Adverbs*

Adverbs

April 4, 2019

Native English Instructor

Written by Douglas Shaw

Adverbs are words that modify the verb; it adds meaning to the verb:

A word that modifies the verb. – Basically saying an adverb adds to the verb.

e.g.

  • My dog waits impatiently for his walk.

Adverbs often end in (-ly), but some like fast will be the same as the adjective counterpart. The adverb is meant to describe the way an action is happening.

Adverbs can also be used to modify adjectives and other adverbs.

e.g.

  • The woman is quite pretty.
  • The second version of the movie is more interesting than the last one.

Placement:

Place adverbs as close as possible to the words they are supposed to modify. Putting the adverb in  the wrong position can create a sentence that will not be understood or it will change the meaning of the sentence.

*Warning*: 

Be very careful with the word “only”.

e.g.

  • Polly only fed the dog. 
  • Polly fed only the dog.

The first sentence means that Polly just fed the dog, nothing else.

The second sentence means that Polly fed the dog, but she didn’t feed the other animals (if any) or anyone else who might be around.


Adverbs of frequency

Adverbs usually come just before the verb they describe. When placed at the beginning of
a sentence, they add emphasis to how often the verb (action) takes place.

e.g.
“Why did Michael get up early on Saturday? Usually, he gets up late on weekends.”

In a sentence with a ‘be’ verb (are), the adverb of frequency comes after the ‘be’ verb.
e.g.
“They are usually tired after work.”

Common adverbs of frequency

always100%I always watch TV in the evening.
almost always95%She almost always does the dishes.
usually75%Louie usually gets up at 5 am.
often50%We often go walking in the park.
sometimes25%We sometimes go to the movie on our weekend.
  • seldom
  • rarely
  • hardly ever
5%
  • I seldom see her.
  • I rarely see them.
  • I hardly ever see him.
never0%He never comes to work late.