What is an Adverb?


An adverb is a word that tells us more about a verb. It “qualifies” or “modifies” a verb (The man ran quickly).

In the following examples, the adverb is in bold and the verb that it modifies is in italics.

  • John speaks loudly. (How does John speak?)
  • Afterwards she smoked a cigarette. (When did she smoke?)
  • Mary lives locally. (Where does Mary live?)
  • I was doing so well. (How were you doing?)

But adverbs can also modify adjectives (Tara is really beautiful), or even other adverbs (It works very well). Look at these examples:

  • Modify an adjective:
    – He is really handsome. (How handsome is he?)
    – That was extremely kind of you.
  • Modify another adverb:
    – She drives incredibly slowly. (How slowly does she drive?)
    – He drives extremely fast.
Note that adverbs have other functions, too. They can:

  • Modify a whole sentence: Obviously, I can’t know everything.
  • Modify a prepositional phrase: It’s immediately inside the door.

Would you like to take a QUIZ on ADVERBS? Then click the link!



Adapted from http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/adverb-what.htm


2 thoughts on “What is an Adverb?

    1. Actually, Eduardo, in this case it’s “over easy”. Confusing? A bit. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “over easy” is a 79-year-old idiom that works as an adjective. That means it’s modifying the noun “eggs”. Interesting, isn’t it? 🙂

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