The Adverb

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We already know that nouns and pronouns are modified or described by Adjectives. Other words are described by Adverbs.

An adverb modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.

Modifying a verb: The girl shouted angrily.

Angrily is an adverb modifying the verb shouted. 

Modifying an adjective: That was the most enjoyable trip I’ve ever had.

The word most is an adverb modifying the adjective enjoyable. 

Modifying an adverb: They moved very carefully.

The word very is an adverb modifying the adverb carefully. 

Adverbs tell where, when, how, how often, and to what extent.

Where: The cookies are in my bag.

When: I will give you a cake soon.

How: She ate her food noisily.

To what extent: She did not fully understand what she had just read.

How often: You always drink coffee.

Many adverbs are formed by adding -ly to an adjective, just like in the following examples.

Adjective:                                          Adverb

Beautiful                                            Beautifully

Nice                                                   Nicely

Noisy                                                 Noisily

Careful                                               Carefully

Study the following examples: 

She has a beautiful singing voice. She sings beautifully.

She bought a nice dress. The dress fits her nicely.

She is a noisy eater. She eats noisily.

James is a careful driver. He drives carefully.


BUT---NOT all words that end in -ly are adverbs. Some words that end in -ly are always adjectives, such as the following words:


That was such a lively performance. 


I like the homely atmosphere of this diner.

Almost all people commented that she was  a homely girl. Well, she grew up to be a very attractive young lady. 


A school should have a friendly environment so that the children will not feel uneasy and scared. 


This is such a lovely dress. I'll buy it. 

Some words, on the other hand, can be used both as an adverb and as an adjective. Take a look at the examples below.

Jake is a fast runner. (Adjective modifying the noun runner)

Jake runs fast. (Adverb modifying the verb run

Jake is a hard worker. (Adjective modifying the noun worker)

He works hard. (Adverb modifying the verb works)

She's angry at herself because her score in the exam was very low. (Adjective modifying the noun score

It's so windy! Bend low to protect your face from the sand and dust! (Adverb modifying the verb bend)

Still, many adverbs do not necessarily end in -ly. The negatives no, not, and never are almost always adverbs. Many words used to express time, such as now, ever, almost, and soon, are always adverbs.



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