She is writing neatly,

An adverb is a word which modifies a verb, an adjective or another adverb.

We may say that it adds to the meaning of a verb, adjective or an adverb.

1)Philip runs quickly.

In this sentence the adverb quickly modifies the verb runs. It tells us about the manner in which Philip runs.

2) This is a very sweet apple. In this sentence the adverb very modifies the adjective sweet. It tells us to what degree the apple is sweet.

3) Sharah sings quite sweetly. In this sentence the adverb quite modifies the adverb sweetly. It tells us how far or to what extent she sings sweetly.

Types of adverb:

i) Adverbs of Manner

ii) Adverbs of Time

iii) Adverbs of Place

iv) Adverbs of Frequency

v) Adverbs of Degree or Quantity

vi) Adverbs of Reason

vii) Adverbs of Affirmation or Negation

viii) Adverbs of Certainty

ix) Relative adverbs

x) Interrogative adverbs

xii) Focusing Adverbs


  Adverb of Manner (how-adverbs) tells us how or in what manner an action is done.

 The soldiers fought bravely.

  He did it manually.

  The story is well written.

  She was agreeably disappointed.

  Thus he succeeded.

[This class includes nearly all those Adverbs which are derived from Adjectives and end in –ly.]


Adverb of place (where adverbs) show where or at what place the action is done.

The meeting was held here.

Go there.

The doctor is out.

Is Mr John within?

Walk backward.

Stop here.

They went upstairs.


Adverb of time (when-adverb) tells us when or at what time an action is done.

It rained yesterday.

The guests will arrive soon.

The boy arrived late in class.

Vinni comes here daily.

Wasted time never returns.

Mr. Smith formerly lived here.


An adverb of frequency (How often- adverb) tells us how often or how frequently an action is done.

He visits us daily.

She spoke to me twice.

They often play cricket.

He seldom comes here.

She always cooks dinner.

I have not seen him once.

She frequently comes late.

The messenger came again.


These adverbs (how much or to what degree- adverbs) tells us to what extent an action is done.

I fully agree with you.

He was too careless.

The glass is almost full.

They treated him most cruelly.

He is good enough for my purpose.

She was altogether mistaken.

Things are no better now.

She sings pretty well.

I am rather busy.

You are quite wrong.

I am so glad.

We are fully prepared.

You are partly correct.


Adverb of reason (why-adverb) tells us why an action has taken place.

She wanted to buy a pen therefore she went out.

He is sick hence unable to go to school.

The work was not done in time consequently the project failed.


These adverbs affirm or negate an action.(yes, no, surely, perhaps)

You are surely mistaken.

He has certainly done it.

I do not know him.

He is not busy.

I have not done it.

‘Yes’ and ‘No’ are generally classified as adverbs. They are in fact substitutes for a whole sentence, by a process where words once used are understood as repeated. This process is called ellipsis.

Q: Have you reached there?

A: Yes.( I have reached.)

Q: Are you feeling sick?

A: No. (I am not feeling sick.)


Adverb of certainty (how sure-adverbs) tells us how sure we are of something.

It will probably rain tomorrow.

Perhaps the train is late.

She is definitely late.


 Relative adverbs like relative pronouns introduce adjective clause.

Tell them the reason why you lied.

I know the street where she lives.

Do you know when the chief guest will arrive?


An interrogative adverb not only modifies some words but begins a question.

When will he come? (Time)

How many people are there? (number)

How far must we travel? (degree)

Why was he upset? (reason)

Where is the market? (place)


These adverbs ‘point to’ one part of a clause.

We are only going for a day.

He has even gone to the President.

The crowd consisted of mainly students.

According to their usage adverbs are divided in to three classes.

1)Simple adverbs. – You are quite right.

2) Interrogative adverbs – Why are you late?

3) Relative adverbs –I remember the house where I was born.

Formation of adverbs:

From the viewpoint of formation . Adverbs may be divided into four categories.

1) Simple formation- fast, very, too

2) Derivative ( formed by adding ‘ly’ suffix.) – slowly, usually, gracefully

3) Compound ( formed by joining two words) – somewhere -> some + where, anywhere -> any+where

4) Composite (adverbials or phrases working as adverbs)- at last, on foot, at least.

Forms of adverbs

Some words are used both as adverbs and adjectives in the same form.

ADJECTIVES                          ADVERBS

She came by the back entrance.                  She came back.

She faced little problem while trekking.                    She is little known outside U.S.

It was a hard sum.                                                      He works hard to earn money.

She is the best teacher.                                               She behaves best in the class.

I am an early riser.                                                       He rises early.

He is the only child.                                                     You can only guess.

Comparison of adverbs

Some adverbs like adjectives have three degrees of comparison.

  Positive   Comparative  Superlative

Fast           Faster            Fastest Long          longer              longest  hard         harder          hardest Soon          sooner      soonest           Swiftly  moreswiftly  mostswiftly   Skillfully more skillfully most skillfully Early         earlier                 earliest

Position of Adverbs

i) Adverbs of Manner are usually placed after the verb or object if there is one:

  He is walking slowly

The boy is running fast.

  She writes letters well.

  He does his work carefully.

ii) Adverb phrases of place and time are also placed after the verb or object if any.

  She will go there.

  He searched everywhere.

  She met me yesterday.

They are going to Paris next month.

iii) In case of two or more adverbs. The normal order is – Adverb of manner; Adverb of place;  

Adverb of time.

We should go there tomorrow evening.

She danced beautifully at the function last evening.

iv) Adverbs of frequency are normally put between the subject and the verb.

 He never goes to the zoo.

 I quite agree with you.

 She has never seen a lion.

 We usually go to sleep by nine.

v) The verb enough is placed before the word it modifies.

 He was rash enough to drive fast.

 She sang loud enough to be heard by all.

vi) The word only is usually placed after the word it modifies.

 I worked only four hours.

 She did only two sums.

However in spoken English only is placed before the word it modifies.

 She only worked two sums.

 I only slept for three hours.


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