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What is an adverb?

What are the different kinds of adverbs?

What are the most important tips for using adverbs?

Question 1: What is an Adverb?

1. The manager accepted the challenge very nicely.

The italicized word is an adverb that describes nicely, which is
another adverb.

2. Tears began to fall as he saw the completely lifeless body of his

The adverb in this sentence is completely, which describes the
adjective lifeless.

3. Surprisingly, the cubicles of the public restroom are clean.

Surprisingly is the adverb in this sentence. It modifies the clause that

comes right after it.
Even though all of the sample sentences above have one-word adverbs,
adverbs are not limited to a single word. Sometimes, adverbs come in
phrases. Take a look at the example below.

At 4 a.m., a stray cat jumped into the open window.

The italicized part is a prepositional phrase with an adverbial function.
It tells when the event occurred.
Question 2: What are the Different Kinds of Adverbs?
Aside from answering the main question What is an adverb? it is also
important to explore the different kinds of this part of speech.
Basically, there are four kinds of adverbs:
Adverbs of Manner

This kind of adverb describes the manner by which something was

done or something happened. Adverbs of manner answer the question


1. The students measured the volume of the chemicals accurately.

The italicized adverb describes the verb measured.

2. She walks gracefully.

Gracefully modifies the verb walks.

Adverbs of Place

Adverbs of place simply answer the question Where?

1. Heisenberg looked away from the dead body.

The adverb away answers the question, Where did Heisenberg

2. They built a huge toy factory nearby.

The adverb nearby answers the question, Where did they build the
huge toy factory?You will notice based on these examples that
adverbs of place can be placed right after the verb or after the object
of the verb.

Adverbs of Time
Aside from answering when an event occurred, adverbs of time also
answer questions like, How long? and How often?


1. Syndra lived in Germany for a year.

For a year tells how long something happened (how long Syndra lived in

2. Im going to the dentist tomorrow.

The adverb tomorrow indicates when something will be done.

Adverbs of Degree
This kind of adverb indicates the degree at which something will be
done. It tells something about the intensity.


1. You didnt try hard enough.

Hard enough is an adverb pertaining to the verb, try.

2. The temperature of the room was extremely

Extremely describes the adjective, high.

Question 3: What are the Most Important Tips for Using Adverbs?
Sometimes, students know what adverbs are but dont know how to
use them properly. So here are the most useful tips that you should
keep in mind:

1. In writing an adverb of manner, you must never write the adverb

in between the verb and the object of the verb.

Example (from above):

The students measured accurately the volume of the chemicals.
The students measured the volume of the chemicals accurately.
The first sentence is wrong because the adverb is located somewhere
between measured (verb) and volume (object of the verb).

2. Know when to use the comparative or superlative forms of

adverbs. Words like more or less are added to the main adverb
when comparing two things. Most or least are used if there are
three or more things to compare.
Examples: most often; more frequently

3. Not all words ending in ly are adverbs. This is pretty obvious, but
some students assume that a word is an adverb just because it
ends in ly.

4. Do not overly use adverbs. If there are single alternative words,

you can use those.


Instead of walk heavily > trudge

Instead of ate hurriedly > gobbled
Final Thoughts
After providing simplified answers to questions like What is an
adverb? and What are the different kinds of adverbs? this article will
surely help you understand the concept better. However, how you apply
this knowledge and make use of it to your advantage still depends on
you. Keep on reading and practicing your writing in order to hone your
grammar skills