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Adverbs: types

from English Grammar Today

Time, place and manner adverbs (early, there, slowly)

Time adverbs

Time adverbs tell us about when something happens.

already

lately

still

tomorrow

early

now

soon

yesterday

finally

recently

today

yet

Have you seen Laurie today?

I’d prefer to leave early.

I went to the cinema on my own recently.

There’s been an increase in house burglary lately.

Place adverbs

Place adverbs tell us about where something happens or where something is.

There was somebody standing nearby.

Is that your scarf there?

You go upstairs and do your homework. I’ll come up in a minute.

Manner adverbs

Manner adverbs tell us about the way something happens or is done.

accurately

beautifully

expertly

professionally

anxiously

carefully

greedily

quickly

badly

cautiously

loudly

quietly

Manner adverbs are often formed from adjectives by adding -ly:

She spoke very loudly. We could all hear what she was saying.

We waited anxiously by the phone.

We walked up the stairs very quietly because Mum and Dad were asleep.

Some common manner adverbs have the same form as adjectives and they have similar meanings (e.g. fast, right, wrong, straight, tight).

adjective

adverb

I was never a fast swimmer

Driving fast is dangerous

All of your answers were wrong.

People always spell my name wrong.

Is that the right time?

That builder never does anything right!

My hair is straight.

Let’s go straight to the airport.

Degree adverbs (slightly) and focusing adverbs (generally)

Degree and focusing adverbs are the most common types of modifiers of adjectives and other adverbs. Degree adverbs express degrees of qualities, properties, states, conditions and relations. Focusing adverbs point to something.

Degree adverbs

absolutely

enough

perfectly

somewhat

a (little) bit

entirely

pretty

terribly

a lot

extremely

quite

too

almost

fairly

rather

totally

awfully

highly

remarkably

utterly

completely

lots

slightly

very

Mary will be staying a bit longer. (a bit longer = for a little more time)

It all happened pretty quickly.

She was quite surprised they came, actually.

It was £3.52 if you want to be totally accurate.

Focusing adverbs

especially

just

mainly

particularly

generally

largely

only

simply

I just wanted to ask you what you thought.

I wouldn’t particularly like to move to a modern house.

Evaluative adverbs (surprisingly) and viewpoint adverbs (personally)

We put some adverbs outside the clause. They modify the whole sentence or utterance. Evaluative and viewpoint adverbs are good examples of this:

The electric car, surprisingly, does not really offer any advantages over petrol cars. (evaluative)

Personally, I think the show was great. (viewpoint)

Linking adverbs (then, however)

Linking adverbs show a relationship between two clauses or sentences (e.g. a sequence in time, cause and effect, contrast between two things):

I left my house in the morning [sequence]then I went to pick up Leanne at her house.

[cause]We talked until the early hours and [effect]consequently I overslept the next morning. (the result of the late night is that I was late the next morning)

The sun will be shining in France. [contrast]However, heavy rain is expected in Spain.

Warning:

We can use then and consequently to join clauses or sentences. We usually use but not however to connect two clauses in the same sentence:

There was no room for them but they got on the train.

There was no room for them. However, they got on the train.

(“Adverbs: types” from English Grammar Today © Cambridge University Press. Need grammar practice? Try English Grammar Today with Workbook.)
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