modify a verb because it limits the word it describes in some way. Thus, modifying the verb walk with the adverb quickly means that we know that we are concentrating on walking quickly and that we can forget about walking in any other way. Adverbs can also modify other adverbs, as in extremely suddenly, adjectives, as in gravely ill, prepositions, as in just after dinner and conjunctions as in exactly what he said.

An adverb is usually a single word. When a group of words performs the same function as an adverb it is known as an adverbial phrase or adverbial.

Types of Adverb

There are various types of adverb—adverbs of timefrequencydurationplacemanner and degree, as well as interrogative adverbs.

Adverbs of Time

Adverbs of time indicate when something has happened. They include words such as then, now,

afterwards, before, later. In the following sentences the underlined words are adverbs of time:

  1. I’ll see you soon.
  2. They haven’t seen him lately.
  3. It was her birthday today.
  4. I wasn’t married then.
  5. We’d never met before.
  6. Afterwards, we had afternoon tea.

Adverbs of Frequency

Adverbs of frequency indicate how frequently something happens. They include words such as oftenalwaysnever, and seldom.

In the following sentences the underlined words are adverbs of frequency:

  1. It always snowed at Christmas there.
  2. We rarely meet these days.
  3. He never drinks alcohol.
  4. She is forever criticizing him.
  5. We play tennis together regularly.
  6. The patient is being monitored constantly.
  7. We usually have dinner at 8 p.m.

Adverbs of Duration

Adverbs of duration indicate how long something lasts or occurs. They include words such as always, briefly, permanently, indefinitely.

In the following sentences the underlined words are adverbs of duration:

  1. She is living with her grandmother temporarily.
  2. He has been suspended from his job indefinitely.
  3. I haven’t known her long.
  4. We will stay here overnight.
  5. She’s always lived here.
  6. They stopped briefly to fill the car with petrol.

Adverbs of Place

Adverbs of place are used to indicate where something happens or takes place. They include such words as here, there, near, downstairs and indoors.

In the following sentences the underlined words are adverbs of place:

  1. He has gone overseas.
  2. They live nearby.
  3. She went inside.
  4. He walked alongside.
  5. They are travelling northward.
  6. We waded ashore.
  7. The child doesn’t live here.
  8. He held the banner aloft.
  9. We met midway,

Adverbs of Manner

Adverbs of manner indicate how something happens or the circumstances in which something happens. They are frequently formed by adding -ly to an adjective and they include carefully, easily, hurriedly,plainly, quickly, safely, suddenly, willingly. A few of them end in -wise, -ways or -wards.

In the following sentences the underlined words are adverbs of manner:

  1. She was neatly dressed.
  2. He smiled vaguely.
  3. They spoke eloquently.
  4. I behaved foolishly.
  5. He lives dangerously.
  6. We waited patiently.
  7. You are needed urgently.
  8. She laughed excitedly.
  9. They filmed him secretly.
  10. I met him accidentally.
  11. She acted independently.

Adverbs of Degree

Adverbs of degree are used to indicate the degree to which an action is performed. Many of them are formed by adding -ly to an adjective and they include fairly, moderately, remarkably, very and partly.

In the following sentences the underlined words are adverbs of degree:

  1. I enjoyed the film immensely.
  2. I was tremendously pleased by the unexpected gift.
  3. She was hugely impressed by the efforts of the children.
  4. She was unbelievably beautiful.
  5. They were only moderately enthusiastic about the project.
  6. She was slightly hurt by the remark.
  7. They were partly responsible for the error.
  8. Her father was a supremely successful businessman.
  9. They largely ignored us.
  10. The village was virtually destroyed by the storms.
  11. The child almost drowned.
  12. I was enormously encouraged by their praise.

Adverbs of Emphasis

A small group of adverbs of degree are known as adverbs of emphasis. These are formed from emphatic adjectives and include absolutelyentirely, really, utterly and positively.

In the following sentences the underlined words are adverbs of emphasis:

  1. We totally disagree with you.
  2. I was utterly devastated by the news.
  3. I quite agree.
  4. She positively adores him.
  5. He really loathes his job.
  6. She completely broke down and wept uncontrollably.

Interrogative Adverbs

Interrogative adverbs are among the wh- words which are used to ask wh- questions and include when, where, how and why.

In the following sentences the underlined words are interrogative adverbs:

  1. When did you last see him?
  2. Where was the money hidden?
  3. How are you feeling?
  4. Why was he there?

EVALUATION

  1. What is an adverb?
  2. Give 5 examples of adverb.
  3. Explain 3 types of adverbs with five examples each.
  4. Mention two functions of adverb.

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