Short and Simple Guide To Adverbs with Examples

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, giving them different meanings. 

Parts of Speech - Adverb

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 adverbs; for example:

  • Only 
  • Reply
  • Monthly
  • Freely
  • Yearly

In English, there are also irregular adverbs where the ending doesn’t change, for example:

  • Fast
  • Very
  • Often
  • Then
  • So

How are adverbs formed from verbs?

Using adverbs to modify a verb jazzes up your English by adding more information to the clause, for example:

Instead of saying:

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

You could say:

  • The children ran happily and quickly through the rain.

In the second example, you get a better idea of how the children ran and how they felt.

Instead of saying:

  • Go to the doctor and return to the nurses’ office. (To go and to return are the verbs)

You could say:

  • Go to the doctor first and then return to the nurses’ office.

In the second example, the sequence of events is explained more thoroughly.

How are adverbs formed from other adverbs?

Using adverbs to modify other adverbs significantly adds intensity and emphasis to the clause or word, for example:

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.

Types Of Adverbs

Adverbs Of Frequency: Definition and Examples

Adverbs of frequency or time modify verbs or actions and express when an action happens frequently or how long it takes. They can be definite or infinitive. They ask:

  • When did it happen?
  • How often does the action happen?

 Examples of adverbs of frequency in English:

  • Already
  • Occasionally
  • Frequently (Happens often)
  • Tomorrow

Adverbs of frequency example sentences:

  • Have you completed your homework already?
  • I occasionally go clothes shopping 
  • She is frequently late
  • I’m going to see my aunt tomorrow.

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.

Some examples of adverbs of place in English:

  • Around
  • Abroad
  • Here
  • There

Adverbs of place example sentences:

  • Have a look around.
  • We’ve never been abroad.
  • The car is somewhere around here!
  • Put it over there.

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 Evaluation (Certainty)

  • Clearly
  • Obviously
  • Probably

Example sentences:

  • He said that so clearly.
  • I obviously felt that way,
  • They probably didn’t watch the movie.

Adverbs of Evaluation (Attitude)

  • Honestly
  • Sadly
  • Surprisingly

Example sentences:

  • She honestly didn’t know.
  • Sadly, his mother passed away.
  • We won the raffle, surprisingly.

Adverbs of Evaluation (Judgment)

  • Foolishly
  • Kindly
  • Unfairly

Example sentences:

  • They behaved so foolishly
  • We kindly asked for the check
  • We unfairly won the quiz by cheating

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 refined information.

For example:

  • Subsequently
  • Accordingly
  • Finally
  • Nevertheless

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

  • I lied to my boss, and subsequently, I was fired.
  • While talking with seniors, he acted accordingly and spoke clearer.
  • After saving for many years, they finally took a trip to Japan.
  • He was sick last week; nevertheless, he still went to work.

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, for example.

  • Elegantly
  • Carefully
  • Angrily

Adverbs of manner example sentences:

  • He dresses elegantly.
  • We travel carefully.
  • They spoke angrily.

Another interesting thing to note is that phrases can be used as adverbs of manner. Use the phrase ‘In a… way’ or ‘like a…’ to create some phrasal adverbs of manner.

  • He behaves in a silly way
  • I talk to people in a loving way
  • They speak in a friendly way.
  • She sleeps like a baby
  • I get angry like a volcano
  • He runs like a cheetah

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

Example sentences:

  • I barely finished my work today.
  • The lake was frozen over entirely.
  • I’m feeling quite unwell today.
  • He was slightly quicker than she was.

Grammar Games To Practice Adverbs

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

Charades

  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.

Parts of Speech Articles:

If you’ve had fun learning all about adverbs, why not look at our other related content!