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.

Related Subjects:
Adjectives vs Adverbs

Subject Exercises / Quizzes:
Adjectives Adverbs Exercises (classic)
Adjectives / Adverbs Multiple Choice
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 -ily.

busy - busily
happy - happily
easy - easily
heavy - heavily

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 the slowest.

1. Adverbs having the same form as adjectives:

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.

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

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

Who speaks English the best?
They do everything worse than us.
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