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Adverbs of Degree

Adverbs of Degree tell us about the intensiveness or the degree of a quality


( adjectives), or even an adverb itself, (normally adverbs of manner).
Common Adverbs of Degree:
very
quite
almost
spectacularly
so

just
enough
really
extremely
too

Unlike other adverbs, adverbs of degree are usually placed before the
adjective or the adverb they are modifying, after the auxiliary verb, before
the main verb or between the auxiliary verb and the main verb.
Examples:

He is really good. (before the adjective)


She almost noticed his presence. (before main verb)
He is just sad. (after the auxiliary verb)
They don't really know you. (between auxiliary verb and main
verb)

* " enough " as an adverb of degree (which means " to the necessary degree ")
comes after adjectives or adverbs.
Examples:

He is fat enough. (after adjectives)


They didn't work hard enough. (after adverb) - adverb of
manner

Note that the word " enough " also comes before nouns. In this case, the word
is a determiner, not an adverb.
* An adverb can also be placed at the very beginning of a clause, (normally
Adverbs of Time or adverbs like certainly, probably, fortunately and other
adverbs that express certainty or probability). A comma is always used after
the adverb, and in this case, the adverb is called " Sentence Adverb " (adverbs
that modify the entire sentence).
Examples:

Tomorrow, the Ministry of Education officers will be coming


here.
Fortunately, the fund raising went on smoothly.
Probably, the doctor may give her three days off.

Adverbs of Manner
Adverbs of Manner tell us how something happens. They are usually placed after the
main verb or after the object.
Common Adverbs of Manner:
quickly
fast
loudly
angrily

slowly
beautifully
sharply
happily

Normally, adverbs of manner modify or give more information about verbs


by indicating how or in what manner an action is done.
Examples:

He swims fast. (after the main verb)


She sings the song beautifully. (after the object)

* An adverb
of manner
should not be
placed
between the
verb and the
object :
Examples:

She sings beautifully the song. (between the verb and the
object incorrect)
She sings the song beautifully. (after the object)

If there is a
preposition
before the
object, ( e.g :
towards, to )
an adverb can
be placed
before the
preposition
or after the
object.
Examples:
However, the
position of an

The girl sings loudly to the crowd. (before preposition)


The girl sings to the crowd loudly. (after the object)

adverb is
important to
determine the
meaning of a
sentence:
Note that if an adverb of manner is placed after a clause, it modifies the
whole action described by the clause.
If the adverb is placed next to a verb, then it modifies the action, but not
the whole clause.
Examples:

She slowly agreed to cook. (she hesitates to cook)


She agreed to cook slowly. (the process of cooking

KINDS OF ADVERBS
ADVERBS OF MANNER
Adverbs of manner tell us how something happens. They are usually placed after the main verb
or after the object.
Examples:

He swims well, (after the main verb)


He ran... rapidly, slowly, quickly..
She spoke... softly, loudly, aggressively..
James coughed loudly to attract her attention.
He plays the flute beautifully. (after the object)
He ate the chocolate cake greedily.

BE CAREFUL! The adverb should not be put between the verb and the object:

He ate greedily the chocolate cake [incorrect]


He ate the chocolate cake greedily [correct]

If there is a preposition before the object, e.g. at, towards, we can place the adverb either
before the preposition or after the object.
Example:

The child ran happily towards his mother.


The child ran towards his mother happily.

Sometimes an adverb of manner is placed before a verb + object to add emphasis:

He gently woke the sleeping woman.

Some writers put an adverb of manner at the beginning of the sentence to catch our attention and
make us curious:

Slowly she picked up the knife.

(We want to know what happened slowly, who did it slowly, why they did it slowly)
However, adverbs should always come AFTER intransitive verbs (=verbs which have no object).
Example:

The town grew quickly


He waited patiently

Also, these common adverbs are almost always placed AFTER the verb:

well
badly
hard
fast

The position of the adverb is important when there is more than one verb in a sentence. If the
adverb is placed after a clause, then it modifies the whole action described by the clause.
Notice the difference in meaning between the following pairs of sentences:

She quickly agreed to re-type the letter (= her agreement was quick)
She agreed to re-type the letter quickly (= the re-typing was quick)
He quietly asked me to leave the house (= his request was quiet)
He asked me to leave the house quietly (= the leaving was quiet)

KINDS OF ADVERBS
ADVERBS OF DEGREE
Adverbs of degree tell us about the intensity or degree of an action, an adjective or another
adverb.
Common adverbs of degree:
Almost, nearly, quite, just, too, enough, hardly, scarcely, completely, very, extremely.
Adverbs of degree are usually placed:
1.
2.

before the adjective or adverb they are modifying:


e.g. The water was extremely cold.
before the main verb:
e.g. He was just leaving. She has almost finished.

Examples:

She doesn't quite know what she'll do after university.

They are completely exhausted from the trip.


I am too tired to go out tonight.
He hardly noticed what she was saying.

Enough, very, too


Enough as an adverb meaning 'to the necessary degree' goes after adjectives and adverbs.
Example:

Is your coffee hot enough? (adjective)


He didn't work hard enough. (adverb)

It also goes before nouns, and means 'as much as is necessary'. In this case it is not an adverb,
but a 'determiner'.
Example:

We have enough bread.


They don't have enough food.

Too as an adverb meaning 'more than is necessary or useful' goes before adjectives and adverbs,
e.g.

This coffee is too hot. (adjective)


He works too hard. (adverb)

Enough and too with adjectives can be followed by 'for someone/something'.


Example:

The dress was big enough for me.


She's not experienced enough for this job.
The coffee was too hot for me.
The dress was too small for her.

We can also use 'to + infinitive' after enough and too with adjectives/adverb.
Example:

The coffee was too hot to drink.


He didn't work hard enough to pass the exam.
She's not old enough to get married.
You're too young to have grandchildren!

Very goes before an adverb or adjective to make it stronger.


Example:

The girl was very beautiful. (adjective)


He worked very quickly. (adverb)

If we want to make a negative form of an adjective or adverb, we can use a word of opposite
meaning, or not very.

Example:

The girl was ugly OR The girl was not very beautiful
He worked slowly OR He didn't work very quickly.

BE CAREFUL! There is a big difference between too and very.

Very expresses a fact:


He speaks very quickly.
Too suggests there is a problem:
He speaks too quickly (for me to understand).

Other adverbs like very


These common adverbs are used like very and not very, and are listed in order of strength, from
positive to negative:
extremely, especially, particularly, pretty, rather, quite, fairly, rather, not especially, not
particularly.
Note: rather can be positive or negative, depending on the adjective or adverb that follows:
Positive: The teacher was rather nice.
Negative: The film was rather disappointing.
Note on inversion with negative adverbs:
Normally the subject goes before the verb:
SUBJECT

VERB

I
She

left
goes

However, some negative adverbs can cause an inversion - the order is reversed and the verb
goes before the subject
Example:
I have never seen such courage.
She rarely left the house.

Never have I seen such courage.

Rarely did she leave the house.

Negative inversion is used in writing, not in speaking.


Other adverbs and adverbial expressions that can be used like this:
seldom, scarcely, hardly, not only .....
but also, no sooner .....
than, not until, under no circumstances.