Adverb in English, Types, Position, Uses, Rules, PDF

An adverb is a word that qualifies (adverb definition for kids)

Italic words are verb, and bold words are adjectives.

  • A verb
    Example: He works hard.
  • An adjective
    Example: She is very good.
  • An adverb
    Example: She works very hard.
  • A preposition
    Example: The helicopter hovered exactly over (Prep.) is house.
  • A conjunction
    Example: He likes her simply because (conj.) she has a clear conscience.
  • A complete sentence
    Example: Fortunately, no one was hurt (sentence).

Usually, an adjective qualifies a ‘noun or a ‘pronoun but a few adverbs for Example: only, even, at last, almost, can also be used for the same purpose. 

For Examples:

adverb examples

Types of Adverb

3 types of adverb

  1. Simple Adverb
  2. Relative adverb
  3. Interrogative adverb

Read all 3 types of adverb in detail (list of adverb is also given).

1. Simple Adverbs

It denotes time, place, number, frequency of manner, reason, degree, affirmation, or negation.

Adverb of manner

An adverb of manner tells us how a verb is done.

Examples:

  1. He works honestly.
  2. He walks slowly.

The adverb ending in ‘ly‘ generally comes under adverb of manner.

Slow Slowly
GladGladly
HonestHonestly
  • Miser, niggard, scholar, and coward, are few nouns in which we often confuse between their adjective and adverb forms.

NounAdjective formAdverb form
CowardCowardlyIn a cowardly manner
NiggardNiggardlyIn a niggardly manner
MiserMiserlyIn a miserly manner
ScholarScholarlyIn a scholarly manner

Look at the few sentences:

  1. He is miser.
    (add ‘a‘ before ‘miser which is a noun)
  2. He is a miser man. (wrong)
    He is a miserly man. (Right)
    (use adjective ‘miserly‘ to qualify man which is a noun)
  3. He behaved in a miserly manner. (wrong)
    (‘behave‘ is a verb, and adverb of ‘miser‘ will be used to qualify the verb)

Remember:

  • A few words have the same adverb and adjective forms.

Examples: Fast, straight, outright, direct, hard, late, high, safe, and quiet.

AdverbAdjective
He works hard.This is a hard task.
He wakes up early.He came by an early fligh.
Do not talk loud.We should not speak in a loud tone.
Run fast.He is a fast runner.
He wanted long for me.He went on a long journey.
Come near.He is of my near relation.
  • A few adverbs have different meanings in ‘ly‘ form.
  1. Late (After the usual or proper time)
    Lately (Recently/of late) for example:

    • I haven’t seen Akila Lately.
    • He came late for the meeting.
  2. Hard (with great effort)
    Hardly (with difficulty) for example:

    • She works hardly to make both ends meet.
    • She works hard to make both ends meet.
    • He hardly does any work.
  3. Free (without)
    Freely (With freedom) for example: 

    • We can move about freely in India.
    • Rides are provided free in this water park.
  • Both ‘loudly‘ and ‘aloud‘ are adverbs but different in meaning.
    Loudly meansin high volume’.
    Aloud meansaudibly’.
    Examples:
    1. Please speak aloud. The students sitting on the last bench are unable to hear you.
    2. We cannot play music loudly in this park.

Adverb of time

After, ago, early, late, now, then, soon, today, tomorrow, etc. are adverbs of time.

It shows when the action took place.

Example: I came late.

Adverb of place

Here, there, in, out, up, down, within, above, below, etc.

It shows where the action took place.

Example: I could not find him anywhere.

Adverb of frequency/number

Once, twice, thrice, always, never, seldom, often, frequently, etc.

It shows how often.

Examples:

  1. I can never behave in such a reckless manner.
  2. She seldom goes there.
  3. She often comes to meet me.

Adverbs of degree

Very, much, more, too, quite, little, almost etc.

It shows how much.

Example: I am quite well.

Adverb of Reason

So, hence, therefore, on account of, consequently etc.

Adverb of reason why the action took place.

Examples:

  1. I could not come because I was not well.
  2. I don’t like him since he has cheated many people.

Adverbs of affirmation

Surely, certainly, truly, etc.

Examples:

  1. She will truly help you.
  2. I will surely repay the loan.

Adverbs of negation

No, not never, etc.

Examples:

  1. He did not reply to my letter.
  2. I have never cheated anybody.

2. Relative Adverbs

When, where, why, and how, etc.

Relative adverbs join sentences. It points towards its antecedents (noun/pronoun) and denotes place, reason, or manner.

Examples:

  1. I do not know where he was gone.
  2. He will come when I call him.

3. Interrogative adverbs

Why, when, where, how.

Examples:

  1. Why are you surprised?
  2. Where has she seen me?

 PositiveComparativeSuperlative
(a)HardHarderHardest
FastFasterFastest
SoonSoonerSoonest
NearNearerNearest
EarlyEarlierEarliest
(b)Beautifullymore beautifullymost beautifully
Carefullymore Carefullymost Carefully
Slowlymore slowlymost slowly
Wisely more wiselymost wisely
(c)Ill, Badlyworseworst
Forthfurtherfarthest
Farfartherfarthest
Latelaterlatest, last
Littlelessleast
Muchmoremost
Wellbetter best

Position of Adverb

Adverb is always placed adjacent to the word that it modifies. If the position of adverb is changed, the meaning of the sentence changes.

Examples:

  1. Only she saw my dress. (Dress was seen by just one person)
  2. She only saw my dress. (She did not do anything else)
  3. She saw only my dress. (She did not see the dress of any other person)
  4. She saw my only dress. (I had just one dress)
  5. She saw my dress only. (Not my shoes, accessories etc.)

Read more about adverb position:

  • Adverbs can come at the beginning of a sentence:
    1. Interrogative Adverb is always used at the beginning of a sentence.
      Example: When are you returning home?
    2. In order to modify a complete sentence, an adverb is used at the beginning of a sentence
      Example: Surely, I will take care of you
    3. To emphasize the adverb, it is used in the beginning.
      Examples:

      1. Off she goes.
      2. Here comes the chief guest.
  • Adverbs can come in the middle of a sentence:
    1. Adverb of time (always, never, ever, often, seldom, sometimes) are used before the verbs that they modify.
      But if these adverbs come at the beginning of the sentence, the sentence takes inversion form which means the verb/ helping verb at the beginning of the sentence.

      • Seldom he comes to Delhi.
        Seldom does he come to Delhi.
      • Never I’ll go there.
        Never shall I go there.
      • No sooner she reached the station than the train left.
        No sooner did she reach the station than the train left.
      • Hardly she had reached the station when the train arrived
        Hardly had she reached the station when the train arrived.
      • So quickly she ran that she overtook her friends.
        So quickly did she run that she overtook her friends.
      • His wife comes here and so does he.
      • He doesn’t know anyone here and neither do I.
    2. If both the auxiliary verb and the main verb come in a sentence, the adverb of frequency/ degree is put between the auxiliary verb and the main verb.
      • He will never come here. (Will – helping verb, Come – Main verb)
      • I haveseldom gone there. (Have – helping verb, Gone – Main verb)
    3. No matter whether to ‘be‘ and its forms are used as a helping verb or a main Verb, the adverb of frequency/degree comes after ‘be’.
      • She is always happy. (Is – Main verb)
      • I am never sad. (Am – Main verb)
      • He is always praised for his sweet voice. (Is – helping verb, Praised – Main verb)

See the following sentences:

  1. He comes often every Sunday. (place ‘often‘ before ‘comes‘)
  2. He goes usually to shop every Sunday. (place ‘usually‘ before ‘goes‘)
  3. He is always happy. (No error in the sentence)

Adverbs Uses

Here we learn how to use different types of adverbs in sentences, here we have the most important adverbs – Very, much, quite, Fairly, rather, too, enough, yet.

Difference between very and much

  • Very is used with a positive degree.
    Example: Very good, very wise, very lucky, very honest.
  • Much is used with comparative degree.
    Example: Much better, much wiser, much luckier, much more honest.
  • Note:
    1. Very much + comparative degree is also used in a sentence.
      Example: Very much better, very much wiser, very much luckier, etc.
    2. Very/much is used with superlative degree too.
      Example: The very best boy.
    3. Very is used before present participle.
      Example: Very interesting, very daring, very confusing, very boring, very entertaining.
    4. Much is also used with past participle.
      Example: Much surprised, much grieved, much admired.
    5. Very is not used with past participle, but it is used with the following past participles.
      Example: Very tired, very dejected, very contented, very discontented, very pleased, Very drunk, very limited, very delighted.

Use of ‘Quite

Quite’ means ‘perfectly/ completely’. It is not used in place of ‘very’.

Examples: 

  1. She is quite lovely. (wrong)
    She is very lovely. (right)
  2. You are quite handsome. (wrong)
    You are very handsome. (right)

Use of ‘Fairly’ and ‘Rather’

  • Fairly is used with positive degree.
    For Example: Fairly wise, fairly good.
  • Rather is used with positive and comparative degree.
    For Example rather bad, rather difficult, rather worse, rather hotter.
  • Fairly’ is not followed by ‘too’. In such sentences use ‘Rather’ in place of ‘fairly’.
    For Example: 
    1. Fairly too good. (wrong)
    2. Rather too good. (right)
  • Desirable Adjectives are used after ‘fairly’.
    For Example: Fairly wise, fairly beautiful.
  • Unpleasant adjectives are used after ‘rather’.
    For Example: Rather wicked, rather difficult, rather troublesome, rather dull.

Note: Rather amusing, rather good, rather clever, rather pretty, rather beautiful are also correct.

Use of ‘Too’

  • Too’ means ‘also’ but ‘too‘ usually takes the place of ‘also‘ when needed after some clause or subject.
    For Example:

    1. I also was invited for tea. (wrong)
    2. I too was invited for tea. (right)
  • If ‘too‘ means more than required. Hence, ‘too’ should not be used with unpleasant adjectives. too bad, too naughty, too wicked, too fat, too dull, etc.
    For example

    1. I am too glad to meet you. (wrong)
    2. I am very glad to meet you. (right)
  • Too…to’ can take pleasant adjectives too.
    For example, He is too intelligent to be cheated.
  • The sentence given above means ‘he is so intelligent that he cannot be cheated’. More examples of too + adjective.
    1. He is too tall. (He is awkwardly tall)
    2. She is too slim. (She is awkwardly slim)
    3. It is too cold. (It is bitterly cold)
    4. So cannot be used in place of ‘very
      • I am so happy. (incorrect)
      • I am very happy. (correct)
      • I am so happy that I am unable to control my feeling. (Sothat’ is a place of conjunction)

Use of ‘Enough’

It acts as both an adjective and an adverb. If it works as adverb, it is used after adjectives which it modifies. When used as an adjective it is placed before a noun. For example:

Enough precedes a noun but follows an adjective.

  1. She is wise enough to understand your intension.
  2. He has enough money to buy this car.

Positive degree of adjective/adverb is used before enough.

  1. He is (a)/ faster enough (b)/ to defeat (c)/ you. (d)/ No Error (e) (x)
  2. He is bravest (a)/ enough to be (b)/ selected for (c)/ the post of soldier. (d)/ No Error (e) (x)

In sentence (i) use ‘fast’ in place of ‘faster’ and in sentence (ii), use ‘brave

Use of ‘Yet’

Yet means-up to the moment/ time of speaking. It is used in interrogative/negatives sentences. It is placed after verb or verb + object.

Note: It is generally used in present perfect negative sentence not in past tense.

Examples:

  1. The postman did not come yet.
  2. The postman has not come yet.
  3. Didn’t the postman come yet?
  4. Hasn’t the postman come yet?

Some important rules relating to adverb

Here we learn some most important Adverb rules that will help you to find out mistakes from the sentences.

Rule-1

Else’ is followed by ‘but’ and ‘rather’, ‘other’ and ‘otherwise’ follows than.

Examples:

(i) I would rather die than beg.

(ii) It is nothing else than sheer foolishness. (Use ‘but’ in place of ‘than‘)

(iii) Rahul had no other alternative but to work hard. (Use ‘than’ in place of ‘but’)

(iv) Rohit has no one else to talk to except his wife. (Use ‘but’ in place of ‘except’)

Rule-2

Adverbs, Seldom, never, nowhere, nothing, hardly, scarcely, neither, barely, rarely are negative in meaning.

Examples: 

  1. I rarely went to meet nobody. (Use ‘anybody’ in place of ‘nobody‘)
  2. She hardly knows nothing about me. (Use ‘anything’ in place of ‘nothing‘)
  3. I hardly know somebody in the city. (Say ‘anybody’ in place of ‘somebody’)

Rule-3

Negative words like not/never is not used with deny, forbid, both, unless, until, lest, hardly, scarcely, rarely, seldom and tooto.

  1. She denied that she had not done anything wrong. (Delete ‘not’)
  2. Both of us are not going there.
    Neither of us is going there.
  3. Unless he will not comes, I will not go.
    Unless he comes, I will not go.
  4. He did not deny that he was not present at the scene of crime
    (Meaning- He accepted that he was present there.)

Rule-4

Adverb ‘as‘ can be used with –Regard, describe, define, treat, view, know.

Adverb ‘as’ cannot be used with-Name, elect, think, consider, call, appoint, make, choose.

Examples:

  1. I regard him my brother. (Add ‘as’ after ‘him’)
  2. Biology has been defined the study of organism. (Add ‘as’ after ‘defined’)
  3. She is considered as the best student of my class. (Drop ‘as’ after ‘considerd’)
  4. The teacher called him as stupid. (Drop ‘as’)
  5. The principal appointed him as lecturer. (Remove ‘as’)
  6. He thinks her as a fool. (Remove ‘as’)

Rule-5

Too’, ‘as well as, is used as ‘Besides‘, ‘in addition to‘ or ‘also‘ in affirmative sense.

Also’ should not be used at the end.

Example: She found her bag and money too/as well.

Rule-6

Seldom or never’, ‘seldom, if ever‘, ‘little or nothing‘, ‘little‘, ‘if anything‘ are correct but it is wrong to say ‘seldom or ever‘ or ‘little or anything‘.

Example: He seldom or never goes to see movies.

Rule-7

Verbs of sensation (Taste, Smell, Feel, Appear, Seem, Sound, and look), should take adjective and not adverb after them.

Example:

  1. I look honest,
  2. I work honestly.
  3. I felt bad.
  4. I sing badly.

Italic words are verb of sensation, bold words are adjectives.

Be, become, turn, get, grow, keep, make, and prove are also certain verbs that take adjective and not adverb after them. For example, He got angry.

Rule-8

Manly, masterly, slovenly, friendly, orderly, gentlemanly, sickly, weekly, monthly are adjectives. They must not be mistaken as adverbs just because they end in ‘ly’.

  1. He behaved friendly.
  2. He behaved in a friendly manner.

Also read:

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