An adverb phrase is simply a group of two or more words that function as an adverb in a sentence. Just as an adverb can modify a verb, adjective or another adverb, an adverb phrase of more than one word can further describe a verb, adverb, or adjective.
Adverb phrases typically answer the questions how, where, why or when something was done, as you'll see in the adverb phrase examples below.
Consider the following sentences:
- I parked the car.
- I parked the car here.
- I parked the car right here.
- I parked the car right here under the bridge.
The first sentence does not contain an adverb or adverb phrase at all. The second sentence contains the adverb "here" to describe where the car was parked. The third sentence contains the adverb phrase "right here," which emphasizes where the car was parked and employs a phrase instead of a single adverb.
The final sentence of the group contains a longer, more informative adverbial phrase. Note that "right here under the bridge" is a prepositional phrase that uses the preposition "under" and the object "bridge." In this case, the prepositional phrase functions as an adverb in the sentence. Since it modifies the verb to describe location, it is both a prepositional phrase and an adverbial phrase.
Adverb Phrases Show How, Where, Why, When
A simple adverb phrase usually contains an adverb and at least one other word before or after it, though a prepositional phrase or infinitive phrase can also act as an adverbial.
Adverb Phrases Describing How
- Surprisingly well
- In total silence
- Often under duress
- Very carefully
- Quite easily
Adverb Phrases Describing Where
- Near the edge
- Through the looking glass
- Over the rainbow
- By the mailbox
- Around the sun
Adverb Phrases Describing Why
- To understand better
- For her happily ever after
- For pity's sake
- To make the most of it
- To end discrimination
Adverb Phrases Describing When
- As quickly as possible
- Any time
- Yesterday afternoon
- After a few minutes
- Never at midnight
Adverb Phrase in a Sentence
Adverb phrases can be used in any position in a sentence. Consider these adverb phrase examples so you'll know what you're looking for:
- Bob nodded like a bobblehead.
- Meet me at the mall later this evening.
- Without thinking, he turned down the road.
- They must kiss before sunset to break the spell.
- She went online for more information.
- In the forest, many creatures snarl and growl.
- I will not do that, never in a million years!
- Dad spoke softly to calm her fears.
- They have a house right by the ocean.
- She slammed the door in a huff.
- We will reconvene earlier than usual.
- Truly happy, I gave him my answer.
- She took some time off for a much-needed vacation.
- At every turn, problems blocked his path.
- I saw a lot of trash beside the highway.
- He decided to join a gym to get in shape.
- The dog came in for his bath, incredibly reluctantly.
- We strolled through the gardens very slowly.
- He made his decision as quickly as possible.
- Put the flowers by the birdbath.
- Jose always arrives sooner than the other students.
- She flew the plane through the fog calmly and skillfully.
- So as not to disturb anyone, Michelle tiptoed to bed.
- The seamstress mended the hem with needle and thread.
- Sometimes I don't clean under the bed.
- He performed the tasks without care.
- Come closer to get a better look.
- Take this medication as often as needed.
- The oath was recited somewhat hesitantly.
- Mary needs to drive her new car much more carefully.
- To see the view, Harry climbed to the peak.
- The mystery books were placed next to the crime dramas.
- The line was moving frustratingly slowly.
- The parade coursed around the town square.
- She runs five miles every day.
- The children opened their presents with delight.
- This product is available in all places.
- She responded very rudely.
- You need to wash your hands better than that.
- He stood on this very spot and lied to me.
Adverb Phrases vs. Adverb Clauses
It is important to remember that a phrase is a group of words that does not contain a subject and a verb. When you look at the adverb phrase examples above, you'll see that "right here under the bridge" does not contain a verb, so it is just a long phrase.
An adverb clause, on the other hand, is a group of words that does contain a subject and a verb. That group of words modifies a verb, adverb or adjective in the sentence, just as an adverb phrase does. For example:
- I parked the car where I could easily find it later.
This adverbial has both a subject ("I") and a verb ("find"), so it is a clause. In its entirety, it modifies the verb "parked" to describe where the car is located.
To better understand the difference between an adverb phrase and an adverb clause, check out the examples of adverb clauses here on YourDictionary.