The table below shows the types of adverbs used in English along with their definitions and examples.

Type Definition Example
Adverbs of Manner Adverbs of manner provide information on how someone does something. Jack drives very carefully.
Adverbs of Time Adverbs of time provide information on when something happens. We’ll let you know our decision next week.
Adverbs of Frequency Adverbs of frequency provide information on how often something happens. They usually get to work at eight o’clock.
Adverbs of Degree Adverbs of degree provide information concerning how much of something is done. They like playing golf a lot.
Adverbs of Comment Adverbs of comment provide a comment, or opinion about a situation. Fortunately, there were enough seats left for the concert.

 

The table below shows the way we form English adverbs.

Adverbs are usually formed by adding ‘-ly‘ to an adjective. bad – badly
quiet – quietly
careful – carefully
careless – carelessly
Adjectives ending in ‘-le’ change to ‘-ly‘. possible – possibly
probable – probably
incredible – incredibly
Adjectives ending in ‘-y’ change to ‘-ily‘: consonant + y
Compare: vowel + y
lucky – luckily
happy – happily
angry – angrily
day (noun) – daily
Delete -e and add -ly for endings in -le noble – nobly
Adjectives ending in ‘-ic‘ change to ‘-ically‘. fantastic – fantastically
basic – basically
ironic – ironically
scientific – scientifically
Some adjectives are irregular. good – well
hard – hard
fast -fast

Position of adverbs in English

Type Position Example
Adverbs of Manner Adverbs of manner are placed after the verb or entire expression (at the end of the sentence). Their teacher speaksquickly.
Adverbs of Time Adverbs of time are placed after the verb or entire expression (at the end of the sentence). She visited her friends last year.
Adverbs of Frequency Adverbs of frequency are placed before the main verb (not the auxiliary verb). He often goes to bed late.
Do you sometimes get upearly?
Adverbs of Degree Adverbs of degree are placed after the verb or entire expression (at the end of the sentence). She’ll attend the meeting as well.
Adverbs of Comment Adverbs of comment are placed at the beginning of a sentence. Luckily, I was able to come to the presentation.

Important Exceptions to Adverb Placement

Some adverbs are placed at the beginning of a sentence to provide more emphasis.

For exampleNow you tell me you can’t come!

Adverbs of frequency are placed after the verb ‘to be‘ when used as the main verb of the sentence.

For example: Jack is often late for work.

Some adverbs of frequency (sometimesusuallynormally) are also placed at the beginning of the sentence for emphasis.

Comparison of adverbs in English

The table below shows the way we create comparative and superlative forms of adverbs in English.

  Adverb Comparative Superlative
Same form as adjective: fast faster fastest
-ly adverbs of manner easily more easily most easily
briefly more/less briefly most/least briefly
clearly more/less clearly most/least clearly
quickly more/less quickly most/least quickly
Some adverbs of frequency rarely more rarely most rarely
seldom more seldom most seldom
often more often
oftener (less common)
most often
Exceptions: badly worse worst
far farther
further
farthest
further
late later last
little less least
much more most
well better best

Latest and last can be adjectives.
I have bought the latest CD of Coldplay. (i.e. most recent)
I bought the last CD of Whitney Huston. (i.e. final)

Normally only last is used as an adverb.
That was a difficult question, so I answered it last.
It last snowed six months ago. (= The last time it snowed was …)

Farther and further can be both used to refer to distance.
He drove the miles farther/further than necessary.

Adverbs of manner in English

The table below shows how we can make adverbs from adjectives in English.

  Adjective Adverb
Add -ly to an adjective. This applies to adjectives ending in -l so that the l is doubled. But note: full/fully bad badly
careful carefully
mad madly
plain plainly
sudden suddenly
beautiful beautifully
musical musically
-y becomes -ily: consonant + y:
Compare: vowel + y
happy
(day – noun)
happily
daily
busy busily
funny funnily
dry drily/dryly
sly slyly
Delete -e and add -ly for endings in -ie: noble nobly
able ably
nimble nimbly
possible possibly
whole wholy
Other adjectives ending in -e retain the -e when adding -ly: extreme extremely
tame tamely
Exceptions: due duly
true truly
Adjectives ending in -ic take -ally: fantastic fantastically
basic basically
systematic systematically
Exception: public publicly

Some adverbs have two forms which may have the same meaning:
I bought this car cheap/cheaply.

Some may have different meanings:
I work hard and play hard. He did hardly any work today.

Adverbs of place in English

Adverbs of place can be:

words like: abroad, ahead, anywhere/everywhere/nowhere/somewhere, ashore, away/back, backwards/forwards, here/there, left/right, north/south, upstairs/downstairs
words like the following, which can also function as prepositions: above, behind, below, beneath, underneath
two words combining to emphasize a place, such as: down below, down/up there, far ahead, far away, over here, over there

Position of adverbs of place

Adverbs of place are used after adverbs of manner but before adverbs of time. Chris read quietly(manner) in the library (place) all afternoon (time).

Adverbs of direction can often come after movement verbs (come, go, drive) and before other adverbials:
I drove to Manchester (direction) by train (manner) next month (time).

If there is more than one adverb of place, then ‘smaller places’ are mentioned before ‘bigger places’.
He lives in a small house in a village outside Leeds in England.

Adverbs of time in English

Adverbs of definite time

points of time today, tomorrow, yesterday
prepositional phrases functioning as adverbials of time at Christmas, in June, on April 29th

Adverbs of definite time are usually used at the very end of a sentence:
We arrived in London on Monday.

They can be also used at the beginning:
This morning I received an email from my boss

If there are more than one time reference, we arrange the adverbs starting from the particular to the general i.e. time + day + date + year.
My aunt was born at 12.25 on Saturday April 29th 1964.

Adverbs of indefinite time

The most common adverbs of indefinite time are: another day, another time, at last, at once, early, eventually, formerly, immediately, just, late, lately, now, nowadays, once, one day, presently, recently, some day, soon, still, suddenly, then, these days, yet

Adverbs of indefinite time are usually used at the end of a sentence, though they can be also used before the verb and ( to focus interest or for contrast ) at the beginning of a sentence.
I went to London recently.
recently went to London.
Recently, I went to London. I was very interesting.

Adverbs are usually used after the verb be.
was recently in London.

Adverbs of frequency in English

The table below shows a list of adverbs of frequency used in English.

Adverbs of frequency
again and again
a lot
all the time
always
constantly
continually
continuously
ever
frequently
from time to time
hardly ever
infrequently
intermittently
much
never
normally
occassionally
often
periodically
rarely
regularly
repeatedly
seldom
sometimes
sporadically
usually

Adverbs of degree in English

Adverbs of degree answer the question: To what extent?

The most common adverbs of degree are:
almost, altogether, barely, a bit, enough, fairly, hardly, nearly, quite, rather, somewhat, too.

Adverbs of degree are used before the words they modify:
– adjectives: quite good
– adverbs: quite quickly
– verbs: I quite enjoy it.
– nouns: quite an experience.

Intensifiers in English

Intensifiers are adverbs which are used with gradable adjectives, adverbs and some verbs. They normally strengthen the meaning.
Your presentation is good.
Your presentation is very good. (the meaning is strengthened by the intensifier: very)
Your presentation is quite good. (the meaning is weakened by the adverb of degree: quite}

Adjectives and adverbs with the same form

The table below shows a list of adjectives and adverbs with the same forms.

  Adjectives Adverbs
all day an all day match play all day
all right I’m all right you’ve done all right
best best clothes do your best
better a better book speak better
big a big house talk big
cheap a cheap suit buy it cheap
clean clean air cut it clean
clear a clear sky stand clear
close the shops are close stay close
cold a cold person run cold
daily a daily paper they deliver daily
dead a dead stop stop dead
dear a dear bouquet sell it dear
big a big house talk big
deep a deep hole drink deep
direct a direct train go direct
dirty dirty weather play dirty
duty-free a duty-free shop buy it duty-free
early an early train arrive early
big a big house talk big
easy an easy book go easy
everyday my everyday suit work every day
extra an extra blanket charge extra
fair a fair decision play fair
far a far country go far
farther on the farther side walk father
fast a fast driver drive fast
fine a fine pencil cut it fine
firm a firm belief hold firm
first the first guest first I’ll wash
free a free ticket travel free
further further questions walk further
hard a hard worker work hard
big a big house talk big
high a high note aim high
home home cooking go home

 

 

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