Ø Verbs describe actions or states: speak, love, go
Ø Adverbs says something more about the action or state, such as how, where or when it happened: speak loudly, go today, love forever
Ø They also modify the meaning of adjectives and other adverbs: It’s good. It’s very good, but it isn’t good enough. He speaks quickly. He speaks too quickly.
An adverb can be
- a single word (an adverb): loudly, there, soon, still
- a phrase: by chance, one afternoon, all the time, as a matter of fact
- a clause: whenever I see her, as soon as I can.
Add-ly to adjectives to form adverbs which answer the question how?:
adjective adverb
bad badly
polite politely
useful usefully
A bad driver drives badly
A polite man answers politely
To make comparisons, use more + adverb: he drives more carefully than I do.
Special cases:



He’s a good driver: he drives well.
He drives better than I do.

Word order

Adverbs go at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of a sentence:

Position I


Aux/ modal

Position II

Main verb

Object complement

Position III

Carefully, John opened the box

Every week, She visits her parents

Frankly, I do not like his wife

John carefully opened the box

People often say silly things
He did not even say goodbye
I have just seen him
The boys always used to enjoy themselves
We hardly ever did any homework
You really ought to be more careful

John opened the box very carefully

She plays the piano very well
There is a funny smell in here
He did not do it on purpose

Notice that adverbs

- come immediately after am/is/are/was/were:
Good friends
In bed
- come immediately after the subject in short answer: Who does the washing up, you or Susan? I usually do
- aren’t put between a verb and its object: She usually does her work very well.

When an adverb can be put in more than one place in a sentence. We usually put an adverb at the beginning (Position I) so as to focus attention on it.
Without focus: - John carefully opened the door.
With focus : - Carefully, John opened the door.
Similarly, the adverb at the end (Position III) is the focus of attention.
Focus in the time: - I’ll see you on Friday at ten.
Focus on the day: - I’ll see you

Adverb of place

These adverbs answer the question where? or whereto?:
Ø Where is it ? Over there.
Ø Where are you going ? Into the garden.
Many adverbs of place are used in phrasal verbs: ­- go away, set off, come back
The commonest adverbs of place are here and there:
Ø Here = in or to this place. Bring it here. Here it is!
Ø There = in or that place. Put it there. There it is!
They are often used in the pattern
Preposition + here/there - Put it over there.
Are there many wild animals round here ?
What’s that up there?
The pattern Here it is/Here they are and There it is/There they are answer the question ‘where?’: Where is my jacket ? Here it is.
Where are my glasses ? There they are – on your head.
There’s a . . . /There are . . .
Use the pattern: There’s a B in C: - There’s a lion in the garden.
(not In the garden is a lion.)
There’s some butter in the fridge, but there aren’t any eggs.
Other common adverbs of place are: indoors, outdoors, upstairs, down stairs, next door, upside down, inside out, back to back, back to front, face to face, side by side, up and down, in and out.
ü I live next door to a Waxworks’ Museum.
ü They’ve hung this painting upside down.
ü He put his jacket on back to front.
Use adverbs ending in –words only with verbs of movement:
backwards, forwards, inwards, outwards, upwards, downwards, westwards, eastwards, northwards, southwards:
q A pendulum swings backwards and forwards.
Adverbs of time
These adverbs answer the question
- when? I have to leave soon.
I have to leave early tomorrow morning.
See you on Friday at one o’clock.
­- how long ? He came for a week and stayed for a month.
I have been here since last Friday.
He spent all morning on the phone.
She spent the whole day writing letters.
How often? I don’t often see my brother.
We see each other three times a week.
The milk is delivered daily (every day).
The order of time adverbs is usually
q From the particular to the general: day – month – year
- On Friday, the second of May, 1988.
q How long, how often, when:

how long?
how often?
We meet
for an hour
every day

We met

last week
We met

last year
Common time expressions to answer the question
- When?
yesterday morning
this morning
tomorrow morning
last night
tomorrow night
the day before yesterday

the day after tomorrow
last week
this week
next week
the week before last

the week after next
two weeks ago

in two weeks’ time
How many times ?
Once, twice, three times, four times, etc.
Once a day, twice a week, three times a year, etc.
Every day, every other day, every three weeks, etc.
Hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly
- how often? - never, hardly ever, seldom, sometimes, occasionally,
often, usually, always, ever, forever
yet and still
Use (not) . . . yet in questions and negative sentences to describe something that you expect to happen.
Yet usually goes at the end of the sentence: - Has the post arrived yet ?
- Aren’t you ready yet ?
- It hasn’t arrived yet.
- Have you finished ? Not yet.
Use still in positive sentences and questions to describe something that began in the past and is continuing into the future: - Do you still live in Howard road.
- My daughter works in a bank, but my
son is still at school.
Use still . . . not when you are angry, surprised or worried about something which you expected to happen: - Kate usually arrives home at 3 pm.
- At 3.30 pm you aren’t worried, so you say: Kate still isn’t back yet.
- At 6. 00 pm you are worried and you say: Kate
still isn’t back!
- John promised to mend my bike three weeks ago,
and he still hasn’t mended it.
not . . . any longer/not . . . any more
Use not . . . any longer or not . . . any more when the action has stopped:
- Does Nicola still work here ?
- No, she doesn’t work here any more.
- I’m sorry, I can’t wait any longer.
Other adverbs
We also use adverbs
· to describe degree (they answer the question how much):
Ø extremely, fairly, quite, rather, very, too
-We’re fairly busy every day, but we’re extremely busy on Saturday.
- It was raining quite hard when we left.
- It’s rather dark in here.
- He’s very good typist. He types very well.
- It’s too late to go to the cinema now.
Notice the difference between too and very:
- This is very heavy, I can only just lift it.
- This is too heavy, I can’t lift it.
· to list ideas: First(ly) . . . Second(ly) . . . Next . . . Then . . . Finally . . . - First, put the beans in the pan. Then, cover
them with water.
· to join ideas: For example . . . In other words . . . On the other hand . . . Anyway . . . In any case . . .
- I don’t feel like going out tonight. In any case, I haven’t got any money.
· to express view point or attitude: - Frankly, I don’t care what you think.
- I just don’t care
- I don’t care at all.
Some adverbs of this kind come at the beginning of the sentence, eg:
Actually . . . Of course . . .
As matter as . . . Perhaps . . .
Basically . . . Personally . . .
Between you and me . . . Unfortunately . . .
Some come in mid-position, eg: almost, also, just, only
- I almost died when I heard the news.
- He’s got two cats. He’s also got a dog.
- I just don’t know what to do next.
Some come at the end, eg: as well = too
Can I come as well ?
not . . . at all.
I don’t mind at all.
The adverb else always comes after the word it modifies:
Are you still hungry ? Would you like anything else ?
Gianni knows. Who else knows ?
I’ll have to stay with my parents. I have nowhere else to go.

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