Adverbs in English

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I Will Gladly Explain to You What Adverbs Are

What are Adverbs?

Adverbs are words that describe actions (verbs), adjectives, sentence parts, or other adverbs. They are not adjectives, which describe nouns.


Examples:

Our neighbor is a very kind woman.

Question: What is our neighbor (noun) like? -> kind

"Kind" describes the noun in the sentence, so it is not an adverb but an adjective.

Our neighbor kindly accepted the parcel for us.

Question: How did our neighbor accept the parcel for us (action)? -> kindly

"Kindly" describes the action or verb in the sentence, so it is an adverb .

How are Adverbs Formed?

Adjective + "-ly"

Examples:    kind - kindly    nice - nicely    great - greatly    severe - severely    



1 Adjectives with the Ending "-le"

If an adjective has the ending "-le", "-le" is replaced with "-ly" to form the adverb.


Examples:

terrible - terribly
sensible - sensibly
intolerable - intolerably


2 Adjectives with the Ending "-y"

If an adjective has the ending "-y", the "y" becomes an "i", and the ending "-ly" is added to form the adverb.


Examples:

heavy - heavily
happy - happily
merry - merrily


3 Adjectives with the Ending "-ic"

If an adjective has the ending "-ic", "-ally" is added to form the adverb.


Examples:

rhythmic - rhythmically
frantic - frantically
aesthetic - aesthetically


4 Exceptions

Some adverbs do not conform to any of these rules.


Examples:

good - well
fast - fast
hard - hard
far - far

How Adverbs Are Used

Adverbs can be used to describe anything that is not a noun.

1 Describing Actions/Verbs

As the word "adverb" suggests, adverbs can be used to describe verbs (actions).


Examples:

After he won the competition, Bert walked across the stage triumphantly.
My aunt sang beautifully, while her husband sang badly.


2 Describing Sentences

Adverbs can also be used to describe a sentence or give it a certain atmosphere.


Examples:

Luckily, Martin was on time for his speech.
Surprisingly, the cake was still there in the morning.


3 Describing Adjectives

Adverbs can also be used to describe adjectives.


Examples:

This runner from Kenya was incredibly fast.
The poppy seed and chili tart was surprisingly tasty.


4 Describing Other Adverbs

Adverbs can even describe other adverbs, especially when you want to emphasize the second adverb.


Examples:

Very sadly, she withdrew from the sandpit.
The accident happened quite quickly.

Other Kinds of Adverbs

Adverbs of Time


Examples:

tomorrow, yesterday, now

Tom is coming for lunch tomorrow.
I'm tired now.


Adverbs of Frequency


Examples:

sometimes, never, all the time, frequently

Carl visits Mira all the time.
Orson never writes to me.


Adverbs of Place


Examples:

everywhere, there, here, somewhere

There were flowers everywhere, and the room looked fantastic.
He went there two minutes ago.