What are adverbs?

As the name suggests, Adverbs are adjectives commonly used to describe verbs (adjective + verb = adverb). They are also used to add further information to adjectives as well as other adverbs.

He walked slowly.

This tells us the manner in how he walked.

She often laughs.

In this example the adverb is showing how frequently the verb happens.

Types of Adverb

In English there are 5 types of adverb:-

  1. Adverbs of degree
  2. Adverbs of frequency
  3. Adverbs of manner
  4. Adverbs of place
  5. Adverbs of time

Adverbs of Degree

These are used to describe the degree or intensity of an action. These will often be placed before the verb or adjective.

Adverbs of degree examples: very, nearly, almost, hardly, extremely

I have nearly finished studying.

I am extremely tired.

You have hardly eaten anything!

Adverbs of Frequency

These are used to describe how frequently an action happens. These will also usually be placed before the verb or adjective.

Adverbs of frequency examples: usually, often, rarely, sometimes, never,

She often plays basketball on Tuesdays.

They sometimes drink coffee together.

I never forget this!

Adverbs of Manner

We use adverbs of manner to say how a verb is done. Although these will usually come after the verb, we can put them before as well.

Adverbs of manner examples: loudly, quickly, angrily, softly, easily

She kindly gave them each a gift.

They talked quietly in the library.

He played the drums passionately.

Adverbs of Place

Also known as spacial adverbs, these are used to explain where an action happens. These are usually placed after the verb.

Adverbs of place examples: forward, toward, nowhere, everywhere, here

We couldn’t find the dog anywhere.

Keep going forward.

Come over here!

Adverbs of Time

Adverbs of time are used to tell us when an action happened and for how long. These are usually placed at the end of the sentence.

Adverbs of time examples: today, tomorrow, all day, for a while, since yesterday

I will be at work all day.

I have been studying English since 2005.

I will cook dinner later.

How to form Adverbs

For some adverbs you just have to know what they are (this is especially the case with adverbs to do with time and frequency.)

However, as you have seen so far, a lot of the time we can transform an adjective into an adverb by simply adding “ly” to the end of the adjective.

For adjectives that already end in “y” we change the “y” to “i” first (lucky -> luckily).

For adjectives that end with “ic” we add “ally” to the end (energetic -> energetically).



Adverbs Quiz

Test what you have learned wit the quiz below: –

What is an adverb?
Which are the 5 types of adverb?
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What is the adverb form of "happy"?
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