What is an Adverb - Studying English Grammar

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In this lesson, we will discuss some important things about adverbs.


Natalie: Adverbs can tell you where, when, how, why and to what extent something happens. They are used to modify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs in a sentence. Adverbs usually answer questions such as ‘how?’, ‘where?’, ‘when?’,’how often?’ and ‘how much?’. Here are three examples:

Luke:She sings beautifully.

Luke: They drive carefully.

Luke: She eats her food slowly.

Natalie: Adverbs are often formed by adding ‘-ly’ to an adjective. In these examples the adjective ‘beautiful’ becomes the adverb ‘beautifully’, ‘careful’ becomes ‘carefully’ and ‘slow’ becomes ‘slowly’. Now, here are some more examples to show us that adverbs can also modify an adjective.

Luke: She is extremely happy. They are absolutely sure.

Natalie: Adverbs of frequency such as ‘always’, ‘never’, ‘sometimes’, ‘often’ usually come before the main verb of a sentence, unless the main verb is the verb ‘to be’. For example:

Luke: He is often late for class.

Luke: Do you always eat in a restaurant?

Luke: They don't usually travel on Fridays.

Let’s see some sample conversations where adverbs are being used.

Conversation 1

Diana: You were beautifully dressed last night, Carly.

Carly: Thanks for the compliment.

Diana: From where did you buy your evening gown? It must’ve been expensive!

Carly: Well...it costed me around $800. I bought it from Forever 21.

Diana: Yeah. Forever 21 is a nice brand. They always have a unique collection displayed.

Conversation 2

Rinku: I’m thinking about taking my family to visit the National Park.

Jenny: That’s nice. I’ve never been there, but I’ve heard it’s an incredibly beautiful place.

Rinku: Yeah. My mom wants to visit the caves so we’re carefully planning this trip.

Jenny: You’d better get some great pictures. I would love to see them.

Rinku: Sure. I’ll call you after coming back.

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