Kindly, slowly, here, often, and very are examples of adverbs. Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. Modify means to add to or change the meaning of a word.
Spotting an Adverb
End in "-ly"
Many adverbs end in “-ly”. If you are not sure of the part of speech a word would be, and it ends with “-ly”, it is probably an adverb.
Other examples of adverbs would be words that describe how something was done or the manner in which it was done. These would be words like:
Tell Where Action Happened
Some adverbs tell the location of an action, or where it occurred. Adverbs like this would be:
Tell When Action Happened
Examples of adverbs that tell when an action occurred, or its time, include:
Tell the Extent of the Action
Adverbs can describe to what extent something was done or an action was executed, including:
Adverbs Are Intensifiers
One function of adverbs is to intensify the meaning of the word it is modifying. It does this by putting more or less emphasis on the word, amplifying the meaning of the word, or toning down the feeling of the word.
Here are some sentences with the emphasizing adverb underlined:
- I really don’t care.
- He literally wrecked his car.
- I am certain of the facts, for sure.
- You simply don’t understand.
- I so want to go to the concert.
Sentences that amplify would be like:
- She completely rejected his proposal.
- I heartily endorsed the new restaurant.
- I so want that new toy.
- He completely understands me.
- I absolutely refuse to stay here any longer.
Adverbs and adverb phrases that tone down the feeling or mood would include:
- I sort of felt betrayed by you.
- You can improve on this to some extent.
- She kind of likes the movie.
- The boss almost quit his job after that.
- I somewhat understand what you are saying.
- She mildly disapproved of his actions.
Adverb phrases function like adverbs. They can tell when, how, where, and to what extent or purpose. Adverb phrases can start with a preposition.
Some examples of these are:
- With a hammer
- Next door
- Before the holidays
- Every month
- For his mother
Adverb phrases can also start with the infinitive form of a verb, like in these examples:
- To buy a car
- To support the team
- To show her mother
Here is a list of sentences with the adverb phrase underlined:
- He lived in the north of Germany.
- We decided to buy a car.
- She went to the movie every month.
- I laughed every time he cracked a joke.
- It is kept where the students can read it.
- She looked as if she were guilty.
- He acts like he owns the place.
- I went to bed after I finished my homework.
- Please stay as long as possible.
An adverb or adverb phrase is a workhorse in the world of grammar, changing and enhancing the meaning of their partner verbs.