Adverbs in English–Words That Modify or Describe Verbs, Adjectives or Other Adverbs
Adverbs are words that give us more information. They modify or give us more information about verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. In this posting I talk about 5 kinds of adverbs and the information they give you. I also show you how these words can give you more information about adjectives and other adverbs. Finally, I show you how they can be formed form adjectives. I will include many example sentences. The download at the end will give you more practice using and understanding these important words.
Let us look at how to form and use adverbs.
What are adverbs?
Adverbs modify or describe verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. They answer the following questions: How?, When?, How often?, Where?, and To What degree? There are 5 types of adverbs. Each type answers a different question.
Adverbs of manner
These answer the question-How? They tell us how something is done.
Adverbs of manner may be placed before or after the verb.
Adverbs of Time
These words tell us when something happened.
Adverbs of Frequency
These also tell us about time. they tell us how often something happens. Here are some common adverbs of frequency.
- always–100% of the time
- almost always–90% of the time
- usually–80% of the time
- often–70% of the time
- sometimes–50% of the time
- occasionally–20% -30% of the time
- seldom–10% of the time
- rarely–5% of the time
- almost never–1%-2% of the time
- never–0% of the time
When we use the be verb, we place the adverb of frequency after the verb.
With all other verbs, the adverb of frequency comes first, and then the verb.
Adverbs of place
These tell us where something happens. Here are some common adverbs of place.
Adverbs of degree
These words tell us how much of something is done. These words often come at the end of a sentence. They may actually be in the form of a phrase (several words).
Using adverbs of degree to modify adjectives
We can use some adverbs of degree to modify adjectives. They give us more information about the adjective.
Using adverbs of degree to modify other adverbs
We use adverbs of degree to modify other adverbs when we want to add emphasis or intensity to the meaning of the sentence.
Forming adverbs from adjectives
Many adjectives can become adverbs. We can do this by adding the suffix ly or ily to the adjective. Ly in English corresponds to mente in Spanish or ment in French. Here are some examples.
He is a quiet person.
My dog was happy to see me.
There are several possible endings to this story.
My boss was angry at me.
I was lucky. I won $1100.00.
Many people know that English words ending in ly are adverbs. That is usually true, but be careful. Some ly words are adjectives. Here are some examples.
- ugly–an ugly house
- lovely–a lovely woman
- friendly–a friendly person
When you see a word ending in ly, ask yourself, “Does it describe a verb, adjective, or another adverb?” If so, it is an adverb. If it describes a noun or pronoun, it is an adjective.
You now know that adverbs are words that describe or modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. There are 5 types of adverbs: manner (how), time (when), frequency (how often), place (where), and degree (how much something is done). Adverbs of degree may modify an adjective or another adverb. Many adjectives can become adverbs by adding ly or ily. However, not all English words ending in these letters are adverbs. some are adjectives. The download will give give you additional practice using and understanding this important part of speech.
Idioms of the day
- to put two and two together–This means to gather all the facts and then come to a conclusion. My cousin was visiting me. My gold necklace was on the table, but suddenly it was gone. Later I saw my cousin wearing it. I put two and two together and realized that she stole my necklace.
- to run hot and cold–This means to change constantly and be inconsistent. My boss confuses me . One minute he tells me I can set my own hours. The next minute he yells at me for being late. He runs hot and cold about what time I need to start work.