What is an Adverb? Types of Adverb with Examples

What is an Adverb?

A word in a sentence that says or gives information about an adjective, verb, another adverb in the sentence, preposition, conjunction, phrase, or even entire clause is called an Adverb.

So, it is understood that an adverb can give additional information about:

  • an adjective
  • a verb
  • an adverb
  • preposition
  • conjunction
  • a phrase
  • a clause

For these multifarious modifying power of an adverb, it is often called a mystifying part of speech.

Example: 

  • It is a very beautiful story. [The word ‘very’ in this sentence describes the word ‘beautiful’ which is an adjective. Hence the word ‘beautiful’ is an adverb.]
  • He spoke everything boldly. [The word ‘boldly’ in this sentence describes the word ‘spoke’ which is a verb. Hence the word ‘boldly’ is an adverb.]
  • He spoke everything quite boldly. [The word ‘quite’ in this sentence describes the word ‘boldly’ which is another adverb in the sentence. Hence the word quite’ is an adverb.]
  • William left this place just after four. [The word ‘just’ in this sentence describes the word ‘after’ which is a preposition. Hence the word ‘just’ is an adverb.]
  • Vanessa has been sad ever since she left New York. [The word ‘ever’ in this sentence describes the word ‘since’ which is a conjunction. Hence the word ‘since’ is an adverb.]
  • Hopefully, my friend will come soon to meet me. [The word ‘hopefully’ in this sentence describes ‘my friend will come soon to meet me’ which is a clause. Hence the word ‘hopefully’ is an adverb.]

How to Identify an Adverb?

Most of the Adverbs give the answer to the questions of: ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘how’, ‘to what extent’, and ‘how often‘. So, to identify an Adverb, be sure to get the answer to any of the above questions. If you successfully get the answer, then you can be sure, the word is an Adverb.

what-is-an-adverb
What is an Adverb?

Example: 

  • I go home. [Here ‘home’ is a place, and gives the answer to the question of ‘where’. So, the word ‘home’ is an adverb.]
  • I went home yesterday. [Here ‘yesterday’ is a time, and gives the answer to the question of ‘when’. So, the word ‘yesterday’ is an adverb.]
  • I went home safely. [Here ‘safely’ gives the answer to the question of ‘how’. So, the word ‘safely’ is an adverb.]
  • I often go home. [Here ‘often’ gives the answer to the question of ‘how often’. So, the word ‘often’ is an adverb.]
  • I sometimes go home. [Here ‘sometimes’ gives the answer to the question of ‘how often’. So, the word ‘sometimes’ is an adverb.]

In other words, the word that gives information about one of the following five topics is basically adverb.

  • How something happens: easily, swiftly, excitingly, etc.
  • Where it happens:– outside, here, there, upstairs, etc.
  • When it happens:-now, later, tomorrow,etc.
  • How often it happens: always, frequently, rarely, never, etc.
  • And how much it happens: very, extremely, too, etc.

Types of Adverb:

When it comes to Adverbs ‍and their classification, it should be said, there are mainly five types of Adverbs. Such as:

  1.  Adverb of Manner
  2.  Adverb of Time
  3.  Adverb of Place
  4. Adverb of Frequency
  5. Adverb of Degree or Intensifiers

1. – Adverb of Manner:

An adverb that expresses how something happens is called the Adverb of Manner. Most adverbs of manner are formed by adding ‘-ly’. This adverb gives the answer to the question ‘how’.

Example:

  • William sings happily.
  • Mark walks quickly to catch the bus.
  • I was hurt badly.
  • Vanessa said everything correctly.

Similarly, words like slowly, silently, rapidly, badly, strongly, nicely, sweetly, sadly, warmly, correctly, loudly, etc. are nice examples of Adverb of manner.

Sometimes you won’t find ‘ly’ at the end of the ‘Adverb of manner’. In that case, by asking ‘how’, an adverb of manner should be identified.

Example:

  • Mark runs fast to catch the train. (how does Mark run?)
  • The cricket players are playing well. (how are the cricket players playing?)
  • The workers are working hard to finish their work. (how are the workers working?)

Again you cannot be fully sure to see the word ending with ‘-ly’ is an adverb. For example, words like: lovely, friendly, lonely, elderly, ugly, etc. are not adverbs, they are basically adjectives.

2. – Adverb of Time:

An adverb that describes when or at what time something happened is called an adverb of time. An adverb of time tells us when something happens. This adverb gives the answer to the question ‘when’.

Example:

  • What will you do now?
  • They came yesterday from the UK.
  • Will they come to work today?
  • He is supposed to come at 10.30 a.m.
  • Lately, William finished his English learning course.
  • Today I will go to New York.

3. -Adverb of Place:

An adverb that tells where something happened is called an adverb of place. That is, it talks about the location/place where something happens, and gives the answer to the question ‘where’.

Best example words of Adverbs of Place are: Here, there, home, abroad above, below, under, upstairs, downstairs, uptown, downtown, over, below, between, behind, through, around, everywhere, etc.

Example:

  • Mark will go there to meet his friend.
  • My friend went abroad last month.
  • You can find horses everywhere in the world.
  • I will go downtown to meet my parents.
  • They are going outside to take fresh air.

4. – Adverb of Frequency:

An adverb that refers to how often or for how many consecutive times something happens is called an adverb of frequency.

Although the adverb of frequency may seem like an adverb of time, it is not actually like that. The main difference between them is that the adverb of time tells when the work takes place, and the adverb of frequency tells how often the work takes place. The Adverb of frequency gives an answer to ‘how often’.

Adverbs of frequency words:

Frequently, weekly, hourly, annually, twice, normally, sometimes, often, never, always, occasionally,  generally, usually, nearly, again, never, ever, etc.

Example:

  • I occasionally speak and write English.
  • My parents are always happy with what they have.
  • They usually love going on long tours.
  • They often speak English.
  • They frequently come over to my home to meet me.

5. – Adverb of Degree or Intensifiers:

The word that tells about the degree or intensity of an adjective, a verb, or of another adverb is called an Adverb of Degree or Intensifier.

The most commonly used intensifiers are: almost, very, absolutely, barely, completely, deeply, enough, too, extremely, fairly, fully, greatly, etc.

Example:

  • He is strong enough to lift the box.
  • It is almost finished.
  • California is absolutely a wonderful city.
  • This mountain is very high.
  • I am extremely sorry to know your news.
  • It is quite a good place to visit.
  • Our project is almost ready.
  • It is quite cold now.

These are the most important pieces of information about adverbs though these are not all about this head-spinning part of speech. But on the basis of this information, you can go deep to learn what else is there about an adverb.

Rezaul Karim

Hi, my name is Rezaul Karim. I am an English teacher and founder of LearnEnglishWithRezaul.com. I work with non-native English learners to help them understand English grammar from basic to intermediate. I also help them improve their conversation skills, and communication ability and reduce their accent. I hope you may like my posts on this website, and if you really really feel that this page/website is useful for English learners, please happily share it for others to know.

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