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What Is an Adverb? Types & Formation

What is an adverb? How does an adverb modify different parts of speech? What rules are applied to form an adverb? This article will define and explain the adverb and their different types and their uses in sentences.

What Is an Adverb Types & Formation

Definition of Adverb

A modifying word used to describe a verb, an adjective, another adverb, or a whole phrase is called an adverb. It functions most commonly as a verb modifier that shows when, where, how, or to what extent something is done. Read the following sentences and note how adverbs describe different parts of speech.

Examples of Adverbs Modifying Verbs

  • He threw the stones carelessly in different directions.
  • They live together peacefully.
  • He studied hard last night.
  • It is raining heavily.
  • The parrots are singing sweetly.

Examples of Adverbs Modify Adjectives

  • She is extremely beautiful.
  • He was unusually intelligent.
  • His brother was seriously injured in an accident.
  • She is a really nice girl.
  • He is fairly clever with computers.

Examples of Adverbs Modify Another Adverb

  • She learns lessons incredibly quickly.
  • He was treated very badly.
  • He knows pretty well everything.
  • He is undoubtedly very intelligent.

Examples of Adverbs Qualify Participles

  • I am greatly pleased.
  • She looks rather confused.
  • He is mostly honored to meet her brother.

Examples of Adverbs Modify a Whole Sentence

  • Obviously, he was not in the mood. 
  • Certainly, she is wrong.

Types of Adverbs with Examples 

In the following sentences, you will notice adverbs can do many different functions in a sentence.
  • She went very fast.
  • We pay our house rent monthly.
  • I have seen him twice.
  • She played the piano well.
  • I searched for her bag everywhere.
  • He lives in a very hilly area.
  • He is leaving tomorrow.    
Based on these and several other functions' adverbs are classified into eight types.  

Adverb of Time    


Adverbs of time give information about time. It answers the question of when something happens, or has happened or will happen. 
     

Adverb of Time Examples  

  • I haven't seen any good films recently.
  • I am studying now.
  • He has just arrived.
  • Ahmad is always cheerful.
  • He has already graduated.
  • They haven't come yet.
  • We met each other last year.
  • I will graduate this year.
  • She left the house over half an hour ago.
  • I have not met her since.
  • It's raining again.
  • We may finish it tomorrow.
  • The weather is cold this evening.
List of Adverbs of Time
Before
just
ago
later
recently
then
this year
next year
last night
lately
yet
now
still
soon
later
yesterday
already
never
afterward
eventually

Adverbs of Frequency

Adverbs of frequency show how often we do something. It gives more information about an action that happened all the time, many times, a few times, or the action does not happen at all.

Commonly used adverbs of frequency are
always 
regularly
occasionally
usually 
normally 
generally 
sometimes 
often, 
rarely
seldom 
hardly ever 
never
daily
weekly 
monthly

Adverbs of Frequency Examples

  • She always comes late.
  • He rarely visits his parents.
  • He has never been to London.
  • She normally gets up at five o'clock.
  • We often see each other in the garden.
  • I see her occasionally in college.
  • We meet our supervisor daily.
  • I sometimes play the piano.
  • We usually spend the holiday abroad.
  • I have warned him twice.

Some of these adverbs describe the action indefinitely.

In addition to the adverbs mentioned above, there are several expressions called the expression of frequency used to express how often we do an activity. Examples of such expressions are given below.

Once or twice a day/week/month etc.
Once in a while.
Most of the time.
From time to time (means Occasionally.)

These expressions answer the question of how often something happens. They usually come at the start or the end of a sentence but do not come in the middle.

Examples
The post comes twice a week.
Once in a while, she phoned him.
Most of the time, he gets home about 7 o'clock. 

Adverbs of Place

Adverbs of place describe where something happens, happened, or will happen. They give information about direction, movement, or distance, etc. The following words are adverbs of place.
Here
there
everywhere
somewhere
up
down
near
under
above
in
on
away
backward
upward
behind
across
above
outside
inside
off       

Adverbs of Place Examples

  • It's stopped raining. Let's go outside.
  • The smoke spread everywhere.
  • We may find him here.
  • She is walking inside.
  • Go there.
  • Come in.
  • She is watching a film upstairs.
  • I will go abroad to study.
The following adverbs ending in -ward describe directions.
e.g., downward, forward, onward, upward, backward, outward, inward.
  • The car keeps moving forwards / forward.
  • They go onwards in a northerly direction.
  • She walked backwards towards the car.
  • The window opens outwards.  

Adverbs of Manner


Adverbs of manner show how something happened or will happen. Adverbs of manner are usually formed from adjectives. Adverbs of manner usually come at the end of a sentence. It may also come in the middle of a sentence.

The words slowly, strongly, beautifully, so, well, etc., are adverbs of manner.   

Examples of Adverb of Manner


  • They arrived safely.
  • He has answered all questions correctly.
  • I am working closely with them.
  • She was smartly dressed.
  • Every student was treated differently.
  • He performed wonderfully in the game.
  • The essay was well written.
  • I was agreeably surprised by the price.

Adverbs of Degree

Adverbs of degree describe to what extent something happens or will happen. They describe the intensity or degree of a verb, an adjective, or another adverb they are qualifying. In other words, adverbs of degree strengthen or weaken the original meaning of the verb, adjective, or adverb. Examples of adverbs of degree are
Completely
undoubtedly
too
much
truly
almost
very
fully
quite
pretty
hardly
extremely
nearly
rather
somewhat
fairly
Adverbs of Degree Examples
  • He works rather fast.
  • The wrestler was very strong.
  • He was undoubtedly the best teacher.
  • He was extremely intelligent.
  • I almost finished my homework.
  • It's too hard for me to explain.
  • She drinks much water.

Interrogative Adverbs


Interrogative adverbs are the question words that help us identify the time, location, or manner of action. Common interrogative adverbs are given below.

When (Identify time)
Where (Identity location)
How (Identify manner)
Why (Identify reason)

How soon, how late, how often, how near, how long ago, how far, etc.

Examples
  • How did you get to his home?
  • When did he arrive?
  • How long ago did your father died?
  • How far can you walk?
  • Why did you join their party? 

Relative Adverbs


An adverb that introduces relative or adjective clauses is called relative adverbs. When, how, where, why are relative adverbs. We use these adverbs to give information that relates to place, time, reason
Examples
  • The man who I met was my fellow.
  • They asked me why I didn't attend the party.
  • It all depends on how you treat him. 

Adverb of Affirmation and Negation

Certainly, not, yes, yea, apparently, verily, obviously, no, undoubtedly, obviously, of course, perhaps, indeed, etc.
  • Can you give me your number? No.
  • It is never true.
  • Will he go with us? Certainly.
  • Perhaps he has not yet reached his house. 

Formation of Adverbs

Most adverbs are formed from adjectives by adding -ly.
Adjective Adverb
Slow Slowly
Quick Quickly
Hard Hardly
Loud Loudly
Soft Softly
Warm Warmly
Wide Widely

Some adjectives end in "-y" to form adverbs from such adjectives left out the "-y" and add "-ily."

Adjective Adverb
Easy Easily
Happy Happily
Pretty Prettily
Angry Angrily
Tidy Tidily
Heavy Heavily

If an adjective end in -le or -ue drop the e and add -y

Adjective Adverb
Simple Simply
Gentle Gently
Terrible Terribly
Horrible Horribly
Due Duly
True Truly

Adjectives end in -l take -ly to form an adverb.

Adjective Adverb
Awful Awfully
Careful Carefully
Beautiful Beautifully
Wonderful Wonderfully
Usual Usually
Physical Physically
Logical Logically

Adjective end in -ic usually take -ally or -ly to form an adverb

Adjective Adverb
Tragic Tragically
Public Publicly
Drastic Drastically
Enthusiastic Enthusiastically
Scientific Scientifically

Not all adverbs end in -ly. Some adjective ends in -ly. Too.
e.g., Lovely, elderly, silly, lonely, lively, friendly, ugly 
The following adverbs have the same form as adjectives.
Fast
Well
Hard
Late
Early
kindly
High/Highly
much/more/most
enough
back
far
fast
ill
still

Examples
Adjective: The field is still hard.
Adverb: She failed her exam because she didn't study very hard.
Adjective: He is a fast swimmer.
Adverb: He drives his car fast.
Adjective: I got four answers right.
Adverb: He called right after dinner.

The adverb well can also be used as an adjective.

She hasn't been too well lately. (means healthy)
He was not present at school yesterday. I think he is not well. (means healthy)

Some adverbs are formed by adding different prefixes and suffices. For example

Sideways form side
always from all
lengthways from length
Backward from back
upwards from up
downward from down
inwards from in
homewards from home
Crosswise from cross
contrarywise from contrary
Abreast from breast
anew from new
ashore from shore
aside from side
A few adverbs are formed by adding -wise to nouns or prepositions:
E.g., clockwise, anti-clockwise, counter-clockwise, crosswise, lengthwise

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