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Eng Grammar


Posted: October 13, 2018 at 10:32 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Adverbs can tell you where, when, how, why and to what extent something happens.

There are several different classes of adverb (see above).

They are often formed from adjectives or nouns by adding the suffix -ly.

For example: Quick becomes quickly, sudden becomes suddenly, intelligent becomes intelligently.

To form an adverb from adjectives ending in -y change the to i before adding the –ly.

For example: angry becomes angrily, busy becomes busily.

To form an adverb from adjectives ending in -e drop the –before adding the –ly.

For example: feeble becomes feebly, true becomes truly.

Some adjectives ending in -ly need no changes.

For example: heavenly.

However there are exceptions.

For example: sly becomes slyly, shy becomes shyly.

Some adverbs do not end in -ly.

For example: fast, hard, straight.

Adjective Pretty Serious Fast Quiet
Example She was a pretty girl. He was a serious boy. It was a fast car. They were quiet children.
Adverb Prettily Seriously Fast Quietly
Example The bird sang prettily. The policeman spoke seriously. Schumacher drives fast. The woman spoke quietly.

Adverbs can modify adjectives

An adjective can be modified by an adverb, which precedes the adjective.

For example:-

That’s really nice.

Adverbs can modify adverbs

Some adverbs can modify others. As with adjectives, the adverb precedes the one it is modifying.

For example:-

She did it really well.

Adverbs can modify nouns

Adverbs can modify nouns to indicate time or place.

For example:-

The concert tomorrow.

The room upstairs.

Adverbs can modify noun phrases

Some adverbs of degree such as quite, rather, so, such … can modify noun phrases.

For example:-

We had quite a good time.

They’re such good friends.

Adverbs can modify determiners, numerals and pronouns

Adverbs such as almost, nearly, hardly, about, etc., can be used:

For example:-

Nearly everyone, who was invited, came to the party.

Adverbs can modify sentences

Some adverbs modify a whole sentence, not just a part of one.

For example:-

Luckily the car stopped in time. In this sentence luckily modifies the whole sentence, it shows that it was good luck that the car stopped in time.


Adverbs of Degree


Adverbs of degree tell us the strength or intensity of something that happens. Many adverbs are gradable, that is, we can intensify them. Basically they answer the sort of question that asks How much …? or How little…?

Adverbs of degree include; adequately, almost, entirely, extremely, greatly, highly, hugely, immensely, moderately, partially, perfectly, practically, profoundly, strongly, totally, tremendously, very, virtually etc.

For example:-

The man drove badly. = The man drove really badly. – In this sentence really shows us just how badly he drove.
They enjoyed the film. = They enjoyed the film immensely. –
 In this sentence immensely shows us how much they enjoyed the film.

These intensifiers are not gradable though, you cannot say The man drove extremely very badly.

Adverbs of Duration

Adverbs of duration tell us how long something happened.

They include; briefly, forever, long, shortly, permanantly, temporarily etc.

For example:

“They were occupied.” = “They were briefly occupied.” – In this sentence briefly shows us the duration.

“The phone was out of order.” = “The phone was temporarily out of order.” – In this sentence temporarily shows us the duration.


Adverbs of Frequency

Adverbs of frequency tell us how often something is done.

Adverbs of frequency include; always, constantly, continually, frequently, infrequently, intermittently, normally, occasionally, often, periodically, rarely, regularly, seldom, sometimes etc.

For example:

always do my homework on time. – In this sentence always shows us the frequency (how often) I do my homework on time.
She goes out occasionally. – In this sentence occasionally shows us the frequency (how often) she goes out.

Most frequent always
nearly always
almost always
now and then
once in a while
hardly ever
scarcely ever
almost never
Least frequent never

Adverbs of frequency appear between the subject and the verb in a sentence:-

For example:

I always update the calendar at the beginning of the month.
Poetria often takes notes during the Skype sessions.

Adverbs of frequency appear after a form of the to be – am, are, is (was, were) in a sentence:-

For example:

am never late.
Skype is occasionally frustrating.
They were always noisy.

Adverbs of frequency go between an auxiliary verb and the main verb:-

For example:

Anne doesn’t usually smoke.

If there are two auxiliary verbs, the adverb of frequency goes between them:-

For example:

have never been to Asia.

The adverbs of frequency often, usually, sometimes and occasionally can go at the beginning of a sentence:-

For example:

Usually I don’t give personal advice. = I don’t usually give personal advice.
Occasionally we go for a drive on a Sunday. = We occasionally go for a drive on a Sunday.

Adverbs of frequency go before the verbs used to or have to:-

For example:

always used to celebrate bonfire night.
usually have to get up early to walk Laika.

When something happens regularly at a fixed time we can use the following as adverbs:-

Every day
Every week = Weekly
Ever fortnight (two weeks) = Fortnightly
Every month = Monthly
Every year = Yearly/Annually

For example:

I get a newspaper every day. = I get the newspaper daily.
I pay my rent every month. = I pay my rent monthly.

Adverbs of Manner

Some adverbs tell us how an action is or should be performed.

Often these adverbs are formed by adding -ly to the end of an adjective.

Adjectives ending -l add -ly ; careful-carefully.

Adjectives ending -y change to -ily ; lucky-luckily

Adjectives ending -ble change to -bly ; responsible-responsibly


For example:

The little girl ran quickly. In this sentence quickly modifies the verb ran (to run).

Adverbs of Place

Adverbs of place indicate where something happens.

These include; abroad, anywhere, here, outside, somewhere, there, underground, upstairs etc.

For example:

My passport is here in my bag.

Place Example
Upstairs The children were playing upstairs.
In London The people demonstrated in London.
Outside The children were playing outside.

Adverbs of Probability

Adverbs of probability tell us the likelihood of something happening.

If you imagine playing dice, what’s the likelihood (probability) of rolling a six?

You know it’s possible, but it’s not certain.

The only certainty is that you’ll throw something between one and six. However, your less likely to throw two sixes.

Adverbs of probability include; certainly, definitely, doubtless, maybe, perhaps, possibly, probably etc.

For example:

We will win the game. = We will certainly win the game. – In this sentence certainly shows us the probability.


Adverbs of Time

Some adverbs tell us when something happened or will happen.

These include:afterwards, later, now, soon, yesterday etc.

For example:-

Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away. – In this sentence yesterday shows us when the singers troubles seemed so far away..

Other adverbs of time include:-

Time Example
Saturday, Sunday … I am going to the shops on Monday.
Today I’ve been to the shops today.
Yesterday I went yesterday.
Next week/month/year I am going next week.
Last week/month/year I went last year.
Finally I finally went.
Eventually I eventually went to the shops.
Already I’ve already been to the shops.
Soon I’m going to the shops soon.
Just I’m just going to the shops.
Still I’m still at the shops.



Adverbials modify or tell us something about the sentence or the verb. It may be a single adverb, a phrase, or a prepositional phrase, or clause element.

When an adverbial modifies a verb, it changes the meaning of that verb.

For example:-

The students looked at me.
The students looked at me anxiously. (The verb looked suddenly has a very different meaning).

When an adverbial modifies a sentence, the meaning of the sentence changes.

For example:-

I passed all of my exams.
Surprisingly, I passed all of my exams.

Word groups that are also considered to be adverbials can also modify verbs: a prepositional phrase, a noun phrase, a finite clause or a non-finite clause.

Multi-word adverbials are sometimes called adverbial phrases.

For example:-

I ran as quickly as I could, but I missed the bus.

If a whole clause acts as an adverbial, it’s called an adverbial clause.

For example:-

I’ll go to bed when the film ends.

Adverbs of Comparison

When we compare what two things or people do we look at what makes one different from the other.

Adverbs of comparison are used to show what one thing does better or worse than the other.

When an adverb ends in -ly, more is put in front of the adverb.

For example:-

  • “After her poor test results, Jill did her homework more frequently.”

The rule for forming the comparative of an adverb is if it has the same form as an adjective add the suffix -er to the end.

For example:-

  • “Jack did his homework faster.”

The following irregular adverbs are exceptions to this rule:

  • ‘well’ becomes ‘better’
  • ‘badly’ becomes ‘worse’
  • ‘little’ becomes ‘less’

For example:-

  • Jill’s test results were better.”
  • “Jack’s test results were worse.”
  • “To lose weight you need to eat less.”

!Note – When comparing things you need to put than between the adverb and what is being compared.

For example:-

  • “Jack did his homework faster than Jill.”
  • “Jill did her homework more frequently than Jack.”

Superlative form of Adverbs

The superlative form of an adverb is used to say what thing or person does something to the greater degree within a group or of its kind. Superlatives can be preceded by ‘the‘. In general the superlative forms of adverbs are the same as for superlative forms of adjectives.

The rule for forming the superlative of an adverb is if it has the same form as an adjective add the suffix -est to the end.

For example:-

  • fast – “Jill ran the fastest.”

When an adverb ends in -ly, most is put in front of the adverb.

For example:-

  • Frequently – “Jill did her homework most frequently.”

The following irregular adverbs are exceptions:-

  • ‘well’ becomes ‘the best’
  • ‘badly’ becomes ‘the worst’

For example:

  • Jill did the best in the test.”
  • “Jack did the worst in the test.”

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