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English Grammar - Adverbs

Adverbs

An adverb is a word which modifies the meaning of a verb, an adjective or another adverb.

Examples:
1. Sarah runs quickly.
2. This is a very sweet mango.
3. Peter reads quite clearly.

In sentence 1, quickly is an Adverb that shows how Sarah runs. That is, quickly modifies the verb runs.

In sentence 2, very shows how much (or to what degree) the mango is sweet. That is, very modifies the adjective sweet.

In sentence 3, quite shows how far (or to what extent) Peter reads clearly. That is, quite modifies the adverb clearly.

Kinds of Adverbs

Adverbs may be divided into the following classes, according to their meaning.

1. Adverbs of time

Adverbs of time show when a particular event happened.

Examples:

I have heard this before.

We shall now begin to work.

I had a letter from him lately.

I have spoken to him already.

That day he arrived late.

He called here a few minutes ago.

The end soon came.

Wasted time never returns.

He once met me in Cairo; I have not seen him since.

John formerly lived here.


2. Adverbs of frequency

Adverbs of frequency show how often a particular event happens.

Examples:

I have told you twice.

He often makes mistakes.

I have not seen him once.

The postman called again.

He frequently comes unprepared.


3. Adverbs of place

Adverbs of place show where a particular event happened.

Examples:

Stand here.

He looked up.

The horse galloped away.

Go there.

My brother is out.

Come in.

Walk backward.


4. Adverbs of manner

Adverbs of manner show how or in what manner something happened. This class includes nearly all those adverbs which are derived from adjectives and end in –ly.

Examples:

Graham reads clearly.

The child slept soundly.

Slowly and sadly we laid him down.

You should not do so.

The Sikhs fought bravely.

The boy works hard.

Is that so?

Thus only, will you succeed.


5. Adverbs of degree or quantity

Adverbs of degree or quantity show how much, in what degree or to what extent something is true.

Examples:

These mangoes are almost ripe.

I am fully prepared.

The sea is very stormy.

He is good enough for my purpose.

I am so glad.

Things are no better at present.

She sings pretty well.

Is that any better?

You are quite wrong.

I am rather busy.

Roy is as tall as Harry.


6. Adverbs of affirmation and negation

Adverbs of affirmation and negation show the validity or otherwise of something.

Examples:

Surely you are mistaken.

I do not know him.


7. Adverbs of reason

Adverbs of reason show an indication of the reason for something to happen.

Examples:

He is hence unable to refute the charge.

He therefore left school.


Worksheet

Underline the adverbs in the following sentences and indicate to which class it belongs.

  • I hurt my knee yesterday.
  • He seldom comes here.
  • He was too careless.
  • He comes here daily.
  • The little lamb followed Mary everywhere.
  • This story is well written.
  • He always tries to do his best.
  • You are altogether mistaken.
  • He certainly went.
  • You are partly right.

Answers

  • I hurt my knee yesterday. Adverb of time
  • He seldom comes here. Adverb of frequency
  • He was too careless. Adverb of degree or quantity
  • He comes here daily. Adverb of time
  • The little lamb followed Mary everywhere. Adverb of place
  • This story is well written. Adverbs of manner
  • He always tries to do his best. Adverb of frequency
  • You are altogether mistaken. Adverb of degree or quantity
  • He certainly went. Adverb of affirmation and negation
  • You are partly right. Adverb of degree or quantity


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