4th Class English Adverbs Adverbs


Category : 4th Class


This lesson will help you to:

  • learn the use of adverbs in sentence construction and in the expression of English language.
  • learn to differentiate adverb from other parts of speech and observe how to and to what extent adverbs modify them.



What is an Adverb?

An adverb is a word that tells us more about a verb. It "qualifies" or "modifies" a verb (The man ran quickly). In the following examples, the adverb is in bold and the verb that it modifies is in italics.

John speaks loudly. (How does John speak?) 

Afterwards she smoked a cigarette. (When did she smoke?)

But adverbs can also modify adjectives (Tara is really beautiful), or even other adverbs (It works verywell).

Look at these examples:

Modify an adjective:

He is really handsome. (How handsome is he?)

That was extremely kind of you.

Modify another adverb:

She drives incredibly slowly. (How slowly does she drive?)

He drives extremely fast.


We make many adverbs by adding -ly to an adjective, for example:

Quick (adjective) > quickly (adverb).

Careful (adjective) > carefully (adverb).

Beautiful (adjective) > beautifully (adverb). There are some basic rules about spelling for -ly adverbs. See the table below:

But not all words that end in -ly are adverbs. The words friendly, lovely, lonely and neighbourly, for example, are all adjectives. And some adverbs have no particular form. Look at these examples:

Well, fast, very, never, always, often, still  



Here you can see the basic kinds of adverbs.

Adverbs of Manner

Adverbs of manner tell us the manner or way in which something happens. They answer the question "how?". Adverbs of manner mainly modify verbs.

He speaks slowly. (How does he speak?)

They helped us cheerfully. (How did they help us?)

James Bond drives his cars fast. (How does James Bond drive his cars?)

Adverbs of Place

Adverbs of place tell us the place where something happens.Adverbs of Place mainly modify verbs.They answer the question "where?".

Please sit here. (Where should I sit?)

They looked everywhere. (Where did they look?) 

Two cars were parked outside. (Where were two cars parked?)

Adverbs of Time

Adverbs of time tell us something about the time that something happens. Adverbs of time mainly modify verbs.

They can answer the question "when?":

He came yesterday. (When did he come?)

I want it now. (When do I want it?) Or they can answer the question "how often?":

They deliver the newspaper daily. (How often do they deliver the newspaper?)

We sometimes watch a movie. (How often do we watch a movie?)  



Adverbs of degree tell us the degree or extent to which something happens. They answer the question "how much?" or "to what degree?". Adverbs of degree can modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs.

She entirely agrees with him. (How much does she agree with him?)

Mary is very beautiful. (To what degree is Mary beautiful? How beautiful is Mary?)

He drove quite dangerously. (To what degree did he drive dangerously? How dangerously did he drive?)

The most common use of an adverb, of course, is to describe verbs: He ran quickly. Actually, however, adverbs can modify anything but nouns or verb forms used as nouns. Typically adverbs express time (now, then), manner (happily, easily), degree (less, more, very), direction and place (there, up, down), affirmation or negation (certainly, not), cause and result (thus, consequently), and qualification or doubt (however, probably).

Although many adverbs are formed by adding -ly to adjectives (quick, quickly; happy, happily), adverbs have no characteristic form. They must be identified by the function they perform in a sentence. In the sentence that is a fast car, fast is an adjective. But in He ran fast, it is an adverb.

Certain adverbs (how, when, where, why, whenever, and wherever) are called relative adverbs because they introduce relative clauses in a sentence: The keys are upstairs where you left them. The clause where you left them modifies the adverb upstairs.

Other adverbs are called conjunctive adverbs because they join one clause with another. Some of these adverbs are: therefore, accordingly, besides, furthermore, instead, meanwhile, and nevertheless. In the sentence He was tired; therefore he stayed home, the word therefore modifies the clause of which it is a part and connects that clause to the previous part of the sentence.

Other Topics

Notes - Adverbs

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