key_small An  ADVERB  is a word that tells us more about a verb.

An adverb "qualifies" or "modifies" a verb.

Example:  The man ran quickly.

But adverbs can also modify adjectives as in Life in London is really expensive, or even other adverbs as in  My sister works very well.


Many different kinds of word are called adverbs but we can usually recognise an adverb by its:





1.  Function

The principal job of an adverb is to modify (give more information about) verbs, adjectives and other adverbs. In the following examples, the adverb is in red and the word that it modifies is in italics.

Modify a verb:- John speaks loudly. (How does John speak?)- Mary lives locally. (Where does Mary live?)- She never smokes. (When does she smoke?)

Modify an adjective:- He is really good-looking.

Modify another adverb:- She drives incredibly slowly.

But adverbs have other functions, too. They can:

Modify a whole sentence:- Obviously, I can't know everything.

Modify a prepositional phrase:- It's immediately after the train station.


2. Form

Many adverbs end in -ly.  We form such adverbs by adding -ly to the adjective. Here are some examples:

quick+ly =  quickly, soft+ly = softly,  strong+ly = strongly,  honest+ly = honestly...

But you have to be careful because not all words that end in -ly are adverbs.  "Friendly", for example, is an adjective.

Also some adverbs have no particular form, for example:

well,  fast,  very,  never,  always,  often,  still ...


3. Position

Adverbs can have three main positions in the sentence:

FRONT   (before the subject):- Now we will study the history of London.

MIDDLE   (between the subject and the main verb):- We often meet the mayor of Maidstone.

END  (after the verb or object):- Our teacher wants us to study phrasal verbs carefully.


Now you may want to know more about another category of adverbs: THE  FREQUENCY ADVERBS. Just click HERE.