Adverbs Definition

Definition of Adverb (with Examples)

homeglossaryAdverbs Definition
Adverbs are mainly used to modify verbs. They are used to express when, where, how, for what reason, or to what degree an action is performed.

Many adverbs — especially those that express how an action is performed — end -ly.

Examples of Adverbs

Here are some examples of adverbs:
  • The mad season starts in August. (when)
  • Toby played in the garden. (where)
  • She ran quickly. (how)
  • As it has stopped raining, the game can continue. (reason)
  • They dance more gracefully. (degree)

Adverbs with Adjectives and Other Adverbs

In the examples above, the adverbs all modify verbs. However, adverbs can also modify adjectives and other adverbs. For example:
  • She is an extremely tall lady
  • (tall is an adjective)
  • She typed the letter remarkably quickly.
  • (quickly is an adverb)

Adverbial Phrases and Adverbial Clauses

Many adverbs are just one word, but adverbs are often made up of more than one word. For example:
  • She sang happily.
  • She sang with great joy.
  • He moved slowly.
  • He moved like a sloth.
  • He did the job well.
  • He did the job to a high standard.
When an adverb is made up of more than one word, it is known as an adverbial phrase or an adverbial clause.

A Quick Test

hot grammar tip

Hot Tip

When an adverb modifies an adjective, do not join them with a hyphen unless you need to eliminate ambiguity.
  • It is a wonderfully-decorated table.

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