Adverb Definition

Adverb- An adverb is a word or a phrase that modifies verbs. An adverb is a word that tells us more about a verb. It “qualifies” or “modifies” a verb. In simple words, an Adverb could be defined as a word that is used as a prefix to add more information about the place, time, manner, cause or degree to a verb, an adjective, a phrase or another adverb. The use of an adverb makes a sentence more meaningful and coherent. In English Grammar, the adverb is considered very important in the list of parts of speech. A sentence without an adverb might be grammatically correct yet feels incomplete. For example,

Sentence 1- My teacher will contact you.

Sentence 2- My teacher will contact you shortly.

Here in the second sentence, we have used the adverb ‘shortly’. This adverb modifies the verb ‘contact’. In the first sentence, it’s not clear when the teacher will contact but, after the use of an adverb, the sentence becomes more specific and apparent. In the above sentence, the adverb modified a verb. 

Adverb Examples

An adverb can also modify adjectives, prepositions, and any other adverb. Even a whole sentence can be modified or adjusted using an adverb. This article briefly explains the adverb and also its types and usage. Let’s go through the following cases.

“Rohit is a very brave person.”

Here ‘brave’ is an adjective that is used for ‘Rohit’ and ‘very’ is an adverb used to modify the adjective ‘brave’. By using the adverb ‘very’, it becomes more meaningful that Rohit is a much braver person. Let’s see another case.

“She played very aggressively.

Here ‘aggressively’  is an adverb used to modify the verb ‘played’ and ‘very’ is another adverb used to modify an adverb (aggressively) itself. Similarly, an adverb can also be used to modify a preposition. Let’s understand through the following example.

The aircraft flew exactly above the White House.”

In this sentence, the preposition ‘above’ explains the relative position of the aircraft, and the adverb ‘exactly’ modifies the preposition by making it more emphasized. Let’s see one more use of an adverb.

Luckily, She got selected for that job

Hereby using the adverb ‘Luckily’ It becomes more apparent that She was lucky enough to get that job.

Types of Adverb

The Adverb is of several types. The various types of Adverb are as follows:

  1. Adverb of Manner and Quality
  2. Adverb of Place
  3. Adverb of Time
  4. Adverb of Quantity and Range
  5. Adverb of Number and Frequency, etc.

Types of Adverb & Examples

Types of AdverbExample
Adverb of Manner and QualitySlowly, Quietly, Carefully, Peacefully, Efficiently, Easily, Secretly, etc.
Adverb of PlaceHere, There, Inside, Outside, Behind, Below, Downstairs, etc.
Adverb of TimeYesterday, Tomorrow, Today, Now, Then, etc.
Adverb of Quantity and RangeEntirely, Partially, Extremely, Barely, Deeply, Absolutely, etc.
Adverb of Number and FrequencyAlways, Sometimes, Frequently, Often, Usually, Rarely, etc.
Adverb of Affirmation or NegationCertainly, Surely, Not, etc.

1. Adverb of Manner and Quality 

When we have to describe the way of doing a job or action, we use the Adverb of Manner and Quality. By using an Adverb of Manner and Quality it becomes more clear how the action is being performed. For example,

  1. She damaged her car badly.
  2. She speaks French very fluently.
  3. This article is written beautifully.

2. Adverb of Place

If we want to describe the occurrence place of action, then we use the adverb of place. This type of adverb gives a rough or sometimes an exact idea about the place of action. For example,

  1. The aircraft landed near the banyan tree.
  2. I couldn't find the book anywhere.

3. Adverb of Time

This type of adverb defines the time of occurrence of an action, In other words, the Adverb of Time explains when a particular action has happened or going to happen. For example,

  1. I will go to the cinema tomorrow.
  2. My teacher will contact you shortly.
  3. I completed the assignment yesterday.

4. Adverb of Quantity and Range 

In a sentence, whenever it is required to explain how much or up to what extent an action is completed then we use the Adverb of Quantity and Range. For example,

  1. This vessel is filled partially.
  2. He was completely exhausted.
  3. The amount of money sent was enough for them.

5. Adverb of Number and Frequency 

In many sentences, we see words like, once, Twice, etc. These types of words are termed ‘Adverb of Number and Frequency’ and explain the no. of times a particular action has occurred. For example,

  1. I go to the cinema twice a week.
  2. My mother visits the nearby temple every day.
  3. They come to their ancestral village occasionally.

6. Adverb of Affirmation or Negation

In some sentences, there is a sense of complete acceptance or denial. Adverb of Affirmation or  Negation is used for this purpose. For example,

  1. Surely He will complete the race.
  2. This hard-working person is not going to fail this time.
  3. The weather will certainly get better.

Adverb- Shortcut Rules

Let's try to understand some shortcut rules that should be followed while using Adverbs in a sentence.

Shortcut Rule 1: The adverbs ‘too much’ is used with nouns and ‘much too’ is used with adjectives.

Too much pain / Too much insincerity (Nouns), Much too painful / much too careless (Adjectives)

Shortcut Rule 2: Before the word ‘Enough’ an adjective under positive form should be used.

Shortcut Rule 3: The adverb quite (‘quite means perfectly/ completely) should not be used with the adjective ‘Handsome’.

Shortcut Rule 4: Late / Lately. The adverb ‘late’ indicates time and lately means recently.

Shortcut Rule 5: When we begin a sentence with ‘seldom / never / hardly / rarely / scarcely / barely / neither / never, the rule of inversion should be applied (i.e.,) an auxiliary verb is used before the subject.

Shortcut Rule 6: The adverbial phrase ‘No less than’ should be used with uncountable nouns whereas ‘No fewer than’ is used with countable nouns.

Shortcut Rule 7: The adverb (As) is not used after call and consider.

Shortcut Rule 8: The derived adjectives such as interested /pleased/satisfied/delighted are used with ‘much’ but not ‘very’.

Shortcut Rule 9: The adverb ‘very’ is used with positive adjectives and ‘much’ with comparative adjective forms.

Shortcut Rule 10: ‘Very much’ should be used with comparative forms

Parts of Speech in English Grammar 
Adverb: FAQs

Ans. An Adverb is a word or phrase that modifies verbs. The Use of an adverb makes a sentence more meaningful and coherent.

Ans. The various types of adverb are - Adverb of Manner and Quality, Adverb of Place, Adverb of Time, Adverb of Quantity and Range, Adverb of Number, and Frequency.

Ans. This type of adverb describes the place of occurrence of an action. For example, The aircraft landed near the banyan tree.

Ans. An adverb can also modify adjectives, prepositions, and some other adverb.

Ans. A word like ‘once’, ‘twice’, ‘thrice’, etc. in which the no. of times is definite, is called an adverb of number, and a word like ‘frequently’, ‘usually’, ‘mostly’ in which the frequency is not definite is called adverb of frequency.

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