Grammar Tips: Adverbs

4 May

We know that a verb is often the main part of a sentence, and that our verb signals an action, an occurrence, or a state of being. So how do adverbs come into play? What, exactly, are adverbs? Let’s find out!

As we can see in this Schoolhouse Rock video, an adverb is a word that modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. Wait, that’s confusing. Let’s break it down. Adverbs usually answer how, when, where, why, or to what extent (how much or how often). 

Adverbs Modifying Verbs 

When an adverb modifies a verb, it tells us how, how often, when, or where something was done. In this case, the adverb is placed after the verb it modifies.

  • The car drove slowly.
  • The teacher spoke quickly. 
  • The boy ran fast.

Adverbs Modifying Adjectives

Adverbs are used to modify adjectives to make the adjective stronger or weaker. In this case, the adverb is placed before the adjective.

  • He was extremely exhausted.
  • She was very persistent.
  • The paint was slightly dry.

Adverbs Modifying Other Adverbs 

When an adverb modifies another adverb, it changes their degree or precision. In this case, the modifying adverb is placed before the other adverb.

  • You’re singing too loudly.
  • She performed extremely well.
  • The car drove unusually fast.

There are a lot of different adverbs to choose from! Use these adverbs to add additional clarity and precision to your writing!

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Are you ready to test your knowledge of adverbs? Try your hand at this quiz! Do you need help with your writing or grammar? Schedule an appointment in the Writing Center today!

© Alyssa Ryan and The Christ College Writing Center (2013-2016)

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