An Adverb a word which modifies a verb or an adjectives or another adverb.


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In the example above 'danced' is a verb which is being modified by the adverb "beautifully".

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In the example above 'beautiful' is an adjective which is being modified by an adverb 'very'.

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Adverbs of Manner tell us the manner or the 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 tell us the place where something happens. They answer the question 'where?'
An adverb of place mainly modifies verbs.
 Please sit here. (Where should I sit?)
 They looked everywhere. (Where did they looked?)
 Two cars were parked outside. (Where were two cars parked?)

Adverbs of time tell us something about the time that something happens. They answer the
question 'when?' Adverbs of Time mainly modify verbs.
 He came yesterday. (When did he came?)
 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 or
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?)


Adverbs of frequency tell us how many times the action occurs or occurred or will occur.
Examples: Rarely, daily, sometimes, often, seldom, usually, frequently, always, ever,
generally, monthly, yearly.
 She never smokes.
 He is always late for class.
 They always come in time.
 Barking dogs seldom bite.
 The employees are paid monthly.
 The employees are paid every month.

There are three degrees of comparison in adverbs the positive, the comparative, the superlative.
The adverbs form their comparatives and superlatives using –er and –est and more and most.
Adverbs that end in –ly use the words more and most to form their comparatives and superlatives.

The one-syllable adverbs use –er in the comparative form and –est in the superlative form.
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Adverbs which end in-ly or have three or 'more' syllables each form the comparative with more
and the superlative with 'most'.
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The comparative form is used to compare two things.
 We must not reach there later than 7o'clock/
 You speak more loudly than a loudspeaker.
 Sirius shines more brightly than all the other stars.

The superlative form is used to compare three more things.
 He arrived the earliest, so he had to wait for the others.

 Why do you have to speak the most loudly of all the meetings?
 Of all the girls, your sister sang the most sweetly.

It is not correct to use –er and more together, -est and most together.
 The tree is more taller than the giraffe. (Incorrect)
The tree is taller than the giraffe. (correct)
 This turkey is the most oldest in the farm. (incorrect)
This turkey is the oldest in the farm.(correct)

Some adverbs form the comparative and the superlative irregularly.

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 Of the two teddy bears, which do you like better?
 This has to be the farthest I have ever walked in my life.

Forms of Adverbs
There are three forms of adverbs: adverbs formed by adding -ly to an adjective, adverbs that share identical words with an adjective, and adverbs not derived from an adjective or any other word.

1. Most adverbs are formed by adding -ly to an adjective
o He had a sudden heart attack while jogging. (Adjective)
o He suddenly had a heart attack while jogging. (Adverb)
o She had a quick walk to get there on time. (Adjective)
o She walked quickly to get there on time. (Adverb)

2. Adverbs that share identical words with an adjective
o He found the exam quite hard. (Adjective)
o He failed his exam as he didn't try very hard. (Adverb)
o The two brothers live on opposite sides of the city. (Adjective)
o She has a brother who lives opposite to her. (Adverb)

3. Adverbs such as as, even, how, never, next, now, rather, so, soon, still, then, too, etc. are
not derived from an adjective or any other word.
 He doesn't even know where the Pacific Ocean is.
 He said he had never been to a circus.
 She has got rather a lot of money to spend at this time of the month.
 She has eaten two big pizzas and is still hungry

4. Converting a number of adjectives to adverbs by adding -ly entails removing a letter as
shown in the following:
 by adding –ly or –ally to the end of an adjective (quick –quickly, heroic –heroically),
 by adding –ly after removing the last –e from an adjective (comfortable–
comfortably,possible–possibly), or
 by dropping the last y from an adjective and replacing it with –ily (easy–easily, happy–

5. Adverbs are also formed from other parts of speech such as noun (accident)and verb
(hurry), and from present participle (frightening).
 She deleted my file by accident. (Noun)
 She accidentally deleted my file. (Adverb)
 Nick hurried to answer the telephone. (Verb)
 Nick moved hurriedly to answer the telephone. (Adverb)
 He's frightening us with the speed he's driving. (present participle)
 He's driving frighteningly close to the edge of the pavement. (Adverb

Positions of Adverbs
Adverbs occupy different positions in a sentence.
1. At the beginning of a sentence before the subject
Sometimes she gives me a lift to work.
Fortunately we got home before it started to rain.
Suddenly all the lights went out.

2. After the auxiliary verb and before the main verb
The father was tragically killed in a road accident.
We do occasionally go bird-watching.
The rain has already stopped when we arrived.

3. After the auxiliary verb (be) that is used as the main verb
She is always quick to point out other people's faults.
As usual, they are very late.
The boys were incredibly lucky to be alive after what happened.

4. Before the main verb if there is no auxiliary verb
Their parents often go to the cinema.
She reluctantly agreed to his proposals.
Your fat uncle accidentally knocked my vase of fresh flowers over.

5. After the main verb if there is no auxiliary verb
The sisters dressed beautifully for the occasion.
The tourist looked carefully at the antique before she bought it.
She spoke loudly to the crowd on women's issues.

6. At the end of a sentence
He admitted punching and kicking the man repeatedly.
Our old neighbor fell and hurt her leg badly.
Hey, you have not pronounced my name correctly.


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