Adverbs and Adverbials


Adverbs and Adverbials

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Adverbs and Adverbials

Adverbs and Adverbials

Adverbs and Adverbials

Notice the underlined words in the following sentences: 

1. Pearson laughs loudly.

2. Rebeca is very intelligent.

3. Raphel walks so slowly.

In the above sentences, the underlined words have modified or added something to the meaning of a Verb (laughs), an Adjective (intelligent), or an adverb (slowly). These are called Adverbs.

An Adverb is a word that modifies a verb, an Adjective or another Adverb.

Now mind the underlined words in the following sentences:

I work there

The children play in the field.

The italicised words in the above sentences are Adverbs as they tell us of the actions ‘work’ and ‘play’. In the first sentence ‘there’ is a Simple Adverb and in the second sentence ‘in the field’ is an Adverbial or Adverb Phrase.  

When only one word is used to modify or qualify the meaning of other words is called a Simple Adverb and when a group of words are used to modify the meaning of some other words then the modifying group of words is called an Adverbials or an Adverbial Phrases.

In this chapter, you will learn about the Kinds of Adverb, Position of Adverb, Adverbials of Particles and Usage of Some Simple Adverbs.

Adverbs and Adverbials

A. Kinds of Adverb

Adverbs are divided into the following nine kinds according to their meaning and function:

1. Simple Adverbs or Adverbs of Place: They tell us of the place where some action is being done. For example:

He goes there.

The boys are playing in the field.

In the above sentences, the underlined words tell us about the place of the verbs (actions) ‘goes’ and playing’. They are Adverbs of Place.

Some Adverbs of Place are: here, there, in, out, within, without, above, below, far, near, outside, inside etc. 

2. Adverbs of Time: Words or a group of words which tell us of the Time of some action are called Adverbs of Time. For example:

Today the bus arrived late.

The boy will come on Sunday.

Shila will start tomorrow morning.

Some words used as Adverbs of Time are: now, then, before, since, go, late, tomorrow, yesterday, today, shortly, recently, soon, presently, immediately, early, instantly, afterwards etc.

3. Adverbs of Manner: The words which tell us about the manner or way of doing something is called Adverbs of Manner. For example:

He walks slowly.

Silpa talks loudly.

Tipu reads clearly.

Some words used as Adverbs of Manner are: thus, so, ill, well, badly, certainly, probably, conveniently etc.

4. Adverbs of Degree: They tell us how much, to what extent or in what degree an action is done. For example:

He is fully armed.

She always tells the truth.

The picture is very beautiful.

It is partly colourful.

Kamala runs fast.

Heera runs faster.

Some Adverb of Degree are: very, much, too, quite, little, almost, somewhat, half, partly, wholly etc.

Note: Like Adjectives, Adverbs have three Degrees of Comparison, as: the Positive, the Comparative and the Superlative. The Comparative and the Superlative Forms of an Adverb are done as under:

(i) Comparative and Superlative Degree of an Adverb having one syllable are formed by adding -er and -est at the end respectively, as:

Pos ….. Com ….. Super

Long …. longer …. longest

Loud …. louder …. loudest

Late …. later …. latest, last.

Near …. Nearer …. Nearest

Soon …. sooner …. soonest.

(ii) Adverbs ending in ‘-ly’ form Comparative and Superlative Degrees by adding ‘more’ and ‘most’ respectively, as:

Pos …. Com …. Super

Wisely …. more wisely …. most wisely

Beautifully …. more beautifully …. most beautifully

Regularly …. more regularly …. most regularly

Truthfully …. more truthfully …. most truthfully

(iii) Some Adverbs form their Comparative and Superlative Degree in an irregular way, as:

Pos …. Comp …. Super

Far …. farther …. farthest

Fur …. further …. furthest

Little …. less …. least

Much …. more …. most

Ill/bad …. worse …. worst

Well …. better …. best

5. Adverbs of Number or Frequency: They tell us how often or how many times or how frequently an action is done. For example:

We always tell the truth.

I have read the poem thrice.

He often comes late.

6. Adverbs of Affirmation or Negation: They tell us that some action is done or not done. Surely, certainly, ever, yes etc. are Adverbs of Affirmation. Not, hardly, scarcely, never are Adverbs of Negation. For example:

I will surely go there.

They will certainly play the match.

It is not my book.

He never drinks wine.

Hardly had he learned the lesson.

7. Adverbs of Reason, Purpose or Consequence: They tell us why some action is done or not done. Some Adverbs of Reason, Cause or Consequence are- therefore, so, on account of,  that is why, for, because etc. For example:

He did not work hard, therefore he failed.

He is ill, so he cannot come here.

The school is closed on account of Laxmi Puja.

8. Interrogative Adverbs: The Adverbs which are used to ask a question about a place, time, reason or manner of an action are called Interrogative Adverbs. When, how, why, where etc. are Interrogative Adverbs.  For example:

When do you go to college?

How old is he?

Why is the baby crying?

Where is she?

9. Relative Adverbs: When the Interrogative Adverbs as when, how, why etc. are used to join two clauses, then they are called Relative Adverbs. For example:

That was what he wanted to know.

This is where our journey started from.

I do not know why he did not go there.

Adverbs and Adverbials

B. Position of Adverb

There are some general Rules of using (placing) Adverbs in sentences, as:

Rule-1: When an Adverb modifies an Intransitive Verb (i.e. a verb that takes no object), it is used after the verb. Example,

My uncle lives there.

They arrived late.

Rule-2: When a verb is Transitive (i.e. a verb that takes an object), the Adverb should be placed either before of the verb or after the object. Example,

I keenly felt this honour.


I felt this honour keenly.

We carefully do our works.

We do our works carefully. 

In a sentence consisting of a Helping Verb and a Principal Verb, the Adverb must be placed between the two and not before or after. Example,

I have often told him to read attentively.

I did not know his whereabouts.

Note: The Adverb ‘not’ is always placed between the Helping Verb and the Principal Verb.

Rule-4: When an Adverb modifies an Adjective or an Adverb, it must be placed immediately before the word it modifies. The Adverb must not be separated from it. For example,

She sang very nicely.

The cat was quite dead.

Rule-5: The Adverb ‘enough’ is always, without exception, placed after the words it modifies. Example,

He is well enough to attend the meeting.

He reads loud enough to be heard.

Rule-6: Adverbs of Time as ever, always, often, seldom, never, whether, frequently, are placed before the word they modify, whether the verb is Transitive or Intransitive. Example,

We always do our duty.

Nothing ever happens without a plan.

I often talk to him every afternoon.

He seldom makes a mistake.

I frequently go there.

Note: In a sentence, if the Principal Verb is one of the Be Verb (am, is, are, were, been, etc.) then the Adverbs of Time are always placed after the verb and not before it. Example,

We are always happy.

She is often angry.

He was never late.

Rule-7: The Adverb ‘only’ and ‘even’ must be placed immediately before the word they modify. Example,

He answered only three questions.

He cannot read even the Alphabet of Greek.

Rule-8: The Adverb ‘merely’ and ‘never’ must be placed before the word they modify. Example,

He merely went there to play cricket.

We never tell a lie.

Rule-9: When it is intended that an Adverb should modify the whole sentence, it must be placed at the beginning of the sentence. Example:

Luckily he got rid of the accident.

Unfortunately, he is undone.

Probably he is wrong.

Certainly, our business is in progress.

Rule-10: The Adverb ‘very’ is used before the Present Participle and ‘much’ before the Past Participle. Example:

This novel is very interesting.

I am much pleased at his behaviour.

Note: The Adverb ‘very’ is used to modify the Adverb ‘much. Example,

I very much like your paintings.

Note: ‘Very’ is used before Adjective and Adverb of the Positive Degree and ‘much’ before the Comparatives. Example:

I was walking very quickly.

Shila is much quicker than you.

Rule-11: Two Negative words mean an Affirmative. Hence they should not be used together if the intention is negative. Example,

I could not find the pencil anywhere. (but not ‘I could not find the pencil nowhere.)

I have not got any paper.

Unless you read hard, You cannot succeed. (‘Unless’ means ‘if not’)

Scarcely any one wears turban now-a-days. (‘Scarcely’ is negative in sense)

Rule-12: ‘First’ itself is an Adverb, hence ‘firstly’ is wrong. However secondly, thirdly etc. are correct. Example,

First, you must read your Text Books thoroughly.

Secondly, read all other reference books.

Rule-13: ‘Else’ is always followed by ‘but’ and not by ‘than’. Example,

It is nothing else but your hard work that is responsible for your ill health.

Rule-14: ‘Too’ means more than enough. Hence it should not be used  in place of ‘very’ or ‘much’

Sugar is very sweet. (but not ‘Sugar is too sweet’)

He is very good to us. (but not ‘He is too good to us’)

Rule-15: Adverbs should not be used to modify a Noun or a Pronoun. Example,

Explain the above-mentioned passage. (but not ‘Explain the above passage’.)

Rule-16: It is generally supposed that ‘rather’ is used only for emphasis. This is wrong. ‘Rather’ should be used only when some comparison is intended. Example,

The patient is better today. (but not, ‘The patient is rather better today’. ‘Rather’ means ‘somewhat’.) 

Adverbs and Adverbials

C. Adverbial Particles

Sometimes some Verbs take some definite prepositions after them and express special meaning. Notice the following expressions:

Her coat was off.

 His purse was run down.

The prepositions in the above sentences are used as Adverbs. 

Thus when some Preposition being placed after a verb functions as an Adverb is called an Adverbial Particle. Only these prepositions as: off, out, away, back, backward, forward, downward and upward are used as Adverbial Particles. There are some conventions of using Adverbial Particles, as:

1. If the Verb in a sentence does not have any Object then the Adverbial Particle is used just after the Verb, as:

We sat down.

They set off for Port Blair.

2. If a Transitive Verb takes a Pronoun as its Object then the Adverbial Particle is used after the Object, as:

We found it out.

The President gave it away.

3. If the Object of a Verb a is a Noun, the Adverbial Particle is used either before the Object or after the Object, as:

The boy gave away his marbles.


The boy gave his marbles away.

4. If the Object of a Verb is a group of words then the Adverbial Particle may be used just after the Verb, as:

He made out the consequence of the problem.

5. In an Exclamatory sentence the Adverbial Particle is used at the beginning of the sentence, as:

In you come!

Out you go!

Adverbs and Adverbials

Use of Some Peculiar/Simple Adverbs

There are some frequently used Adverbs as: there, enough, since, too, very, quite, much, very much, too much, much too, presently, Just now, still, yet etc. Some of them are used peculiarly. To avoid confusion notice their uses as illustrated below:

1. Use of ‘There’

‘There’ is a Demonstrative Adverb. But when the Subject of a Verb is not definite then ‘there’ is used at the beginning of a sentence. Such use of ‘there’ is called ‘Introductory There. The Introductory ‘There’ does not have any meaning. In such a sentence, the Subject is used after the verb, as:

There was a king in ancient India.

There are twenty benches in the classroom.

2. Use of ‘Enough’

‘Enough’ is used to mean that the limit of something has been reached but not exceeded. For example,

The house is spacious enough for my family.

Note: ‘Enough’ must not be used in place of ‘too’ as ‘too’ means beyond limit.

Enough may be used as a Noun. For example:

Three days journey is enough to reach the place.

‘Enough’ may be used as an Adjective. For example,

He has enough to eat and spend.

3. Use of ‘Since’

‘Since’ refers to time ‘from then up to now’, ‘from now’, and ‘between then and now’.

I lost my father about twenty years ago and have remembered him ever since.

Shilpa left the institute last year and has never attended since.

It is now eighteen years since we separated from each other.

He has been ill since last Sunday.

4. Use of ‘Presently’/ ‘Just now’

‘Presently’ is used to denote future action, and ‘Just now’ is used to denote present action in the Perfect Tense.

He will come here presently.

I have arrived just now. 

5. Use of ‘Too’

‘Too’ denotes ‘excess’ or more than enough or beyond a limit, as:

He is too weak to walk alone.

Janaki is too feeble to turn right and left.

6. Use of ‘Quite’

‘Quite’ means ‘perfectly’. It should not be used as an equivalent to ‘very’:

He is quite well these days.

During my life in Hojai I was quite alone.

7. Use of ‘Indeed’

‘Indeed’ as an Adverb is used in the following senses:

(i) To mean ‘certainly’:

Your role on the programme was indeed a remarkable one.

Your action is indeed better than that of your sister.

(ii) In the sense of admission:

Hari is skilled indeed in sports but weak enough in the debate.

8. Use of ‘Already’

‘Already’ is used to mean that something has happened or had been done prior to the time mentioned or thought of:

The boy has already arrived.

He has arrived already.

9. Use of ‘Still’/ ‘Yet’

‘Still’ denotes the continuance of some activity or situation from the past to the present.

He is still a fool.

The girl is still waiting.

‘Yet’ denotes the present situation in relation to future. It is generally used in Negative and Interrogative sentences.

I have to read English Grammar yet.

The guests have not arrived yet.

I have yet to meet him.

Has he not come yet.

Adverbs and Adverbials


Adverbs and Adverbials

1. Pick out the Adverbs in the following sentences:

(i) Had he never written to you? (ii) He does not go to market every day. (iii) Anima is a very clever girl. (iv) Did Rani often go to bathing? (v) No one else came. (vi) They do not visit there. (vii) I can do it clearly. (viii) Rana is a very good boy. (ix) He never drinks Coca-cola.(x) He always tells a lie. (xi)Where did she get the pen? (xii) He is still alive. (xiii) He has not come yet. (xiv) He seldom comes here. (xv)  We have not met him since Monday.

Adverbs and Adverbials

2. Put the Adverbs, given in brackets, in their proper place:

(i) I have seen such a man (never). (ii) He promised to do the work (never/ again). (iii) He faced the problem (boldly). (iv) It was a poor sight ((certainly). (v) He can speak Latin (well) (vi) She is cheerful (always). (vii) I meet a saint (once). (viii) Rajen is older than Raja (much). (ix)The bus came (late). (x) The journey will be a pleasant one (Perhaps). (xii) Flood is a difficult problem (indeed). (xiii) My mother loves me (dearly) (xiv) He makes a mistake (often) (xv) I know her (well)

Adverbs and Adverbials

3. Fill in the blanks with the Adverbs ‘much’ or ‘very’ (which is suitable):

(i) It is  ………… hot in July in Assam.

(ii)The boy works …………. harder than the girl.

(iii)The patient is ……….. better today.

(iv) I do not like her music …………

(v)He is ………….. senior officer in our staff.

(vi)That doll is ………. pretty.

(vii)He worked ………. than we expected.

(viii) We are ………… affected by his lecture.

(ix) It is ………… interesting.

(x) John is a boy of …………. understanding power.

Adverbs and Adverbials

4. Fill in the blanks with the Comparative or Superlative Degree of the Adverbs given in brackets:

(i)Light travels ………….. than sound (fast).

(ii) He looks………….today (pretty)

(iii)The ………….. we leave the place, the better it is (soon).

(iv) Of all the participants Alka was the one who deserved ………to win (much).

(v) He had done it …………. carefully (much)

(vi) No …………did we reach the station than the train arrived (soon).

(vii) Who came …………. Rina, Bina or Sita? (late)

(viii)He was unable to stay ………………than he had planned (long)

(ix) He is ………… today (good)

(x) He worked ……… than we expected (slow).

Adverbs and Adverbials

6. Make sentences with the following Adverbs:

Much, Perhaps, hard, carefully, happily, coldly, poorly, gladly, truly, nicely, quickly, lazily.

Adverbs and Adverbials

7. Correct the following sentences:

(i) Ever since I like it.

(ii) He wanted nothing else than leave.

(iii)I never talked to him today.

(iv) My friend was much angry that day.

(v) He was very pleased to meet me.

(vi)I never remember to have seen such a sight.

(vii)He terribly suffered from his friend’s behaviour.

(viii) Seldom he makes a mistake.

(ix) He is rather very tired at this time.

(x)The rose smells sweetly.

(xi) He bravely faced the difficulties.

(xii) Only football is the game I like.

(xiii) We enough have to spare.

(xiv) I felt so lonely during this journey.

(xv) I could not find the book nowhere.

(xvi)You are not enough wise.

(xvii) I only give advice when it is required.

(xviii) He speaks the truth always.

(xix) He will wait here, until you do not return.

(xx) You will fail, unless you do not work hard. 0 0 0.

Adverbs and Adverbials

N.B.  The article ‘Adverbs and Adverbials’ originally belongs to the book ‘School English Grammar Part- I‘ by Menonim Menonimus. Adverbs and Adverbials

Books of Composition by M. Menonimus:

  1. Advertisement Writing
  2. Amplification Writing
  3. Note Making
  4. Paragraph Writing
  5. Notice Writing
  6. Passage Comprehension
  7. The Art of Poster Writing
  8. The Art of Letter Writing
  9. Report Writing
  10. Story Writing
  11. Substance Writing
  12. School Essays Part-I
  13. School Essays Part-II
  14. School English Grammar Part-I
  15. School English Grammar Part-II..

Books of S. Story by M. Menonimus:

  1. The Fugitive Father and Other Stories
  2. The Prostitute and Other Stories
  3. Neha’s Confession

Books of Biography by M. Menonimus:

  1. The World Writers-Brief Biographies
  2. Introduction to World Writers
  3. Introduction to World Personalities
  4. Love of Reputed Persons ..

Books on Linguistics by M. Menonimus:

  1. A Brief History of the English Language
  2. Essays on Linguistics
  3. My Imageries
  4. Felicitous Expression: Some Examples
  5. Learners’ English Dictionary

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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