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KINDS OF ADVERBS There are several classes or 'kinds' of adverbs that we use for specific functions: 1. Adverbs of manner 2. Adverbs of place 3. Adverbs of time 4. Adverbs of certainty 5. Adverbs of degree 6. Interrogative adverbs 7. Relative adverbs 8. Viewpoint and commenting 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:
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:
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.
The town grew quickly He waited patiently
Also, these common adverbs are almost always placed AFTER the verb:
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]
well badly hard fast
up here. around. They are followed by the verb if the subject is a noun: ADVERBS OF PLACE Adverbs of place tell us where something happens. then it modifies the whole action described by the clause. he etc.English Grammar Adverbs The position of the adverb is important when there is more than one verb in a sentence. down there. along.. (followed by the verb) Or by a pronoun if this is the subject (it. Go to Prepositions or Phrasal Verbs 'Here' and 'there' With verbs of movement. over here. here means towards or with the speaker: Come here (= towards me) 2 . They are usually placed after the main verb or after the object: Example: after the main verb: I looked everywhere John looked away. she. under. over there.): Here it is! (followed by the pronoun) There she goes! (followed by the pronoun) They built a house nearby She took the child outside NOTE: most common adverbs of place also function as prepositions. If the adverb is placed after a clause. Notice the difference in meaning between the following pairs of sentences: It's in here (= come with me to see it) There means away from. through. under here. back Come in after the object: Here comes the bus. in. I'm going home. round. off. under there. Examples: about. up. or not with the speaker: 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) Put it there (= away from me) It's in there (= go by yourself to see it) Here and there are combined with prepositions to make many common adverbial phrases: down here. across.. around. by. behind. out. up there Here and there are placed at the beginning of the sentence in exclamations or when emphasis is needed. down. over. up. down. on.
frequently. abroad. no particular emphasis) "For how long" adverbs are usually placed at the end of the sentence: expressing both movement and location: ahead. not long. now. Notice: 'for' is always followed by an expression of duration: The child went indoors. (this is more formal. for a while. The ship sailed westwards. last year For how long: all day. This is a "neutral" position. for a week. not an adverb. so it is always followed by a noun or a pronoun: He walked towards the car. never. often. She ran towards me. Later Goldilocks ate some porridge.English Grammar Adverbs Other adverbs of place: ending in '-wards'. (the time is more important) Goldilocks later ate some porridge. downhill. but also for how long. expressing movement in a particular direction: backwards forwards downwards upwards inwards outwards northwards southwards eastwards westwards homewards onwards Examples: When: today. like a policeman's report) Goldilocks ate some porridge later. for three days. yesterday. indoors. He lived and worked abroad. overseas. yearly "When" adverbs are usually placed at the end of the sentence: Example: Goldilocks went to the Bears' house yesterday. sideways. ADVERBS OF TIME Adverbs of time tell us when an action happened. and how often. (this is neutral. uphill. 'since' is always followed by an expression of a point in time: 3 . for several years. for two centuries. I'm going to tidy my room tomorrow. later. outdoors Example: She stayed in the Bears' house all day. Compare: BE CAREFUL! 'Towards' is a preposition. My mother lived in France for a year. since last year How often: sometimes. but some "when" adverbs can be put in other positions to give a different emphasis Cats don't usually walk backwards.
must): Yet is used in questions and in negative sentences. not yet. She visits France regularly. have. I am still hungry. often. normally. 4 . Adverbs that can be used in these two positions: frequently. it is used in positive sentences and questions. I often eat vegetarian food. 1 + 2 : I work (1) for five hours (2) every day 2 + 3 : The magazine was published (2) weekly (3) last year. may. usually 'Yet' and 'still' "How often" adverbs expressing the frequency of an action are usually placed before the main verb but after auxiliary verbs (such as be. (after the auxiliary must) She is never sea-sick. ORDER OF ADVERBS OF TIME Compare: If you need to use more than one adverb of time at the end of a sentence. have. use them in this order: 1: 'how long' 2: 'how often' 3: 'when' (think of 'low') Example: She regularly visits France. 1 + 3 : I was abroad (1) for two months (3) last year. and is placed before the main verb and after auxiliary verbs (such as be. (= simple negative statement) Haven't you finished yet? (= expressing slight surprise) Some other "how often" adverbs express the exact number of times an action happens and are usually placed at the end of the sentence: Still expresses continuity. He visits his mother once a week. (= simple negative answer) They haven't met him yet.(after the auxiliary is) I have never forgotten my first kiss. She is still waiting for you Are you still here? Do you still work for the BBC? When a frequency adverb is placed at the end of a sentence it is much stronger. occasionally. will) This magazine is published monthly. (before the main verb) He never drinks milk. since 1997. since the last war.English Grammar Adverbs since Monday. (after the auxiliary have and before the main verb forgotten) Have you finished your work yet? (= a simple request for information) No. and is placed at the end of the sentence or after not. might. sometimes. regularly. generally. (before the main verb) You must always fasten your seat belt.
He hardly noticed what she was saying. I am too tired to go out tonight. and means 'as much as is necessary'. They are completely exhausted from the trip. He will probably remember tomorrow. an adjective or another adverb. He is probably in the park. Enough. undoubtedly. extremely. surely Adverbs of certainty go before the main verb but after the verb 'to be': He definitely left the house this morning. Winston Churchill was a great politician. these adverbs go between the auxiliary and the main verb: He has certainly forgotten the meeting.g. nearly. definitely. just.English Grammar Adverbs 1 + 2 + 3 : She worked in a hospital (1) for two days (2) every week (3) last year. Example: See also ADVERBS OF ATTITUDE ADVERBS OF DEGREE 5 . scarcely. but is looking for confirmation: Example: Surely you've got a bicycle? Is your coffee hot enough? (adjective) He didn't work hard enough. before the main verb: e. When it is placed at the beginning of the sentence. He was just leaving.g. but a 'determiner'. quite. very. ADVERBS OF CERTAINTY These adverbs express how certain or sure we feel about an action or event. In this case it is not an adverb. enough. BE CAREFUL! with surely. Common adverbs of certainty: certainly. it means the speaker thinks something is true. completely. Example: Undoubtedly. hardly. too Sometimes these adverbs can be placed at the beginning of the sentence: Enough as an adverb meaning 'to the necessary degree' goes after adjectives and adverbs. Common adverbs of degree: Almost. too. 2. The water was extremely cold. She has almost finished. before the adjective or adverb they are modifying: e. (adverb) It also goes before nouns. Adverbs of degree tell us about the intensity or degree of an action. She doesn't quite know what she'll do after university. Examples: With other auxiliary verb. Adverbs of degree are usually placed: 1. very. probably.
from positive to negative: extremely. rather. and are listed in order of strength. BE CAREFUL! There is a big difference between too and very. we can use a word of opposite meaning. (adjective) He worked very quickly. Negative: The film was rather disappointing. He didn't work hard enough to pass the exam. depending on the adjective or adverb that follows: Positive: The teacher was rather nice. Example: The girl was very beautiful. (adverb) The girl was ugly OR The girl was not very beautiful He worked slowly OR He didn't work very quickly. Other adverbs like very These common adverbs are used like very and not very. Too suggests there is a problem: He speaks too quickly (for me to understand). Example: The dress was big enough for me. You're too young to have grandchildren! Note: rather can be positive or negative. We can also use 'to + infinitive' after enough and too with adjectives/adverb. The coffee was too hot for me. Example: The coffee was too hot to drink. not particularly. rather. quite.English Grammar Adverbs We have enough bread. fairly. They don't have enough food.g. Note on inversion with negative adverbs: Normally the subject goes before the verb: Very goes before an adverb or adjective to make it stronger. She's not old enough to get married. or not very. If we want to make a negative form of an adjective or adverb. This coffee is too hot. particularly. not especially. (adjective) He works too hard. (adverb) I SUBJECT VERB left 6 . Example: Too as an adverb meaning 'more than is necessary or useful' goes before adjectives and adverbs. She's not experienced enough for this job. Enough and too with adjectives can be followed by 'for someone/something'. pretty. Very expresses a fact: He speaks very quickly. especially. e. The dress was too small for her.
no sooner . (when = on which) There was a very hot summer the year when he was born. than. with other adverbs: How quickly can you read this? How often do you go to London? RELATIVE ADVERBS The following adverbs can be used to join sentences or clauses. where. when.. Other adverbs and adverbial expressions that can be used like this: seldom. with adjectives: How tall are you? How old is your house? 3. scarcely. Never have I seen such Rarely did she leave the house. Examples: Why are you so late? Where is my passport? How are you? How much is that coat? When does the train arrive? That's the restaurant where we met for the first time. not in speaking. with much and many: How much are these tomatoes? How many people are coming to the party? 4. not only . how.. INTERROGATIVE ADVERBS These are: why. meaning 'in what way?': How did you make this sauce? How do you start the car? 2. hardly. (why = for which....English Grammar Adverbs She goes Notice that how can be used in four different ways: 1. courage. when They are usually placed at the beginning of a question. They replace the more formal structure of preposition + which in a relative clause: where.the order is reversed and the verb goes before the subject Example: I have never seen such courage. but could replace the whole phrase 'the reason for which') VIEWPOINT AND COMMENTING ADVERBS 7 . not until. why Examples: However.. (when = in which) Tell me (the reason) why you were late home. some negative adverbs can cause an inversion . (where = at/in which) I remember the day when we first met. She rarely left the house. but also... Negative inversion is used in writing. under no circumstances.
You obviously enjoyed your meal. this car is cheaper than the smaller model. you should pay a fine. I think he is a liar. Surprisingly. seriously. but they go in a different position . Some common Viewpoint adverbs: honestly. or make some comment on the action. surely. Britain is rather cut off from the rest of Europe. These are very similar to viewpoint adverbs. honest opinion) Theoretically. officially. Commenting She is certainly the best person for the job. obviously. Examples: Personally. 8 . (= from a theoretical point of view but there may be another way of looking at the situation) These adverbs are placed at the beginning of the sentence and are separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma. obviously. certainly. economically. simply. Viewpoint Frankly. and often the same words.after the verb to be and before the main verb. surprisingly. undoubtedly. Geographically. confidentially. personally. Some common Commenting adverbs: definitely. ideally. clearly.English Grammar Adverbs There are some adverbs and adverbial expressions which tell us about the speaker's viewpoint or opinion about an action. I'd rather go by train. (= this is my frank.
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