English Grammar: Adverbs

English Grammar: Adverbs

English Grammar: Adverbs

Last Updated on Nov 11, 2020

Adverbs are one of the basic elements of English Grammar. It is an important topic as adverbs are directly or indirectly part of almost all the competitive exams ranging from SSC CGL till CAT level. So, the concept of adverbs should be clear in your mind. The following post will help you to have a better understanding about it.

Adverbs are words that modify

  • a verb (He drove slowly. — How did he drive?)
  • an adjective (He drove a very fast car. — How fast was his car?)
  • another adverb (She moved quite slowly down the aisle. — How slowly did she move?)

Kinds of Adverbs

  1. Adverbs of Manner
    She moved slowly and spoke quietly.
  2. Adverbs of Place
    She has lived on the island all her life.She still lives there now.
  3. Adverbs of Frequency
    She takes the boat to the mainland every day. She often goes by herself.
  4. Adverbs of Time
    She tries to get back before dark. It’s starting to get dark now. She finished her tea first. She left early.
  5. Adverbs of Purpose
    She drives her boat slowly to avoid hitting the rocks. She shops in several stores to get the best buys.

Positions of Adverbs

One of the hallmarks of adverbs is their ability to move around in a sentence. Adverbs of manner are particularly flexible in this regard.
Solemnly the minister addressed her congregation.
The minister solemnly addressed her congregation.
The minister addressed her congregation solemnly.
The following adverbs of frequency appear in various points in these sentences:

Before the main verb: I never get up before nine o’clock.
Between the auxiliary verb and the main verb: I have rarely written to my brother without a good reason.
Before the verb used to: I always used to see him at his summer home.
Indefinite adverbs of time can appear either before the verb or between the auxiliary and the main verb:

He finally showed up for batting practice.
She has recently retired.

When to Avoid Adverbs

Ernest Hemingway is often held up as an example of a great writer who detested adverbs and advised other writers to avoid them. In reality, it is impossible to avoid adverbs completely. Sometimes we need them, and all writers use them occasionally. The trick is to avoid unnecessary adverbs. When your verb or adjective does not seem powerful or precise enough, instead of reaching for an adverb to add more color, try reaching for a stronger verb or adjective instead. Most of the time, you’ll come up with a better word and your writing will be stronger for it.

Summary and Conclusion

From the above explanation, we can clearly understand the definition of Adverbs, Kinds of Adverbs, Positioning of Adverbs and When, Where, How & Why to avoid Adverbs.
Hope you liked this post. For more posts related to English, click on the links mentioned below.
Gerunds, Infinitives & Participles

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