English Grammar - Adverb
14-01-2018    833 times


An adverb is a word that describes, qualifies or gives more information about a verb, adjective, another adverb or a phrase. They are one of the four major word classes, along with nouns, verbs and adjectives. Adverbs tell us how, where, when, or the degree at which something was done. They add extra colour to a sentence to make it more exciting. Though considered as a single part of speech, adverbs perform a wide variety of functions, which makes it difficult to treat them as a single, unified category. To exemplify adverb, let us take the sentence, ’Alpana smiled sweetly’. Now, if you ask, how Alpana smiled, the reply will be ‘sweetly’. So ‘sweetly’ is the adverb that qualifies the verb ‘smiled’.

Adverbs are often created by simply adding the letters ‘-ly’ to the adjectives. In such cases, identification of the adverb in a sentence becomes easy. However, there are lots of exceptions to this rule. Few examples are - everywhere, nowhere, downstairs, upstairs, always, often, seldom, never.

Adjective Adverb
Beautiful Beautifully
Slow Slowly
Bad Badly
Happy Happily
Noisy Noisily
Easy Easily

Adverbs are also used to qualify or modify adjectives to intensify the meaning. For example, if we say, ’Chitra cooks well’, it will mean that, Chitra knows how to cook and her performance in the matter is more or less satisfactory. But, if we say, ‘Chitra cooks extremely well’, it will convey that, she is an expert in cooking and her proficiency in the matter is highly graded.

Sometime Adverbs used to measure the quantity or percentage of the work done. As follows



I always study after class



I usually walk to work


Normally / Generally

I Normally get good marks


Often / Frequently

I often read in bed at night



I sometimes sign in the shower



I occasionally go to bed late



I seldom put salt on my food


Hardly ever / Rarely

I hardly ever get angry



Vegetarians never eat meat.

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Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
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