An adverb is a word which modifies the meaning of a Verb, an Adjective or another Adverb.
Read the following sentences
1. The car passed silently.
2. He is a very fast runner.
3. I can sec quite clearly.
In sentence 1, the word “silently has modified the/verb “passed”
How did the car pass
It passed silently.
In sentence 2, the word very” has modified the meaning of the Adjective fast :
How fast can he run? very fast.
In sentence 3, the word quite, has modified the meaning of the Adverb clearly: To what extent can see clearly: quite clearly.
In sentences 1, 2, and 3, the words silently, very and quite are Adverbs.
Kinds of Adverbs.
According to their meaning and use, Adverbs may be divided into the following seven kinds.
1. Adverbs of Time :
Which show when something happened or will happen:
He will come tomorrow
I will see you afterwards.
Important Adverbs of time:
Now, Then, Ago, Already, Since, Soon, Presently, Immediately, Early, Late, Afterwards, Today, Tomorrow, Yesterday.
2: Adverbs of Place
Which show where something happened:
He is in.
They went out.
The birds flew away at the shot of the gun.
Important Adverbs of place:
Here, There, In, Out, Within, Without, Above,
Below, Inside. Outside, Far, Near.
3: Adverbs of Number
Which show how often a thing happened:
He came twice to see me.
I frequently go there.
Important Adverbs of Number:
Once Twice, Thrice, Again, Often, Always,
Sometimes, Seldom, Never, Firstly, Secondly,
4. Adverbs of Manner, Quality or State:
Which show in what manner a thing happened.
He wrote slowly, but well.
Farid worked hard.
Is it so?
Important Adverb of Manner:
Thus, So, Well, , Badly, Probably, Certainly.
Hardly, Fast, Quickly, Softly, etc.
Note Most of the Adjectives can be made Adverbs of Manner by adding ly to them;
5. Adverbs of Degree, Quantity or Extent:
Which show in what degree or how much work was done.
The bird was almost dead when I picked it up.
He is a very intelligent boy.
She is So kind to me.
Important Adverbs of Degree
Very, Much, Quite, Almost, A little, So, Rather
So, Wholly, Partly, Half,
Entirely. Some what, Nearly,
6. Adverbs of Affirmation and Negation:
Which affirm or deny an act.
Yes, he will come.
She will not go.
Important Adverbs of Affirmation and Negation:
Yes, No, Not, By all means , Certainly,
Surely, Not at all.
7. Adverbs of Cause or Reason
Which show reason or cause for some action
He, therefore, was given a prize.
Important Adverbs of Cause:
Therefore, Hence, Because, For, That is why.
Note: 1. When Adverbs are used for asking questions.
they are called Interrogative Adverbs
When did she come? (Time)
How long shall I wait: (Time)
Where do you
want to go? (Place)
How often did you see him: (Number)
How did he do it: (Manner)
How far is it true? (Degree)
Why did she run away? (Cause)
When an Adverb relates (joins) the two
Sentences, it is called Relative Adverb:
Inform me when they come.
This is how it happened.
I don’t know where she is.
FORMS OF ADVERBS
1. Some adverbs have the same forms as their corresponding Adjectives
This is hard work. ( Adjective)
He worked hard. (Adverb)
He knocked at an early hour. ( Adjective)
He came early in the morning. (Adverb)
We have a little hope now. ( Adjective)
They were a little tired. (Adverb)
I heard a loud scream. ( Adjective)
He was speaking so loud. (Adverb)
We have to do much work. ( Adjective)
I was much pleased. (Adverb)
We had enough water. ( Adjective)
They ate enough. (Adverb)
They walked at a quick pace. ( Adjective)
Be quick. (Adverb)
This is my only pen. ( Adjective)
They only laughed. (Adverb)
Remember that you can distinguish Such Adverbs from
Adjectives only by taking note of their Use:
An Adjective qualifies a Noun or a Pronoun
whereas Adverb modifies the meaning of a Verb, an Adjective, or another Adverb.
2. Most Adverbs are formed by adding ly to
COMPARISON OF ADVERBS
Some Adverbs have three Degrees of Comparison like Adjectives. Their comparative and superlative degrees are formed just like those of Adjectives:
1. If the adverb is a one-syllable word, the comparative is formed by adding er, and the superlative by
adding est, to the positive:
Akram runs fast. (Positive)
Akram runs faster than Sadiq. (Comparative)
Akram runs fastest of all. (Superlative)
2. Adverbs ending in ly, form the comparative, by adding more and the Superlative by adding most.
Note: The Comparative and Superlative of Early are earlier and earliest; more and most are not added to it.
3. Some common Adverbs form their Comparative and Superlative Degrees irregularly:
Ill or badly (Positive)
latest or last (Superlative)
nearest or next (Superlative)
THE POSITION OF ADVERBS.
1. If an Adverb is used with an intransitive Verb, it is generally placed after the verb it modifies:
The train was running fast.
I come late.
The bomb dropped there .
2. But Adverb of time e.g. always, ever frequently, sometimes, never, seldom,
often, are placed before the verb they modify.
The train always comes late.
Nothing ever satisfied him.
I frequently go to the garden.
He sometimes commits errors.
He never speaks the truth.
She seldom goes alone in the dark.
He often quarrels with his wife.
But these Adverbs are placed after (and not before) the verb “to be” (is, was, were)
He is often found in a hotel.
He was never late.
They were never loyal to me.
3. While using an Adverb with a Transitive Verb with an object following, place the Adverb after the object:
He read the book loudly (object: book)
He did his duty well. (object: duty)
4. If a sentence contains an Auxiliary
and a Principal Verb, the Adverb is usually put between the two verbs.
I have never lied. (between have & lied)
They will surely fall into the pit. (between will & fall).
5. When an Adverb, modifies an
Adjective or another Adverb, the Adverb usually comes
immediately before that Adjective or Adverb:
The boys are quite happy.(before Adv. happy)
Rashid ran very fast. (before Adv. fast)
He can sing so nicely: (before Adv. nicely)
-But the Adverb “enough” is always placed after the word it modifies
We had enough to eat. (After verb: had)
He was kind enough. (After Adj. kind)
He ran fast enough. (After Adv. fast)
6. As a general rule the Adverb “only” is placed before the word it modifies
I have. only three rupees .(before Adj. three)
She can walk only slowly.
She only wept and said nothing. (before verb wept)
…Similarly the Adverbs, merely, not and never are usually placed before the word they modify:
He merely touched the rose. (before: touched
She is not happy. (before: happy)
I never saw her. (before: Saw)
Use of the word “only requires much care. It gives different meanings when placed at different positions in a sentence
Only she lent me a rupee.
She only lent me a rupee.
She lent only me a rupee.
She lent me only a rupee.