In English grammar, there are eight parts of speech. They are sets of words with a wide range of information that helps us form sentences or clauses and convey a complete thought precisely.
Adverbs are one of the parts of speech. In a simple sense, we can understand adverbs as the group of words that convey great descriptions regarding a verb or an action in a sentence. They are the words that help us provide the clear and precise meaning of a particular action so that there remains no room for confusion.
Well, adverbs seem easy to identify and use. But they are not as simple as you think. Adverbs have different uses and types within themselves that portray different actions with different intentions. So, let us get into a detailed discussion to take this lead forward.
What is an adverb?
Adverbs are a core unit in English grammar. They are the words that help modify or qualify a verb in a sentence by providing more information about that particular verb action.
In simple words, adverbs are the words that we use in a sentence to describe a particular action in more detail, which means they tell us more about a verb. However, adverbs do not modify only verbs but also adjectives and other adverbs in a sentence. But commonly, you will see an adverb modifying a verb only.
Let us look at some examples.
- The girl ran quickly.
- Her dog eats slowly.
- I speak loudly.
Here, the bolded words clearly describe how a girl runs or how a dog eats. Hence, they are called adverbs.
Adverbs modifying an adjective or other adverbs.
- She is a really good girl. (Modifying an adjective)
- He is very kind and sweet. (Modifying an adjective)
- I run extremely fast. (Modifying an adverb)
Identification and types of adverbs
We have already learned the definition of adverbs, now let us try to understand how to identify them.
The key to identifying an adverb is by checking the form of the word. Most adverbs end with the suffix “ly”. For instance, quickly, slowly, angrily, happily, etc. And these words are always revolving around the action word. So, whenever you recognize a word directly describing the action word, it would automatically be the adverb.
However, not all adverbs end with “ly”. Therefore, the best way to identify an adverb is by recognizing its function in the sentence. Each adverb answers a different question that brings in unique character to the verb.
We can study them under the following types.
Adverbs of time: They describe when an action happens. For example; tomorrow, yesterday, next day, etc.
Adverbs of place: They indicate where the action happens. For example; here, somewhere, there, etc.
Adverbs of manner: They indicate how something happens. For example; happily, sadly, hungrily, etc.
Adverbs of degree: They describe to what extent an action occurs. For example; very, so, etc.
Adverbs of frequency: They describe how often an action occurs. For example; never, rarely, twice, etc.
Well, these are basic types of adverbs that include the basic functions. However, there are many other uses and forms that adverbs can take. Once you move ahead, you will disclose all those classifications and divisions to yourself.