What is an adverb?

An Adverb is a word which modifies the meaning of a Verb, an Adjective or another verb.
Sunita runs (Verb) slowly.(Adverb)
The staff at school teaches (verb) well.(Adverb)


Adverbs may be divided into the following classes
(1) Adverbs of Time
(2) Adverbs of Place
(3) Adverbs of Frequency
(4) Adverbs of Manner
 (5) Adverbs of Degree or Quantity
(6) Adverbs of Affirmation and Negation
 (7) Adverbs of Reason
 (8) Relative Adverbs
(9) Interrogative Adverbs
(10)Exclamatory Adverb


Adverbs of Time includes today, yesterday, late, ago, now , then, soon, before, daily, already, formerly, lately, never, since etc.

 Example: • He will write a letter today.
                  • That he arrived late..
                     • I went there yesterday.
                          • We will now begin to sing.


Adverbs of Frequency Includes again, never, ever, often, seldom, once, twice, frequently, always,etc. 

Example: • The postman called again.
                   • He often makes mistake.
                      • She seldom visits me.
                         • He came once to see me. 
                              • He told me twice. 
                                 • The boy frequently comes unprepared


Adverbs of Place includes here, there, everywhere , in, out, up, backward, away, within, etc. 

Example: • Come here 
                    • The doctor is out. 
                      • Go there. 
                         • Please, come in. 
                            • The pet dog followed his master everywhere.


Adverbs of Manner includes clearly, soundly, bravely, thus, so, well hard, agreeably, etc 

Example: • Seema writes clearly. 
                   • Slowly the old man was laid down.
                        • The man slept soundly. 
                            • The Indian Army fought bravely.


Adverbs of Degree or Quantity includes any, quite, rather, pretty, partly, too, enough, altogether, no better, so, fully, almost, very, etc. 

Example: • You are quite wrong in this matter. 
                   • The boy is too careless. 
                     • I am rather busy. 
                       • The man is good enough for the purpose.


Adverbs of Affirmation and Negation includes surely, certainly, not etc. 

Example: • Surely you have committed a mistake. 
                   • He will certainly come here. 
                       • I do not know him.


Adverbs of Reason includes therefore, hence, etc. 

Example: • The boy therefore went home. 
                   • Therefore the answer is 000. 
                       • He is hence unable to refute the charge.


Relative Adverbs includes when, how, where, why, etc. 

Example: • When did he arrive?
                    • That was the time when I was at home. 
                         • I remember the house where I was born.


The adverbs when, how and where are used in asking questions and are therefore called Interrogative adverbs. 

Example: • When did you go to bed yesterday? 
                   • How did you come inside the gate? 
                        • Where did you get the money?


The adverbs why and how are used in exclamations and so and are called Exclamatory Adverbs. 

Example: How wonderful the scenery is ! 
                  Where is the miller?

→Adverbs of Time is one which show when. 
→Adverbs of Frequency is one which show how often. 
→Adverbs of Place is one which show where. 
→Adverbs of Manner is one which shows how or in what manner 
→Adverbs of Degree or Quantity show how much or what degree or to what extent 
→Adverbs of Affirmation and Negation affirms and negates the expression. 
→Adverbs of Reason show us the cause or affect
→Relative Adverbs show the point of time, place and manner. 
→Interrogative Adverbs are used in asking questions which also point out time, place and manner in their answers. 
→Exclamatory Adverbs are used to express exclamations.


Adverbs are formed in various ways by adding our changing the adjectives by the use of suffix or prefix. 

Adverbs of Manner are formed from adjectives by adding - ly. 

Example: • clever — cleverly 
                   • wise — Wisely
                      • kind— kindly 
                          • foolish — foolishly
                                • quick — quickly
                                    • beautiful — beautifully 

When the adjective ends in -y preceded by a consonant, we change-y into -i and add -Iy.

 Example: • heavy — heavily 
                      • happy — happily 
                           • ready — readily

When the adjective ends in -le, we simply change -e into-y in making adverbs. 

Example: • single — singly 
                   • double — doubly 

We also find two adverbs that go together after being Joined by a conjunction — and. 

Example: (a) Out and out 
He is out and out an honest person. (beyond all comparison) 
(b) Over and over 
She reads Keats over and over. (repeatedly) 
(c) Off and on 
He works off and on on his project. (irregularly)
(d) Once and again 
I warned him once and again of the impending danger. (repeatedly) 
(e) Out and away 
Her role in the film is out and away the best. (beyond all comparison) 
(f) Over and above 
Over and above being hard-working, he is honest (besides)
(g) Again and again 
I asked him again and again if he has completed his task. (more than once) 
(h) Far and near 
His reputation spread far and near. (everywhere) 


In a few cases some adverbs are the same in form as the corresponding adjectives. They are sometimes used as adjectives and sometimes as adverbs. 
• Adjectives: He is quick to take offence.↔Adverbs: Run quick. 
• Adjectives: He is the only child of his parents. ↔Adverbs : You can only think of. 
• Adjectives: We have enough food to last a week. ↔Adverbs: She sings well enough. 
• Adjectives: There is much truth in his sayings. ↔Adverbs: The patient is much better today. 
• Adjectives: He is no better than a fool. ↔Adverbs: He knows better than to quarrel. 
• Adjectives: He spoke in a loud voice.↔Adverbs: Don't talk so loud. 
• Adjectives: Sarthak is our fast bowler.↔ Adverbs: Sarthak can bowl fast. 
• Adjectives: She lives in the next flat. ↔Adverbs: When I next see her, I shall speak to her. 
• Adjectives: He went to the back entrance. ↔Adverbs: Go back to your place. 
• Adjectives: This is a hard problem. ↔Adverbs: He works hard. 
• Adjectives: The boy is the best in this class. ↔Adverbs: He behaves his best at school. 
• Adjectives: He is an early riser. ↔Adverbs: We started early on our way. 
• Adjectives: The teacher has a high opinion of his students. ↔Adverbs: Always aim high.


1 Adverbs of manner like well, quickly, carefully, calmly, etc. are generally placed after the verb or alter the object if there is one.

Example: It is raining heavily. 
                The bus is moving slowly. 
                He speaks Spanish well. 
                She does her work carefully.

2 Adverbs or adverb phrases of place and of time like: here, there, everywhere, on the wall, etc and now, then, yet, today, next Wednesday, respectively, are usually placed after his verb or after the object if there is one..

Example: He will come here.
                I searched everywhere.
               Put the scenery there. 
               I met her yesterday. 
              They are to be married next week.

3 When there are two or more adverbs after a verb, the normal order is— adverb of manner, adverb of place, adverb of time.

 Example: She sang well at the concert. 
                 We would go there tomorrow evening. 
                 He spoke earnestly at the meeting last night

4. Adverbs of frequency like; always, never, often, rarely, usually, generally, and also some other adverbs like: almost, already, hardly, nearly, Just, quite, etc. are normally put between the subject and the verb if the verb consists of only one word; If there is more than one word in the verb, they are put after the first word.

• His wife never cooks. 
• He has never seen a lion. 
• I have often told her to write neatly.
 • We usually have dinner at nine. 
• My cousin has Just gone out. 
• I quite agree with you.

5. If the verb is am/are/is/was Example: these adverbs are placed after the verb.

• I am never late for school. 
• He is always at home on holidays. 
• We are just off from work.

6. The adverbs: always, already, usually, sometimes, etc. are usually put before an auxiliary or the single verb be, when it is stressed.

• Veenu has come late again. 
• When will you write the letter? 
• But I already have written it. 
• Will you be free on Sundays? 
• I usually am free on Sundays. 
• Do you eat meat?

7. The auxiliaries have to and used to prefer the adverb in front of them.

• I often have to go to school on foot. 
• He always used to agree with me.

8. The adverb enough is always placed after the word which it modifies.

• Is the box heavy enough? 
• He was rash enough to interrupt. 
• He spoke loud enough to be heard.

9. Only should be placed immediately before the word it modifies.

• I worked only two sums. 
• He has slept only three hours yesterday night.


Some adverbs, like adjectives, have three degrees of comparison, which are generally compared like

For some adverbs adverb, we form the comparative by ending —er and the superlative by adding-est.

Positive                Comparative                   Superlative 
Fast                      Faster                              Fastest 
Long                    Longer                            Longest
Hard                    Harder                             Hardest 
Soon                   Sooner                             Soonest 
Quick                 Quicker                           Quickest

Adverbs ending in-ly they form the comparative by adding more and superlative by most


Positive                  Comparative                  Superlative 
Swiftly                   More swiftly                  Most swiftly 
Skillfully               More skillfully               Most skillfully 
Frankly                 More frankly                  Most frankly 
Honestly                More honestly                Most honestly

Some of the adverbs form their comparative and superlative degrees irregularly.

Positive                 Comparative                   Superlative 
Badly                     Worse                              Worst 
Well                       Better                               Best 
Much                     More                                Most 
Little                      Less                                Least 
Near                      Nearer                              Nearest 
Late                       Later                                Last 
Far                         Farther /Further              Farthest



When using "quite" it will always depend on the adjective/adverb it's modifying. If it's a positive or "good" thing, then it will mean that it is "even better"... and if it's a negative idea, it will mean it's "a bit worse." Whereas "very" usually means... "extremely" not ... just a little... better or worse - like "quite" does...


She drives quite slow ... means she drives not so fast WHEREAS she drives quite fast means - she drives a bit or a little faster than the norm. 


A) The candidate is too smart. (It has a negative feeling in it) 
B) The candidate is very smart. The candidate is very smart, it has a positive feeling to it. 

Too is used when we are trying to say its its too much/Its in excess and so much is not needed.

Example-There were too many candidates logging to the pinnacle website on Sunday for the online test series which made its working slow.

Example: It is very hot today (not too hot).  
It Is too hot to walk out (not very hot). 


(a) Very qualifies present particles as well as adjectives in the positive degree. 
• This book is very Interesting. 
• You are very fat. 

(b) Much qualifies past particles as well as adjectives and adverbs in the comparative degree.
• You left much earlier than usual. 
• Hisar is very hotter in summer than Rajasthan.(Incorrect- use much instead of very)

4. ONLY 

The following sentences show that the meaning of a sentence varies according to the placing of the adverb. 
I have only taken tea (and done nothing more). 
I have taken tea only (no other thing). 
I only have taken tea (and none else). 
I have only a son (and no other child). 
I have a son only (and no daughter). 
Tom only agreed to accept the offer. (and did nothing). 
Tom agreed only to accept this offer. (and not to do anything else). 
Tom agreed to accept this offer only. (and no other offer) 
Tom agreed to accept only this offer. (and nothing else).
Only too means very. 


I am only too glad to meet you(very glad)


Enough cancan be used as an adjective as well as an adverb. With enough the adjective and adverb used will be of the positive degree.

Enough means just the opposite of too. While too means beyond proper limit, enough means that the proper limit has been reached and not exceeded.

• We have enough food for everyone. 
• There was enough money to pay the bill. 

Positioning of enough: 

She is intelligent enough to clear the exam. (Enough will be used after the adjective) 
We have enough money to execute our project. (enough is a adjective here and will be used before the noun) 


Since as an adverb is used in the following senses: 
(a) From then up to now:
• I saw the Taj five years ago and have remembered it ever since. 
• They said that they had been careful ever since the robbery at home.

7 . Miser, friend ,niggard, and coward are such nouns where we commit the commit of taking the adjective form as the adverb form. Note the given table below and keep in mind.

Noun                Adjective form                     Adverb form 
Coward            Cowardly                              in a cowardly manner 
Niggard             Niggardly                            in a niggardly manner 
Miser                miserly                                 in a miserly manner 
Scholar             scholarly                              in a scholarly manner 
friend               friendly                                 in a friendly manner

He behaves miserly. (Incorrect) Miserly is describing how he behaves- So an adverb will be used. Thus the correct sentence will be-He behaves in a miserly manner.

8 With certain adjectives if we add 'Iv' it becomes an adverb. 

Example —Adjective                   Adverb  
                  sweet                           sweetly 
                  Bad                              badly

This does not mean that when `ly' is added to all the adjectives they become adverbs. 

Students commit errors by making words which do not even exist such as fastly. 

She spoke fastly. This is incorrect. The correct usage will be she spoke fast. 

Certain words will be used as adjectives as well as adverbs. There won't be any change in their usage.

a) Rajiv is my fast friend. (Fast is an adjective)
b) He drove very fast. (Fast is an adverb) 

The following words may be used both as adiectives and adverbs  


• Modern man leads a fast life. (Here the adjective fast modifies the noun life.) 
• He drove the car fast. (Here the adverb fast modifies the verb drove.)


• Each of them has half ownership in the property. (Here the adjective half modifies the noun ownership.) 
• She was half crying, half laughing. (Here the adverb half modifies the verbs crying and laughing.) •She is half Spanish, half French. (Here the adverb half modifies the adjectives Spanish and French.)


• Don't expect to get a straight answer from her. (Here the adjective straight modifies the noun answer.) 
• She went straight home. (Here the adverb straight modifies the verb went.) 


• The train just left. (Adverb) 
• He arrived just in time. (Adverb) 
• God is just. (Adjective) 


• The engagement ceremony is in the late evening. (Adjective) 
• He arrived late. (Adverb)
• She worked late. (Adverb) 


• We are low on money supply. (Adjective) 
• Her voice was low. (Adjective) 
• She turned the gas down low. (Adverb) 
• The helicopter flew low over the trees. (Adverb) 


• This is the most expensive gadget I have bought. (Adverb) 
• Most people enjoy playing with kids. (Adjective) 


• He is very clean in his habits. (Adjective) 
• We want to play the game clean. (Adverb) 

10. Adjectives ending in -ly 

The following words can be used only as adjectives and not as adverbs:

beastly, costly, cowardly, deadly, friendly, likely, brotherly, kingly, leisurely, lovely, lively, womanly, princely, scholarly, silly, ugly and unlikely.

She offered some friendly advice. (Here the adjective friendly modifies the noun advice.)

There are no adverbs friendly/friendlily. Instead we use an adverb phrase. 

a) She offered some advice in a friendly manner. 
b) He behaved in a cowardly manner. 

With verbs relating to our senses (sight, smell, taste, hear and feel) an adjective is used and not an adverb.

The food tastes badly.(Incorrect) 

The food tastes bad.(Correct)

The child behaved badly at the party.(Correct -Adverb will be used as behave is not related to senses)

It feels coldly.(Incorrect- Feel is related to the senses. So use cold.) 

He replied coldly to my question.(correct) 

With other verbs like seem, like, look, prove, make, keep, grow, get, turn, be and become the adjective is used instead of the adverb.

a) He proved it right. 
b) It is rightly said that hard work leads to success. 
c) It becomes hot after sunrise. 
d) It is a hotly debated matter across the globe. 

11. At present/shortly
At present means right now. Shortly means soon. Shortly is used in simple future tense. 

At present the students are preparing for tier 2 exam. 
We will be back shortly after the commercial break. 
At present he is talking to someone over the phone. 

12. Early/soon  

Early and soon can be used as adjectives as well as adverbs. 
Early means during the initial part of something.

• We had opened a new centre in early . 
• Many students come early to our centre and sit here and study. Soon means in the near future.
• We will soon start a late evening batch at our centre . 
• The chief guest will arrive soon. 
• I will visit you soon and update you about the latest developments. 

13. Yet

Yet means till now. It means till the time of speaking. It is used in negative and interrogative sentences. Do not use yet with simple past tense as past tense refers to something done and over with reference to the time of speaking so it cant be related to the present moment at the time of speaking. Instead yet will be used with Present Perfect.

A) I am yet to get an appointment with the director at college. 
B) Didn't you have your breakfast yet? (incorrect)
Haven't you taken your breakfast yet? (Correct) 

14 After else use but (Else will always be paired with but) 

With Rather, other and otherwise we use than.  

Else but 
Rather/other/otherwise than 

Nobody else present in the room supported him than Geeta. (replace than by but) 
He has no other work in office but to develop online content. (replace but by than)

15. Usage of 'As' with some verbs. 

As is used with the following words-define, treat, view , regard, describe, know. 
As is not used with the following words - call, appoint, make, choose, name, elect, think, consider. The students regarded the new attendance policy unfair. (Use as before unfair) 
She regards her family the most important in her life. (Use as after family)

16. For sentences beginning with an adverb.

For sentences beginning with an adverb . The helping verb will be used after the adverb and not the subject.
The subject will follow the helping verb.


Never I will help him financially. (Incorrect)

Never will I help him financially. (Correct)

No sooner had we heard the noise than we rushed to the spot. (Correct)

No sooner had I closed my eyes than I fell asleep. (Correct)

Scarcer had I reached the station when the train arrived. (Correct)

17 TooI as wellI besides I in addition toI also are used in affirmative sentences.

He had put on his hat and coat when he decided to wear some gloves as well.

We conduct classroom classes and online classes as well.


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