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(He drove slowly. How did he drive?)
(He drove a very fast car. How fast was his car?)
another adverb (She moved quite
slowly down the aisle. How slowly did she move?)
we will see, adverbs often tell when, where, why, or under what conditions
something happens or happened. Adverbs frequently end in -ly; however,
many words and phrases not ending in -ly serve an adverbial function and
an -ly ending is not a guarantee that a word is an adverb. The words lovely,
lonely, motherly, friendly, neighborly, for instance, are adjectives:
That lovely woman lives in
a friendly neighborhood.
a group of words containing a subject and verb acts as an adverb (modifying the
verb of a sentence), it is called an Adverb
When this class is over,
we're going to the movies.
He went to the movies.
She works on holidays.
phrases can act as adverbs (usually telling why):
She hurried to the mainland to
see her brother.
there are other kinds of adverbial phrases:
He calls his mother as often
as as construction can be used to create adverbs that express
sameness or equality: "He can't run as fast as his sister."
handful of adverbs have two forms, one that ends in -ly and one that
doesn't. In certain cases, the two forms have different meanings:
He arrived late.
he couldn't seem to be on time for anything.
most cases, however, the form without the -ly ending should be reserved
for casual situations:
She certainly drives slow
in that old Buick of hers.
He did wrong by her.
He spoke sharp, quick, and
to the point.
We Can Do Without
the minister addressed her congregation.
The minister solemnly
addressed her congregation.
The minister addressed her
Before the main verb: I never
get up before nine o'clock.
Between the auxiliary verb and
the main verb: I have rarely written to my brother without a good reason.
Before the verb used to: I
always used to see him at his summer home.
adverbs of time can appear either before the verb or between the auxiliary and
the main verb:
He finally showed up for
She has recently retired.
There is a basic order in which adverbs will appear when there is more than one. It is similar to The Royal Order of Adjectives, but it is even more flexible
Notes on Adverb Order
Dad takes a brisk walk before
breakfast every day of his life.
second principle: among similar adverbial phrases of kind (manner, place,
frequency, etc.), the more specific adverbial phrase comes first:
My grandmother was born in a
sod house on the plains of northern Nebraska.
She promised to meet him for
lunch next Tuesday.
an adverbial modifier to the beginning of the sentence can place special
emphasis on that modifier. This is particularly useful with adverbs of manner:
Slowly, ever so carefully,
Jesse filled the coffee cup up to the brim, even above the brim.
but only occasionally, one of these lemons will get by the inspectors.
They reported that Giuseppe
Balle, a European rock star, had died on the six o'clock news.
it would be better to move the underlined modifier to a position immediately
after "they reported" or even to the beginning of the sentence so
the poor man doesn't die on television. Misplacement can also occur with very
simple modifiers, such as only and barely:
She only grew to be four
would be better if "She grew to be only four feet tall."
Disjuncts, and Conjuncts
Martha, I don't give a hoot.
no one was hurt.
on the other hand, serve a connector function within the flow of the text,
signaling a transition between ideas.
If they start smoking those awful
cigars, then I'm not staying.
We've told the landlord about
this ceiling again and again, and yet he's done nothing to fix it.
the extreme edge of this category, we have the purely conjunctive device known
as the conjunctive adverb (often called the adverbial conjunction):
Jose has spent years preparing
for this event; nevertheless, he's the most nervous person here.
I love this school; however,
I don't think I can afford the tuition.
Is that music loud enough?
These shoes are not big enough.
In a roomful of elderly people,
you must remember to speak loudly enough.
though, that when enough functions as an adjective, it can come before
Did she give us enough time?
adverb enough is often followed by an infinitive:
She didn't run fast enough to
adverb too comes before adjectives and other adverbs:
She ran too fast.
She works too quickly.
Yasmin works hard. She works quickly,
adverb too is often followed by an infinitive:
She runs too
slowly to enter this race.
common construction with the adverb too is too followed by a
prepositional phrase for
+ the object of the preposition followed
by an infinitive:
This milk is too
hot for a baby to
Focus, and Negative Adverbs
A successful athletic team is
often a good team scholastically.
Investing all our money in
snowmobiles was probably not a sound idea financially.
will sometimes hear a phrase like "scholastically speaking" or
"financially speaking" in these circumstances, but the word
"speaking" is seldom necessary.
focus adverb indicates that what is being communicated is limited to the
part that is focused; a focus adverb will tend either to limit the sense
of the sentence ("He got an A just for attending the class.")
or to act as an additive ("He got an A in addition to being
negative constructions like the words "not" and "never" are
usually found embedded within a verb string "He has never been
much help to his mother." they are technically not part of the verb;
they are, indeed, adverbs. However, a so-called negative adverb creates a
negative meaning in a sentence without the use of the usual
He seldom visits.
She hardly eats anything
since the accident.
After her long and tedious
lectures, rarely was anyone awake.