Adverbs: All Types and all uses with easy examples

What are adverbs?

Adverbs tell us more about verbs.

Look at the answers to the following questions carefully

1.

a. How did she sing?

b. She sang beautifully.

2.

a. When did you see him?

b. I saw him yesterday.

3.

a. Where were the children playing?

b. They were playing there/in the park.

4.

a. How often does he come here?

b. He comes here occasionally/every day.

In the above sentences beautifully tells us how or the manner in which the action happened, yesterday tells us about the time when it took place; there/in the park tells us about the place where the work was done; occasionally/every day tells us how frequently the action took place. All these words give us some extra information about the verbs.

(how, when, where and how frequently an action happened) These words are called adverbs.

Adverbs have different names according to the information they give us. We do not use adverbs after link verbs such as be, become, fee, get, look, appear, seem etc. We rather use an adjective after them. We do not say+ He felt happily. We rather say. He felt happy (adj).

So if the sentence has a linking verb. The answer to the question will give you an adjective, not an adverb. We can usually identify them by asking some wh-questions. Look at the following table.

Wh-QuestionsAnswers/InformationType of Adverbs
HowBeautifully, sadly, quickly, angrily, happily etc.Adverb of manner.
WhenNow, then, yesterday, today, last Monday, at 10 o’clock, in the morning, tonight etc.Adverb of time.
WhereHere, there in the park, at school, in India etc.Adverb of Place
How oftenOccasionally, always, often , rarely, every week, sometimes, usually never, seldom etc.Adverb of Frequency

FORMATION OF THE ADVERB

Form-1

Some adverbs have no special form.

They are soon, always, so, perhaps, never, just, yet, often, very, too, rather etc.

Form-2 (a)

Most adverbs of manner are made by adding –ly to the adjective.

The meaning of the adverb so made is very closely related to the adjectives from which they are made.

AdjectiveAdverb
He is a quiet worker.He works quietly.
He is slow.He works slowly.
Seema is polite. She behaves politely.

                     

Form-2 (b)

Spelling rule of adding –ly

AdjectiveAdverbRules
GentleGently-ic changes to –ly
EasyEasilyy changes to –ily
TrueTrulyue changes to –lly
Automatic Automaticallyic changes to –ically
*But publicPublicly, not publically. 

There are some adjectives which end in-ly, such as friendly, silly, sickly, lovely, lively, fatherly, motherly, manly, womanly, etc.

We do not add another –ly to these adjectives to form adverbs. We can change these adjectives to adverbial in the following manner: in a +adjective   manner/ fashion/way

AdjectiveAdverbial
Pintoo is a friendly boy.Pintoo behaves in a friendly manner. (Not, Pintoo behaves friendly)
She is very silly.                 She behaves in a silly manner/ way. (Not, she behaves silly)
The old lady is very motherly.The lady treated us in a motherly fashion/way.

Form-3

Some adverbs end in-ward to show direction.

I pushed him backward.

The soldiers marched forward.

The cattle returned homeward.

Other such adverbs are, onward, upward, downward, eastward, inward, outward, shyward, seaward.

Form-4

Some adverbs end in-wise to show manner or direction.

To close the bottle, turn the cap clockwise.

The tailor cut the cloth breadth wise.

We distributed the work class wise.

Form-5

Some adverbs are formed by adding a-to the beginning of a noun or adjective.

Let us begin the work afresh. (=again from the beginning)

Pull the curtain aside. (=to one side)

Manu read the poem aloud (=loudly)

I wrote to her from afar. (=from a far place)

Other examples are along, across, ahead, around, abroad, awhile.

(All words beginning in a-are not adverbs. Some of them may be adjectives or prepositions, Examples: abuzz, aflame, afire, afloat, alive, awake, aflood etc.)

Form-6

Some adverbs of manner have the same forms as the adjectives. We do not add-ly to the adjectives to make them adverbs.

AdjectiveAdverb
Fast: It is a fast train.This train goes fast.
Hard: He is a hard worker.He works hard.
Late: The bus is late today.The bus arrived late today.
Monthly: I get a monthly electric bill.I pay the bill monthly.
Better: Ramesh is a better player.Ramesh played better today.
Well: Is he not well?He played well.    

Types of Adverbs

A. Adverbs of Manner

 An adverb of manner tells us how/the manner in which an action takes place. We can usually find out these adverbs by asking the question –how? Most adverbs of manner end in –ly. A few adverbs of manner may have the same form as the adjective, like in I.c. below.

1.a We walked slowly.

1.b They could easily find out the house.

1.c They ran fast to catch the train.

Adverbs of manner usually come at the end of a sentence (I.e.). Sometimes they also come in the middle of the sentence with the verb group. Positions of adverbs are discussed later.

B. Adverbs of Time

 Adverbs of time answer the question –When/at what time?

2.a We go to school at 10 o/clock.

2.b. Papu was ill yesterday. Or, yesterday Papu was ill.

2.C. The train will arrive soon.

2.d. He has just gone out.

Adverbs of time usually go at the end of a sentence. They can go at the beginning, too. Adverbs of time like just, already, yet, soon go in the mid or end position.

C. Adverbs of Place

Adverbs of place tell us where the action takes place. They answer the question-where? Or in What direction? Frequently used adverbs of place are: here, there, nearby, anywhere, inside, outside, upward, downward, upstairs, and downstairs, etc. Some adverbs of place are in the shape of a phrase like: in the park, under a tree, outside the hall etc.

3. a We sat under a tree.

3. b. The car turned left.

3.c. Mr Mishra lives upstairs.

Adverbs of place usually come at the end of a sentence.

D. Adverbs of Frequency

                Adverbs of frequency say how often a thing happens. They answer the question –how often? Some examples are: always, often, usually, normally, generally, sometimes, occasionally, ever, never etc.

4.a. I sometimes prefer tea.

4.b. Mami is always late for school.

4. c. I sometimes play football.

4. d. Have you sometimes seen him?

4. e. Do you sometimes see him?

Adverb of frequency can go in all the three positions. In questions, however, they go after the subject. (4.d. and 4.e.)

 E. Adverbs of Degree.

Some adverbs also tell us more about adjectives and other adverbs. They are called adverbs of Degree. They make the meaning of the adjectives or adverbs stronger or weaker. See the example.

I.  Adverbs with adjectives:

5. It is very cold today.

6. They are absolutely right.

7. The game was not at all interesting.

8. This is fairly a big house.

9. This house is not big enough for us.

II. Adverbs with other adverbs.

10. We won the match quite easily.

 11. You sang fairly well.

12. He can run very fast.

13. You came rather late.

14. The firemen reached quickly enough (enough goes after the adjective/adverb it modifies)

F. Sentence Adverbs

 Some adverbs give a view point about the idea expressed in the entire sentences. These adverbs are called sentence adverbs.

15. Luckily, no one was hurt.

16. Unfortunately, he failed the examination.

17. Of course, you can come.

18. We can certainly/ probably solve the problem.

(Other examples: in fact, really, possibly, perhaps, naturally etc)

Sentence adverbs usually come at the beginning of the sentence, although they may take the mid or end position.

Other words used both as adjective and adverb are: daily, weekly, early, high, low , last, long, near, straight, wide, worse, right, wrong, far, inside, outside etc. As adjectives these words are used attributively or predicatively after be/become type verbs.

G. Adverb of manner with or without-ly

There are some words which are used as adverb of manner with or without-ly . But their meanings differ.

Hard (with great effort). He works hard to pass the examination.

Hardly (=almost not): he hardly comes here.

Scarcely = He seldom/scarcely/seldom comes here.

Near(=close by) : I found a post office quite near.

Nearly (=almost): I nearly met with an accident.

Free (=without paying) I got this book free.

Freely (=without restriction) : The cows are moving freely in the field.

Late (=after the usual time) The train arrived late.

Similarly: high/highly, clean/cleanly, direct/directly, deep/deeply, bare/barely, scarce/scarcely/ short/shortly, present/[presently.

H. Good and well.

Good is adjective and well is its adverb.

Madhuri is a good dance. (Adjective).

The show was very good. (adjective).

Madhuridances will (adverb).

They all acted well (adverb).

‘Well’  can also be an adjective meaning ‘in good health’ when it is used after a be /become type verb.

She is/became/looked well. (adj)

Exercise for Adverbs

Eercise-1

Underline and name the adverbs in the following sentences.

  1. We looked carefully at the man.
  2. Suddenly we heard a noise.
  3. She spoke in a friendly way.
  4. They worked really hard.
  5. We played till evening.
  6. They are quite tired.
  7. I have never seen him earlier.
  8. Fortunately, we won the match.
  9. Sometimes they are irregular.
  10. We reached home early yesterday.

Exercise-2

Fill in the blanks choosing from the pair in brackets.

  1. This work is very __________. We finished it __________ (easy/easily).
  2. Mama drew a __________ picture. (beautiful/beautifully).
  3. The children were __________. They played __________ (happy/happily)
  4. 4.I met him __________. My meeting with the man was quite __________ . (unexpected/ unexpectedly).
  5. The old woman was weeping __________ . She looked very __________ . (sad/sadly)
  6. I am working very __________. (hard/ hardly)

EXERCISE-3

Change the word in brackets into an adverb  and use it in the blank spaces.

  1. We did the sum __________ . (quick)
  2. Meera danced __________ well. (fair)
  3. We waited there __________ . (patient)
  4. __________ we escaped unhut. (lucky)
  5. She is __________ a dancer. Probable)
  6. It is __________ cold here . (terrible)
  7. He __________ looks better today. (certain)
  8. The baby slept __________ . (quiet)
  9. I am __________ satisfied with you. (full)
  10. Walk on the road __________ . careful)

Eercise-4

Fill in the blank by choosing from the pairs of adverbs in the box below.

Late/lately, hard/hardly, short/shortly, high/highly, free/freely

  1. We reached school very __________
  2. They worked __________ to finish the work in time.
  3. The meeting will be held __________
  4. Birds can fly very __________
  5. The poor man got the food __________

Exercise-5

Say whether the italicized words are adverbs or adjectives.

  1. His house is very near.
  2. Our examination is drawing near.
  3. We were driving along a very wide road.
  4. Open your mouth wide.
  5. He looks better today.
  6. Pranati can sing better.

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