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        What Is an Adverb? Definition, Types, Differences & Examples

        • calenderMar 20, 2024
        • calender 8 min read

        Hey there! Want to know about adverbs? You’re in the right place! Our guide will take you through everything you need to know about adverbs. So let’s dive in and explore what are adverbs, different types of adverbs, an adverb definition and examples, and so much more. 

        Plus, we’ve got some fun bonuses lined up, including a list of adverbs ending in “ly” and a peek into the word history of adverbs. Let’s start with an easy adverb definition!

        Perfect your adverbs and enhance your writing! 

        What is an adverb?

        An adverb is a word that modifies or provides more information about a verb, adjective, or another adverb.

        They can tell us how, when, where, or how much something is done. For example, in “She runs quickly,” the word “quickly” is an adverb because it shows how she runs. 

        Knowing adverbs’ meaning helps us understand how they add flavor and clarity to our sentences.

        Here’s a list of adverbs that are commonly used:

        How (Manner): Quickly, slowly, roughly

        When (Time): Now, later, someday

        Where (Place): Here, outside, there

        How much (Degree): Very, almost, quite

        Here’s a most commonly used “ly” adverbs list:

        • Softly
        • Rapidly
        • Easily
        • Happily

        Now that we’ve understood how to define adverbs and seen a list of adverbs that are commonly used, let’s look at more adverb examples and adverb sentences to better understand the concept!

        Examples of adverbs

        Quietly, the thief entered your room. (The adverb is ‘quietly’.)

        She happily accepted the award. (The adverb is ‘happily’.)

        The flowers will bloom soon. (The adverb is ‘soon’.)

        We looked everywhere for the lost keys. (The adverb is ‘everywhere’.)

        One of the eight parts of speech, adverbs, is an important part of forming sentences.

        What are parts of speech? 

        Parts of speech are specific roles and functions of a word in the English language. Noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun, preposition, conjunction, and interjection are the eight parts of speech. 

        How to use adverbs in a sentence

        To further solidify our understanding, let’s look at some examples of adverb sentences:

        He gently placed the book on the table. 

        Gently is an adverb that describes the verb ‘placed’. 

        How was the book placed? – gently


        We will go to the park tomorrow.

        Tomorrow is an adverb that describes the verb ‘go’. 

        When will we go to the park? – tomorrow


        She left the keys there.

        There is an adverb that describes the verb ‘left’.

        Where did she leave the keys? – There


        Sometimes, I read before bed.

        Sometimes is an adverb that describes the verb ‘read’.

        How often do you read before bed? – Sometimes


        He almost won the race.

        Almost is an adverb that describes the verb ‘won’.

        Did he win the race? – Almost

        Word history of adverbs.

        Adverb vs. adjective

        One common area of grammar mistakes is the difference between adverbs and adjectives. While adjectives describe nouns (e.g., a beautiful flower), adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs, as discussed. Remember, adjectives and adverbs serve different functions and cannot be used interchangeably. 

        Adjective: She has a beautiful voice. (‘Beautiful’ describes the noun ‘voice’)

        Adverb: She sings beautifully. (‘Beautifully’ describes the verb ‘sings’)

        Adverb vs. verb

        Another crucial distinction is between adverbs and verbs. Verbs indicate actions or states of being (e.g., run, be), while adverbs provide additional information about how those actions are carried out. 

        Verb: She sings every day. (‘Sings’ describes the action ‘She’ is doing)

        Adverb: She sings beautifully. (‘Beautifully’ describes the verb ‘sings’)

        Some sentences can also consist of adjectives, adverbs, and verbs, at the same time.

        A sentence having a verb, an adjective, and an adverb together.

        Quick Quiz

        She washes her clothes often. (Is ‘often’ an adverb or adjective?)



        The baby is always happy. (Is ‘always’ an adverb or verb?)



        I’d rather not go out tonight; I need some rest (Is ‘rather’ an adverb or adjective?)



        Types of adverbs

        Adverbs can be categorized into several types based on their functions and the kind of information they provide. Here’s an overview of some of the main types of adverbs with their examples:

        1. Adverbs of manner (How?)

        These adverbs describe how an action is performed. These are often adverbs ending in “ly” but not always.

        Ms. James spoke quickly. (How did Ms. James speak? – quickly)

        He plays guitar badly. (How does he play the guitar? – badly)

        2. Adverbs of time (When?)

        Time adverbs tell us when an action occurs.

        I met him yesterday. (When did I meet him? – yesterday)

        We will leave soon. (When will we leave? – soon)

        3. Adverbs of place (Where?)

        Place adverbs indicate where an action takes place. These are usually the adverbs that don’t end in “ly”.

        Come here. (Where to come? – here)

        Flowers are blooming everywhere. (Where are flowers blooming? – everywhere)

        4. Adverbs of degree (How much?)

        Degree adverbs express the intensity or degree of an action or an adjective.

        He was almost finished with his paper. (How much was he finished? – almost)

        It is quite cold outside. (How much is it cold outside? – quite)

        5. Adverbs of frequency (How often?)

        Frequency adverbs describe how often an action occurs.

        She often forgets her keys. (How often does she forget her keys? – often)

        He always wakes up early. (How often does he wake up early? – always) 

        6. Conjunctive adverbs

        Conjunctive adverbs are used to connect two independent clauses or sentences, showing the relationship between them. They often indicate things like cause and effect, contrast, or sequence.

        He was ill, therefore he went to the doctor. (‘Therefore’ joins two sentences.)

        There was a fire, however, nobody was injured. (‘However’ joins two sentences.)

        7. Superlative adverbs

        Superlative adverbs are used to compare three or more actions, indicating the highest degree or extent of the action.

        Of all the boys, he jumped the highest. (‘Highest’ is the highest degree of ‘high’.)

        Out of all, she practiced the most. (‘Most’ is the highest degree of ‘more’.)

        8. Relative adverbs

        Relative adverbs introduce relative clauses, connecting them to the rest of the sentence and referring to a time, place, or reason.

        This is the house where I grew up. (‘Where’ relates the first clause with a place.)

        I remember the day when we first met. (‘When’ relates the first clause with time.)

        9. Interrogative adverbs

        Interrogative adverbs are used to ask questions about manner, time, place, or reason.

        Why are you late? (‘Why’ interrogates the action of being ‘late’.)

        How did she solve the problem? (‘How’ interrogates the action of ‘solving’.)

        10. Adverbs of certainty

        Adverbs of certainty indicate the level of certainty regarding an action or event.

        He will certainly attend the meeting. (‘Certainly’ shows the level of certainty.)

        They are probably moving next month. (‘Probably’ shows a level of certainty.)

        Now that you’re equipped with knowledge about what are adverbs, their types, examples, and more, you’re well on your way to mastering this essential part of speech. Adverbs can be your allies in clarity and creativity.

        As experts in editing and proofreading services, PaperTrue is always here to make your writing shine. So keep experimenting with these linguistic gems, and watch your language skills flourish!

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        Tanvi Linkedin

        With a foundation in Life Sciences, Tanvi enjoys curating technical writing tips tailored for ESL students. When she's not translating complex concepts into bite-sized nuggets, she can be found playing with dogs or painting landscapes.

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