1. What is an adverb?
Adverbs are words that describe a verb.
They are different from adjectives, which describe a noun.
2. How to make an adverb
Most adverbs are made by adding ‘ly’ to an adjective.
|quick||quickly||I swim quickly.|
|slow||slowly||He runs slowly.|
|intelligent||intelligently||She speaks intelligently.|
|stupid||stupidly||They act stupidly.|
|rough||roughly||We are playing roughly.|
|smooth||smoothly||Jules draws smoothly.|
|strong||strongly||Owen is pushing strongly.|
|weak||weakly||Danielle is fighting weakly.|
|bad||badly||All the students scored badly.|
However, a small amount of adverbs are different.
|good||well||He plays the piano well.|
|fast||fast||You eat fast.|
|hard||hard||We played hard.|
Adverbs of frequency (how often a verb is done) are also unusual.
|Adverb of frequency||Example sentence|
|always||He always does his homework on time.|
|often||Kelly and Lou often meet in the lunch room.|
|usually||I usually read before bed.|
|sometimes||Cats sometimes eat grass.|
|rarely||This team rarely loses games.|
|never||The company never makes any money.|
3. Examples of adverbs in sentences
|It began to rain, so we quickly ran to the bus stop.||She plays chess very well. I, on the other hand, play awfully.|
|He is a fool. Anything you ask him to do, he will always do it terribly.||He recklessly drove his car into the river.|
|We often listen to them sing.||Darius plays the trumpet well.|
|Francis spoke so softly we could not hear her.||The river rose quickly and badly flooded the house.|
4. Where to put adverbs
Adverbs of manner
If an adverb describes how something happens (‘adverbs of manner’), it can go before or after the verb or verb phrase.
Use the adverb before the verb if you want to stress the adverb.
Adverbs of manner can also go at the start of a clause. This, however, is unusual and strongly stresses the adverb. It is most common in storytelling.
Adverbs of opinion and fact
When using an adverb to describe an opinion or personal thought on a subject, or to state a simple fact, the adverb goes after the verb or verb phrase.
Unusual (‘irregular’) adverbs go after the verb.
Adverbs of frequency
Adverbs of frequency go before the verb.
However, adverbs of frequency can go at the start of the clause to strongly stress them or make unusual sentence patterns.
1. What do you do well? What do you do badly?
2. Add adverbs to these sentences:
(i) I was in a hurry, so I grabbed my coat and ran to the station.
(ii) The bird flew through the air. It was a beautiful thing to watch.
(iii) He was thirsty, so he gulped down his drink.