When I arrived at their house, the big dog, which
was called Rover, was barking loudly because
it was lonely.
Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, other adverbs or prepositions.
They tell you how, why, when, where, etc.
You can often form an adverb by adding "ly" to an
Which other word does each of the adverbs in the next
sentences modify? Click on the adverbs to see the answer.
- ... they travelled slowly
- A crocodile can be very
- We had an amazingly
- It’s just
above the horizon.
- We meet quite
Click here to see more adverbs.
Changing the position of adverbs in a sentence
When adverbs modify verbs they can often move about in the sentence,
varying its rhythm and emphasis.
In this sentence, the adverb originally
can be inserted at any of the points marked ^.
The book ^
in this shop ^.
Click on the ^
points to see how the rhythm and emphasis of the sentence is changed.
Adverbs of manner, place and time, reason and degree
Adverbs are defined by the question they answer.
- manner adverbs - answer the question
slowly quickly carefully fast well anxiously
Q. ‘How did he run?’
The boy nibbled carefully at
- place adverbs - answer the question
outside inside home away here there everywhere
Q. Where was the traffic bad?
Outside the temperature was
- time adverbs - answer the
question ‘When / how often?’
now, then, next, soon, always, often, frequently
Q When is it my turn?
Q. How often
do you see your father?
It seldom rains in the desert.
I’m going now.
- reason adverbs - answer the question
therefore, consequently, so (Is
so an adverb or conjunction?)
He misread the map and consequently
became very lost.
The dog barked so I ran for
- degree adverbs - answer the question
Self-assessment on adverbs
1. Find the adverbs in the sentence below. As usual, beware of the decoy
She had indeed driven ambulances during
the war, and was either blown up
or narrowly escaped death when
a bomb exploded nearby. (Alan Bennett, The
Lady in the Van)
Now find the verbs that these adverbs modify.
She had indeed driven
ambulances during the war, and was
either blown up or narrowly escaped
death when a bomb exploded nearby.
2. In this passage from a KS3 pupil's writing, there are four adverbs
(which are underlined). Decide which word each one modifies, and the click
on the adverb to check your answer.
We have been camping before and it
has been really good fun. So
far in 3 days we have lost all of our food,
and clean water.
"So" – adverb or conjunction?
So is on the borderline between adverbs and conjunctions.
Like the co-ordinating conjunctions and and or, it often
links two clauses.
In this sentence so could be described as either an adverb or
The dog barked so I ran for it.
But in the next sentence so is more clearly an adverb because
there is already a conjunction (and) linking the clauses. Here,
so is an adverb expressing reason:
The dog barked and so I ran for