Saturday, 8 December 2012


Nouns, adjectives, verbs, prepositions,... are parts of speech which are easy to point out.  Adverbs are tricky words, though. They usually give students a hard time because they find it difficult to identify them.

Adverbs can tell you when, where, why, how and to what extent something happens.

They are words or expressions that may:
    - describe a verb: "She dances beautifully";
    - modify an adjective: "The exam turned out to be very easy";
    - modify another adverb: "I can´t understand him: he speaks very quickly";
    - or even modify an entire sentence:

"Fortunately, we arrived on time for the flight".

Many adverbs are formed by adding the suffix -ly to some adjectives (quick- quickly; true - truly; happy- happily,...). However, neither all adverbs end in -ly (always, never, just, well,...) nor all the words ending in -ly are adverbs (friendly, lonely, lively).


"She sang beautifully last night".

And one more thing: some adverbs have exactly the same form as the corresponding adjective (hard, fast, late, early, left, right, long, wrong, high)

     - "He was driving extremely fast when the police stopped him".
     - "She´s got a fast car".

The position of adverbs is not a simple matter either. Although, to a certain extent, there is some freedom to place them in the sentence, there are some rules which must be observed.

Perhaps you would find it useful to have a look at the following PowerPoint Presentation about word order and adverbs.

Now, try the following exercises:

If you still feel you need further practice, you could click on the following links and work on them:
Adverb or Adjective?
Adverbs with two Forms and Different Meanings
Adverbs often Confused
Quiz on Adverbs