Adverbs and All You Need To Know About Them

Suitable for Grade 6+ and ESL learners

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There's a huge difference between doing something carefully and slowly to something wildly and dangerously. This guide is designed to make you think about adverbs and how often you might encounter them in your everyday speech. We will go through what adverbs are and how they’re formed, and as always, we will give you examples, so you’re better equipped to spot them!

What is an Adverb?

Adverbs are a part of speech that modify or change adjectives, verbs, and even other adverbs. They are used to change sentences to add more meaning and make your writing more interesting.

How are Adverbs Formed from Adjectives?

Modifying an adjective with an adverb is pretty straightforward once you get used to the general rules.

For Adjectives ending in…. Such as… Add… And you get… Example
-able or -ible Reliable -y and get rid of the -e Reliably I have been reliably informed that the company is letting people go.
-y Easy -ily and get rid of the -y Easily He is easily the most hardworking at his job.
-ic Realistic -ically and get rid of the -ic Realistically I don’t think I can realistically get that completed for you by tomorrow.
Majority of Adjectives Abrupt -ly Abruptly The train abruptly stopped at the station.
SOURCE: Word Tips

However, not all words that end in -ly are just adverbs.

  • Only (adjective, adverb, and conjunction)
  • Monthly (adjective, adverb, and noun.)
  • Yearly (adjective and adverb)

There are also irregular adverbs where the ending doesn't change in English.

  • Fast
  • Very
  • Often
  • Then
  • So

What are the Main 7 Types Of Adverbs?

Flip through the flashcards to see example sentences for each type of adverb. Scroll down to see more detailed explanations and examples for each type of adverb.

How do Adverbs Modify Verbs?

Adverbs can be used to modify verbs to jazz up your English by adding more information to the sentence, but how do they work?

Well, you could say...

1. The children ran through the rain. (To run is the verb)

But that doesn't necessarily describe how the children ran through the rain. So to make it more interesting, you could say...

2. The children ran happily and quickly through the rain.

Makes it sound more interesting, right? And it adds more depth to your sentence. Check out more examples below.

Adverb Examples

  1. The students laughed loudly at the teacher's joke. (How did they laugh?)
  2. She speaks quietly. (How does she speak?)
  3. He walked calmly. (How did he walk?)
  4. She studied hard for her upcoming exam. (How did she study?)
  5. The man ate his apple slowly, savoring every bite. (How did he eat?)

How are Adverbs Used With Other Adverbs?

Using adverbs to modify other adverbs significantly adds intensity and emphasis to the clause or word.

Instead of saying...

  • They cautiously climbed up the stairs. (Cautiously is the adverb)

You could say...

  • They very cautiously climbed up the stairs.

In the second example, the adverb "very" indicates how carefully they completed the action of climbing up the stairs—adding more depth and information. Check out some more examples below.

Adverbs and Adverbs Examples

  1. They very carefully picked up the broken pieces of glass. (How did they pick up the glass?)
  2. Both soccer teams played very well. (How did they play?)
  3. Why do you always eat so fast? (How do they eat?)
  4. The guitarist played rather well. (How did they play?)
  5. Sally shouted across to her friend way too loud. (How did Sally shout?)

Types of Adverbs

There are many different types of adverbs. Scroll down and check out the types used most frequently in English.

Adverbs of Frequency: Definition and Examples

Adverbs of frequency modify verbs and express when an action happens frequently or how long it takes. They can be definite or infinitive and usually go before the main verb except with "to be," and they answer the following question.

  • How often does the action happen?


  • Occasionally
  • Frequently (Happens often)
  • Never
  1. I occasionally go clothes shopping. (How often?)
  2. She is frequently late. (How often is she late?)
  3. I never get to see my aunt; she lives too far away. (How often does she see her aunt?)

Adverbs of Place: Definition and Examples

Adverbs of place or direction describe where something happens by indicating the location. They are often placed after the principal verb or the sentence they modify.


  • Around
  • Abroad
  • Here
  • There
  1. Have a look around. (Where do they look?)
  2. We’ve never been abroad. (Where haven't they been?)
  3. The car is somewhere around here! (Where is the car?)
  4. Put it over there. (Where do you put it?)

Adverbs of Time: Definition and Examples

Adverbs of time express when something happens, for how long, and sometimes how often.


  • First
  • Generally
  • Yesterday
  • Tomorrow
  • Yearly
  1. First, go and clean your room. (What do you need to do first?)
  2. Generally, I try to eat healthy food. (What food do you eat?)
  3. I went to see my grandparents yesterday. (What did you do yesterday?)
  4. I'm going back to school tomorrow. (Where are you going tomorrow?)
  5. The parade is tomorrow; it's a yearly event. (When is the parade?)

Note: if you have more than one adverb of time in a sentence, use them in this order.

  1. How long
  2. How often
  3. When
  • She studies (1) for 5 hours (2) every day.
  • The school paper publishes a new edition (2) weekly (3) during term time.
  • She visited the hospital (1) for 2 hours (2) every week (3) last year.

Adverbs of Degree: Definition and Examples

Adverbs of degree convey information about the degree, manner, or time at which a verb has occurred. Let’s take a look at some adverbs of degree.


  • Barely
  • Entirely
  • Quite
  • Slightly
  1. I barely finished my schoolwork today. (How much work did you get done?)
  2. The lake was frozen over entirely. (How frozen is the lake?)
  3. I'm feeling quite unwell today. (How did you feel?)
  4. He was slightly quicker than she was. (How quick was he?)

Adverbs Checkpoint Quiz

Do you think you've got adverbs of frequency, place, time, and degree down? Try this checkpoint quiz.

1. Generally is an adverb of time. True or false?

Choose the best answer from the choices below

Possible answers

2. Around is an adverb of frequency. True or false?

Choose the best answer from the choices below

Possible answers

3. In the following sentence what type of adverb is quite? I'm feeling quite unwell today.

Choose the best answer from the choices below

Possible answers

Adverbs of Manner: Definition and Examples

An adverb of manner describes how you do an action by giving more information. An adverb of manner always reflects the verb in use and modifies


  • Elegantly
  • Carefully
  • Angrily
  1. He dresses elegantly. (How did he dress?)
  2. We travel carefully. (How do you travel?)
  3. They spoke angrily. (How did they speak?)

Adverbs of Evaluation: Definition and Examples

Adverbs of evaluation do what you'd expect; they assess situations. Adverbs of evaluation give information based on three main categories; certainty, attitude, and judgment. Let’s look at some examples.

Adverbs of Certainty

  • Clearly
  • Obviously
  • Probably
  1. He said that so clearly. (How did he say it?)
  2. I obviously felt that way. (How did you feel?)
  3. They probably didn’t watch the movie. (How sure are you that they watched the movie?)

Adverbs of Evaluation (Attitude)

  • Honestly
  • Sadly
  • Surprisingly
  1. She honestly didn’t know. (Did she know?)
  2. Sadly, his mother passed away. (How does it make you feel?)
  3. We won the raffle, surprisingly. (Did they expect to win?)

Adverbs of Evaluation (Judgment)

  • Foolishly
  • Kindly
  • Unfairly
  1. They behaved so foolishly. (How did they behave?)
  2. We kindly asked for the check. (How did they ask?)
  3. We unfairly won the quiz by cheating. (How did they win?)

Adverbs of Conjunction: Definition and Examples

When connecting two sentences, you might choose to use a conjunctive adverb. A conjunctive adverb does the same thing as a regular conjunctive but conveys more information. An adverb of conjunction usually goes in between two sentences, comes after a semicolon, and is followed by a comma. If a conjunctive adverb is put in any other place, it is followed by a comma. The conjunctive adverb allows the sentence to flow and provides a transition from the previous sentence or adds more information.


  • Subsequently
  • Accordingly
  • Finally
  • Nevertheless

Let’s use these adverbs to join two sentences together.

  1. I lied to my teacher; subsequently, I was given a timeout. (What happened)
  2. After saving for many years, they finally took a trip to Japan. (What did they do)
  3. He was sick last week; nevertheless, he still went to school. (Did he go to school?)

Grammar Games to Practice Adverbs

Adverbs are fun, and practicing them should be too. Here are a couple of fun games to try!


  1. Write out some common adverbs on small pieces of paper and fold them up.
  2. Then, write out some common verbs on separate pieces of paper.
  3.  Place the adverbs and the verbs in different cups.
  4. Then, you’re going to take one adverb and one verb and act out whatever the sentence says.

Finish the sentence

  1. Prepare pieces of paper with the adverbs of manner, such as ‘carefully.’
  2. Then prepare pieces of paper with an unfinished sentence such as, ‘he speaks.’
  3. The aim of the game is to finish the sentence with the most appropriate adverb.
  4. Play around and award points for the best explanation.

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