GrammarBank Exercises eBook: $7.99 - Children's English eBooks $6.49 - Download and Print InstantlyClick Here

Adverbs


Function of an adverb

Adverbs are used to give more information about the action in a sentence. They mainly modify verbs. They tell us how, where, when...etc something happens or is done.

Also See:

Adverbials
Adjectives Adverbs Exercises
Adjectives vs Adverbs
Carol drives carefully. (How does she drive?)
I looked for her everywhere. (Where did you look for her?)
She came to London yesterday. (When did she come to London?)


Adverbs are generally divided into seven groups:

1) Manner: slowly, bravely, carefully, simply, quietly...
2) Place: there, here, up, down, near...
3) Time: yesterday, tomorrow, now, yet, still...
4) Frequency: never, always, often, once, twice...
5) Sentence: actually, really, obviously, evidently...
6) Degree: very, quite, rather, fairly, hardly...
7) Focus: just, only, simply, even, also...


Forming Adverbs


They are generally made from adjectives.


Many adverbs of manner and degree are formed by putting -ly at the end of an adjectives.

slow - slowlyhappy - happily
cold - coldlyrapid - rapidly
bad - badlykind - kindly


I don’t know why, but they spoke to me coldly.
The weather was awfully cold.
You should treat people gently.
Please, drive the car slowly.



When an adjective ends in consonant + y, it becomes -ly.

busy - busily
happy - happily
easy - easily
dry - dryly

She is working busily.
Chuck passed the test easily.



When an adjective ends in -le, we omit -e and add -(l)y

noble - nobly
possible - possibly
simple - simply
gentle - gently

Ex: My mom brushes my hair gently every day.




When an adjectives ends in -e, we keep -e and add -ly.

extreme - extremely
free - freely
brave - bravely
safe - safely

His political ideas are extremely dull.
Our army fought bravely.




When an adjective ends in -ic, we add -ally.

Systematic - systematically
Phonetic - phonetically

We searched the attic systematically.
Mrs. Burns wanted us to write the words phonetically.


Degrees of Adverbs


  • Positive : Expresses a quality without a comparison.

    Ivan walks slowly.


  • Comparative : Expresses a higher or lower degree than the positive.

    Ida walks faster than Ivan.


  • Superlative : Expresses the highest or the lowest degree when comparing more than two things/persons.

    Brad walks slowest.


1. Adverbs having the same form as adjectives:

POSITIVECOMPARATIVE SUPERLATIVE
fastfaster the fastest
earlyearlier the earliest
latelaterthe latest
hardharderthe hardest


They came earlier than me.
Kenyans always win prizes in marathons because they run the fastest of all.
My parents’ plane will arrive later than my uncle's.


2. Adverbs formed with –ly.

POSITIVECOMPARATIVE SUPERLATIVE
easilymore easilymost easily
quickly more quicklymost quickly
fluentlymore fluentlymost fluently
carefullymore carefullymost carefully


Linda drives more carefully than her husband.
Elizabeth speaks English the most fluently.


3. Irregular adverbs

POSITIVECOMPARATIVESUPERLATIVE
wellbetterthe best
badlyworsethe worst
farfather / further the farthest / the furthest
much morethe most


Who speaks English the best?
They do everything worse than us.
You are here: >> Home >> English Grammar Lessons >> Adverbs
<-- Go to the top of the page -->

ESL Challenge
Grammar and Vocab Challenge

Winners Cup Learn while challenging others
Get listed on the leaderboard
Get e-books/mobile apps
Grammar Challenge
ESL Quiz Apps
GrammarBank Mobile Quizzes

Mobile TabletsESL Vocabulary and Grammar
Apps for mobile and tablets
Learn on the go!
Beginners Grammar Quiz App