What are adverbs?

Adverbs
We use an adverb to say how an action is performed. He speaks English fluently.
She answered correctly.
We use an adverb to add information about the time, place or manner. How long have you lived here?
We can use an adverb to add information to an adjective. She was extremely happy to see him again.
I really hate travelling by train.
We can use an adverb of frequency to say how often we do something. I always go jogging on Sundays.
We're vegetarians: we never eat meat.

Forms of adverbs
Most adverbs are formed by adding -ly to an adjective. nicely
quickly
beautifully
If the adjective ends in -ic we add -ally. basic ⇒ basically
dramatic ⇒ dramatically
Some adverbs are irregular: they have the same form as the adjective. fast ⇒ fast
daily ⇒ daily
late ⇒ late
early ⇒ early
hard ⇒ hard
The adjective good is irregular: its adverb form is well. good ⇒ well
Adverbs - common mistakes
Common mistakes Correct version Why?
The camera works perfect. The camera works perfectly. We use an adverb (perfectly = adverb, perfect = adjective) when we want to say how we do something.
Did you work hardly today? Did you work hard today? Some adverbs have the same form as the adjective: hard - hard, fast - fast, late - late.
She behaved rather sillily.
She passed the exam difficultly.
She behaved in a silly way.
She passed the exam with difficulty.
Some adjectives (including many ending in -ly) don't have an adverb equivalent. Instead, we use an adverbial phrase (in a friendly manner, in a silly way, with difficulty).
His answer sounded correctly.
He looks happily.
His answer sounded correct.
He looks happy.
After linking verbs (look, sound,taste, smell, feel, seem, etc.) we use adjectives, NOT adverbs.

5 Comments

  1. Anonymous - April 2, 2012, 5:32 pm Reply

    [...] [...]

  2. When an adjective—not an adverb—should follow a verb (linking verbs v action verbs) - February 12, 2013, 11:12 am Reply

    [...] verbs’ first. They also learn that if we want to say how we do something we should use an adverb (quickly, badly, well, etc.) with the [...]

  3. Wrong, wrongly, wrongfully - differences - February 13, 2013, 9:44 am Reply

    [...] trouble starts when we use wrong as an adverb and people start saying that it should be wrongly because adverbs always end in -ly. That’s [...]

  4. Dynamic verbs for describing a graph and making a clear presentation in English - June 30, 2013, 9:33 pm Reply

    [...] as ‘rise’, ‘fall’ and ‘plummet’. She also explains how we can follow a verb with an adverb such as ‘dramatically’ and ‘gradually’ to more accurately express the degree of change that [...]

  5. Using "it" with phrasal verbs - April 8, 2014, 3:36 pm Reply

    […] verbs are made up of two parts: a verb and an adverb. These verbs are called phrasal […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>