Adverbs

We use adverbs to modify verbs, adjectives and clauses.

We distinguish several kinds of adverbs:

Adverbs of manner describe how something is done:

She sings beautifully.

He drives carefully.

Adverbs of manner are normally formed by adding -ly to the corresponding adjective; e.g. easy – easily, quiet – quietly, successful – successfully.

A few adverbs have the same form as the corresponding adjectives: e.g. fast, late, near, hard, high, early, etc.

She’s a hard worker. She works hard.

John is a fast runner. He runs fast.

The forms lately, nearly, hardly, deeply, highly also exist, but have a narrower meaning than their corresponding adjectives:

lately = recently; deeply = profoundly; nearly = almost; hardly = scarcely, almost not, with difficulty

Adverbs of frequency describe how often something happens:

They usually have lunch at two o’clock.

He sometimes works overtime.

Adverbs of frequency are: always, usually, generally, normally, sometimes, occasionally, often, seldom, rarely, never, etc.

These adverbs usually go between the subject and the verb:

I always have a big breakfast.

They often visit us.

If the tense uses an auxiliary verb, the adverb goes after the auxiliary, but before the verb:

We’ll never forget your kindness.

Jane doesn’t always work on Fridays.

Adverbs of place answer the question where:

Jane works here.

I saw him at the bus stop.

Adverbs of time answer the question when:

We have a lot of work to do today.

John will visit us at five o’clock.

We saw them yesterday.

 

Exercise:

Write the adverbs: quick, slow, fast, careful, stupid, dangerous, good, hard, clever, nice, bad, intelligent, polite, rude, brave, early.

 

(Answer: quickly, slowly, fast, carefully, stupidly, dangerously, well, hard, cleverly, nicely, badly, intelligently, politely, rudely, bravely, early)

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