Adverbs part 1

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Adverbs part 1 Empty Adverbs part 1

Post  Admin on Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:18 pm

What are adverbs?

Adverbs are words that tell us more about verbs....they add information to the verb.
(A verb is a 'doing' word or a 'being' word, e.g. 'walk', 'feel')

Using adverbs makes your sentences more interesting.

Any verb you use can have an adverb added.

The girl smiled nervously.
The boy grinned sheepishly.
The light shone feebly.

We use adverbs:

* to say how something happens
'The family walk (how?) quickly.'
* to say where or when something happens
'I met him (when?) yesterday.'
* to say how often something happens
'She gets the bus (how often?) daily.'
* to make the meaning of an adjective, adverb or verb stronger or weaker
'Dave eats (degree?) more slowly than his wife.'

Adverbs are often created from adjectives (describing words that tell you more about nouns) by adding 'ly' to the end of the adjective.
e.g. slow becomes slowly
'Joe is a slow person. He walks slowly.'

Certain words change when they become adverbs. If an adjective ends in a 'y' you need to change the 'y' to an 'i' before adding 'ly'.
Happy becomes happily
Heavy becomes heavily


Position of adverbs

There are three places in the sentence where adverbs can come.

At the beginning of a sentence:
'Suddenly I had earache.'
'Recently I had earache.'

In the middle of a sentence:
'I suddenly had earache.'
'I recently had earache.'

At the end of a sentence:
'I had earache suddenly.'
'I had earache recently.'

How do you know where the adverb goes?
Most kinds of adverbs can go in 'mid-position' (before the verb) in a sentence:
'I'm usually working at weekends.'
'I never said I liked you.'

Other adverbs may fit more comfortably at the beginning or end of a sentence:
'Yesterday I went to the skate park.'
'I went to the skate park yesterday.'

The best way to know if the order is right is to say the sentence to yourself. Does it sound right?
'She often is late.'
'She is often late.' This sounds better.


Spotting adverbs

Adverbs are quite complicated. You cannot tell by the look of a word that it is an adverb. You can recognise it as an adverb only by the work it does in a sentence.
A word may be an adverb in one sentence and a different part of speech in another sentence.

* The job went well. Here well describes the verb 'went', so it is an adverb.
* The well was drained by morning. Here well names something, so it is a noun.
* The well water tasted disgusting. Here well is being used to name a type of 'water', so it is not describing a verb. It is not an adverb here.

'-ly' on the end of a word is a good clue that it's an adverb. Many adverbs are made by adding '-ly' to the end of adjectives
E.g. 'careful' (adjective) becomes 'carefully' (adverb)
Sunita is very careful with her money. She spends her money carefully.

However, lots of other adverbs are irregular

BEWARE! Some words ending in '-ly' are never used as adverbs
E.g. 'friendly', 'lovely', 'lonely'

Also, look out for adverbs that have the same form as adjectives.
'Hard' and 'early' are both adjectives (used to describe people, places and things) AND adverbs (used to tell us more about the verb):

* It's still early. (adjective)
* We arrived early. (adverb)
* He works very hard. (adverb)
* He's a hard man to know. (adjective)

Other adverbs with the same form as adjectives are fast, high, low, late and long.


More about spotting adverbs

Adverbial phrases
Adverbial phrases are small strings of words that do the same job as single-word adverbs:
'I'll see him on Saturday.'
'She's in the kitchen.'
''The thief ran down the road.'
'The mobile phones rang all at once.'

Other places to find adverbs...
An adverb may also be used to describe another adverb or an adjective.

'The weekend passed very quickly.'

* quickly describes the verb passed: quickly is an adverb.
* very describes the adverb quickly: very is also an adverb.

'That seemed an extremely interesting plan.'

* interesting describes the noun plan: interesting is an adjective.
* extremely describes the adjective interesting: extremely is an adverb.

Adverbs can also qualify (describe) whole sentences:

'Hopefully the shoes will fit.'
'The dress, unfortunately, was ruined.'


Adverbs - degrees of comparison

Adverbs are often used to make the meaning of a verb or other adverb stronger or weaker. This is known as 'degrees of comparison'.

What are they?
The positive degree is the simple form of the adverb : slowly, early.
e.g. 'He walked slowly.'

The comparative degree is used to compare two actions : slower, more slowly, earlier.
e.g. 'Sarah walked more slowly than Ben.'

The superlative comparison is used to compare three or more : slowest, earliest.
e.g. 'We all take our time, but I walk the slowest of all.'

How do you make them?
Adverbs of one syllable usually form the comparative by adding - er and form the superlative by adding - est
'hard' (positive) - 'harder' (comparative) - 'hardest' (superlative)

Adverbs of two syllables or more generally form the comparative by adding more and the superlative by adding most.
'quickly' (positive) - 'more quickly' (comparative) - 'most quickly' (superlative)

Watch out! Examples of exceptions
badly: worse (comparative) - worst (superlative).
well: better (comparative) - best (superlative).
far: farther (comparative) - farthest (superlative).


Understanding different types of adverbs

A useful way of summing up these hard-working words is to say that
they are used to describe one of the following instances of an event or

1.How an event occurs (also known as adverbs of manner)

He ate his pear noisily (adverb).
2. When an event occurs(also known as adverbs of time)

He left the town yesterday (adverb).

We'll meet again (adverb).
3. Where an event occurs(also known as adverbs of place)

I left the book here (adverb).

Outside (adverb), the rain poured down.
4. How often an action or event occurs

She takes the train daily (adverb).
5. The degree or extent of an action(also known as degree adverbs)

How (adverb) tall is she?

She discovered that the plant was highly (adverb) toxic.
6. To strengthen or weaken the meaning of an adjective, adverb, or verb

Lucy speaks more loudly (adverb) than her brother.

Placement is important

To make your meaning clear, an adverb should usually be placed as
close as possible to the word the adverb is intended to describe or
modify. Compare the meaning in these two sentences:

We nearly lost all our research material.

We lost nearly all our research material.
The first sentence means that the material was saved, but the second says that almost everything was lost.

Spot a degree adverb easily

Like adjectives, many adverbs can be graded; that is, we can modify them using very or extremely:

softly: very softly

suddenly: very suddenly

slowly: extremely slowly
The modifying words "very"and "extremely"are
themselves adverbs that, as we have seen, are called degree adverbs
since they specify the degree to which an adjective or another adverb
applies. Other examples are "almost," "barely,""entirely," "highly," "quite," "slightly,"and "totally."
An adverb ending in "ly" does not need a hyphen to indicate that the
adverb is modifying the adjective or participle next to the adverb. When
adverbs that do not end in "ly" are used as compound words in front of a
noun, they should be hyphenated, but if they follow the noun, do not

A carefully prepared breakfast.

She bought a pair of much-needed shoes.

Her new shoes were much needed.
Understanding and identifying adverbs is easy—when you know what you're looking for.

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