Overview of Adverbs

What is an Adverb?

Adverb is a word (or group of words) which modifies the meaning of:

  • a Verb,
  • an Adjective or
  • another Adverb.

In fact, it is a qualifying word used to qualify all the parts of speech except Noun / Pronoun / Interjection.

It can qualify a phrase and sentence too.

Let’s see some examples of each.

Modifying function of Adverbs

Modifying Verb

He runs fast. (runs – verb; fast - adverb)

Bolt runs quickly. (runs – verb; quickly - adverb)

Modifying Adjective

She’s a very beautiful lady. (beautiful – adjective; very - adverb)

Modifying Adverb

She runs very fast. (runs – verb; fast – adverb modifying verb ‘runs’; very – adverb modifying adverb ‘fast’)

An Adverb can also modify other parts of speech.

Modifying Preposition

The drone hovered exactly over his head. (over – preposition; exactly - adverb)

He is dead against this decision. (against – preposition; dead - adverb)

Modifying Conjunction

She likes him simply because he is not pretentious. (because – conjunction; simply - adverb)

You can start running only when the referee fires the gun. (when – conjunction; only - adverb)

As we already mentioned, Adverbs can modify phrases and sentences too.

Modifying Phrase

He was dressed all in blue. (in blue – phrase; all - adverb)

He paid his debts down to the last penny. (to the last penny – phrase; down - adverb)

Modifying Sentence

Adverbs standing at the beginning of a sentence sometimes modify the whole sentence, rather than any particular word.

Unfortunately, no one was there to help them. (Unfortunately - adverb)

Come what may, I will go to the concert. (Come what may - adverb)

Share on: