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What are Adverbs?

Adverbs modify the meaning of verbs, adverbs, adjectives, and clauses. Unlike adjectives, adverbs do not modify a noun.  They generally answer these questions-





Under what circumstances?

Let us see few examples

  • The leader had to announce loudly to be heard over the children. (Loudly modifies the verb announce)

  • She looked really beautiful at her wedding. (Really modifies the adjective beautiful.)

  • I moved around the crockery very carefully. (Very modifies the adverb.)

  • Clearly, he ate junk all his childhood. (Clearly modifies the sentence.)

  • The children are still in the park.  (Still modifies the phrase “in the park”)

Formation of  Adverbs

Most of the Adverbs are formed from Adjectives or by adding -ly in the end. There are certain rules regarding formation, mind you there are always some exceptions.

1- The basic rule is that -ly is added to the end of the adjective:

      For example-

  •  Quick changes to quickly.

  • Sudden changes to suddenly.

  • Cunning changes cunningly.

2. If the adjective has two syllables and ends in -y, then you need to replace the final -y with -ily.

        For example-

  • Shady changes to shadily

  • Hungry changes hungrily.

  • Happy changes to happily.

3. If the adjective ends with a consonant followed by -le, replace the final -e with -y on its own.

      For example-

  •  Terrible changes to terribly

  • Comfortable changes to comfortably

  • Incredible changes to incredibly.

Kinds of Adverbs

1. Adverbs of Time

An adverb of time gives more ideas about when a verb takes place. They are generally put at the starting of the end of a sentence. When it is of particular importance to express the exact moment something happened we’ll put it at the start of a sentence.


  • Yesterday, I saw an elephant on the street.

  • Will you be at school tomorrow?

  • Ridhima will eventually leave the country after her college is finished.

  • Recently, we have started watching Netflix.

2. Adverbs of Degree

Adverbs which indicate the quantity in the sentence or it answers the question- “how much” or to “what extend”. These types of adverbs modify adjectives. Basically, adverbs can combine with other adverbs to put more emphasis on the verb. When you use ‘more’, ‘most’ and ‘least’, they can show a degree when describing a verb.


  • He is almost vegetarian but eats eggs sometimes.

  • The girl was very late for the class.

  • He dances well, but she dances more gracefully.

  • The IIT entrance exam was extremely difficult.

3. Adverbs Of Frequency

This kind of adverbs demonstrates the frequency of occurrence of something. Basically answering a question- “how many times.”

Generally written with-  Subject + Adverb + Verb


  • I have never played golf ( 0 times)

  • She hardly ever watches movies. ( It means she watches 1/10 movies)

  • The ship rarely sails in the arctic zone. ( 20% of times it sails in the arctic zone)

  •  Sometimes life is unfair and we have to accept it. ( Around 50% of the time)

So you get the idea that these adverbs answer the question “how often”. There are other examples like, Seldom, Occasionally, frequently, usually, etc.

4. Adverb of Manner

An adverb of manner shows us how something is done or happens. Most adverbs of manner end in –ly such as badly, sadly, gladly, slowly, quickly, and others that include well, hard and fast.

An adverb modifies and transforms the verb as compared to adjectives that transform the noun. In this case, the noun is the word ‘cat’. Because adverbs describe verbs, you need to add a verb in the sentence. For example, you can use the verb “to run” in this form – “The cat runs quickly.


  • The UFC fighters were badly injured after the fight.

  • She would gladly help him with his homework.

  • The actor still acts very well.

5. Adverb of Place

This adverb is usually placed after the main verb and it indicates “where” the action takes place. 


  • If you wish to stargaze, you need to be outside.

  • Police have looked for the evidence everywhere.

  • The dinner table is downstairs.