What are adverbs?
An adverb is a word that modifies verbs, adjectives and other adverbs.
Adverbs vs Adjectives
The difference between an adverb and an adjective is the following:
- An adjective modifies a noun. Example: "John is tall." (The adjective tall modifies the moun John)
- An adverb modifies a verb, and adjective or another noun: Examples:
- "The idea is simply ridiculous". (The adverb simply modify the adjective ridiculous)
- "She sings nicely." (The adverb nicely modifies the verb sing)
- "She did it really well." (The adverb really modifies the adverb well)
IMPORTANT: Note that the adverbs in in English are more widely used than in Spanish; we sometimes use adjectives in cases where English uses an adverb. Example:
- "They lived happily for ever" - Vivieron felices para siempre.
Read the passage:
Mrs Smith immediately called the police when she saw the criminals assaulting the poor boy aggressively. It was
the most horrible scene that she had ever witnessed in her life. She had always lived peacefully in that neighborhood. No
one had ever disturbed her quiet nights there.
The words " immediately, aggressively, peacefully, ever, always, there" are adverbs.
What are the different types of adverbs?
Basically, most adverbs tell you how, in what way, when, where, and to what extent something is done. In other words, they describe the manner, place, or time of an action. Here are some examples:
- He speaks quietly. (quietly is an adverb of manner.)
- I live here. (here is an adverb of place.)
- We'll leave tomorrow. (tomorrow is an adverb of time.)
- She never sleeps late. (never is an adverb of frequency.)
1. Regular adverbs (ADVERBS OF MANNER):
Adverbs in English often end in -ly. These adverbs are formed by adding -ly to the end of an adjective:
slow → slowly
beautiful → beautifully
careful → carefully
violent → violently
true → truly (the silent e is dropped and add -ly)
happy → happily (y becomes i and add -ly)
possible → possibly (e after a consonant is dropped and -ly is added)
ful → fully (-ll becomes -lly and -ly is added)
fanatic → fanatically (after adjectives ending in -ic, add -ally; there is an exception: public-publicly)
However, this is not the only way to form an adverb. Many adverbs do not end in -ly. This is a list of adverbs that don't follow the rule:
fast → fast
hard → hard
late → late
early → early
daily → daily
Some adjectives change their form when they become adverbs:
good → well
3. Things to remember:
Many words are not adverbs although they end in -ly. Here are examples of adjectives that end in -ly.
- a kindly teacher
- a lonely girl
- an elderly person
- a friendly policeman
To decide whether a word is an adverb ask questions with how, where and when.
- How does James speak Spanish? He speaks Spanish fluenly.
- Where do the kids play soccer? They play soccer here.
- When didshe write the email to her husbund? She wrote the email immediately.
Position of adverbs
1. Adverb of Manner
Examples of adverbs of manner are " nicely, beautifully, slowly, carefully, awfully..." These adverbs come after the direct object or after the verb if there isn't any direct object.
- He did the work efficiently. (The adverb of manner efficiently comes after the direct object the work.)
- He drove the lorry carelessly. (The adverb of manner carelessly comes after the direct object the lorry.)
- He spoke fluenly. (The adver of manner fluenly comes after the verb spoke.)
2. Adverbs of Place
Examples of adverbs of place are "here, there, behind, above..." Adverbs of place are like adverbs of manner. They come after the direct object or the verb.
- I met him here. ( The adverb of place here comes after the direct object him.)
- He sat there. (The adverb of place there comes after the verb sat.)
3. Adverbs of Time
Examples of adverbs of time are " recently, now, then, tomorrow, yesterday..." Adverbs of time are usually put at the end of the sentence but they may also come at the beginning of the sentence.
- I will show you the house tomorrow.
- Tomorrow, I will show you the house.
4. Adverbs of Frequency
Examples of adverbs of frequency are "always, never, seldom, usually..."
- Adverbs of frequency come before the main verb except the main verb "to be":
- I sometimes visit my uncle.
- We have often seen him pass by the house.
- They are seldom at work.
- Occasionally, sometimes, often, frequently and usually can also go at the beginning or at the end of a sentence:
- Sometimes, they visit him.
- I miss him occasionally.
- Rarely and seldom can also go at the end of a sentence (often with "very"):
- We see them rarely.
- John eats meat seldom.
Adverb Position Review
When an adverb modifies a verb, there are usually 3 possible positions within the sentence or clause:
When an adverb modifies an adjective or another adverb, it usually goes in front of the word that it modifies, for example:
The position of an adverb often depends on the kind of adverb (manner, place, time, degree). The following table gives you some guidelines for placement based on the kind of adverb.
Exceptions to formation REVIEW
The following adjectives are also used as adverbs(without modification):
close, daily, enough, early, far, fair, fast, free, hourly, like, likely, live, little, long, low, monthly, much, right, straight, weekly, wide, wrong,
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