English Adverb Categories and Examples of Sentences

English Adverb: Categories and Examples of Sentences

In the realm of grammar and language, adverbs are the unsung heroes. They are the words that often work behind the scenes, enhancing the meaning and context of our sentences. Adverbs convey how, when, where, and to what extent an action occurs, adding depth to our communication.

In this article, we will embark on a journey to explore the world of adverbs, starting with their definition and then delving into various types, such as adverbs of manner, degree, time, place, frequency, interrogative adverbs, and conjunctive adverbs.

Definition of Adverb

Adverbs generally indicate information about location, time, degree, and manner. They provide extra information about the action in a sentence.

For instance:

  • She sings beautifully. (Manner: “beautifully” describes how she sings)
  • The weather is quite cold. (Degree: “quite” describes the degree of coldness)
  • They will arrive soon. (Time: “soon” specifies when they will arrive.)
  • He looked everywhere. (Place: “everywhere” indicates where he looked.)
  • She exercises daily. (Frequency: “daily” tells us how often she exercises)

7 Categories of English Adverb

Adverbs are not a monolithic category of words; they come in various forms, each serving a specific role. There are 7 Categories of English Adverb such as:

1. Adverb of Manner

Words such as quietly and loudly are adverbs. They describe and give more information about verbs, adjectives, phrases, and other adverbs.

They usually come after the verb they describe. Most adverbs of manner are formed by adding -ly to the adjective. If the adjective ends in -y, the -y is left out, and -ily is added to make the adverb.

For example:

  • John eats quickly.
  • She sang beautifully at the concert.
  • He ran quickly to catch the bus.
  • The children play happily in the park.
  • The chef prepared the dish skillfully.

2. Adverb of Degree

Adverbs of degree can be placed before adjectives and verbs to strengthen or weaken their original meaning. Some adverbs can only be paired with specific adjectives.

They answer questions like “To what extent?” or “How much?”

For instance: “The coffee is very hot.”

Grading Adverbs

Adverb that can be used with gradable adjectives are called grading adverbs. Gradable adjectives are adjectives like cold, hot, and frightened. It can be very cold or a bit cold. Gradable adjectives show that something can have different degrees.

List of gradable adjectives

  • Very: Used to intensify the meaning. For example, “She is very talented.”
  • Excessively: Indicates a high degree of quality. For example, “The movie was extremely exciting.”
  • Incredibly: Suggests an astonishing or a remarkable level. For example, “The view from the mountain peak is incredibly beautiful.”
  • Exceptionally: Denotes something that stands out or is extraordinary. For example, “He is exceptionally skilled.”
  • Highly: Indicates a significant or noteworthy level. For example, “The team is highly motivated.”
  • Terribly: Suggests an unpleasantly high degree. For example, “I felt terribly tired.”
  • Intensely: Implies a strong, concentrated quality. For example, “She focused intensely on her work.”
  • Quite: Signifies a reasonable degree or extent. For example, “The food is quite spicy.”
  • So: Used to emphasize the degree of the quality. For example, “The concert was so amazing.”
  • Too: Suggests an excessive or undesirable degree. For example, “The coffee is too hot.”
  • Awfully: Indicates a high degree, often with a negative connotation. For example, “The weather is awfully hot today.”
  • Remarkably: Suggests something worthy of attention or notice. For example, “His progress is remarkably fast.”
  • Utterly: Denotes completeness or extremeness. For example, “I am utterly exhausted.”
  • Truly: Emphasizes the sincerity or genuineness of the quality. For example, “She is truly kind.”
  • Exceptionally: Suggests that something is unusual or extraordinary. For example, “The painting is exceptionally beautiful.”

Non-Grading Adverb

Non-grading adverbs do not typically modify adjectives or other adverbs to indicate degree or intensity. They provide information about the manner, time, place, or frequency of an action rather than the extent or degree of that action.

They involve quickly, suddenly, everywhere, nowhere, yesterday, today, tomorrow, often, always, sometimes, never, here, there, now, later.

3. Adverb of Time

The Adverb of time gives more precise information about exactly when something happens.

They can also refer to a continuing event or action. Adverbs of time include:


4. Adverb of Place

The adverb of place describes where something happens. They answer the question, “Where?”

For instance:

  • She lives here.
  • They study English at school.
  • The cat is sleeping under the table.
  • We meet our friends at the park.
  • He works in the city.

5. Adverb of Frequency

The adverb of frequency shows how often something is done, from something done very frequently (always) to something not done at all (never). It answers the question How often?

For instance:

  • I always brush my teeth before bed.
  • They usually go to the gym in the evening.
  • She often visits her grandparents on weekends.
  • He sometimes forgets his keys.
  • We rarely eat fast food.
  • They never arrive on time.

Adverbs of frequency include:

AlwaysHardly everRoutinelyOn occasion
OftenNeverCustomarilyAt times
FrequentlyEverHabituallyOn and off
UsuallyConstantlyInvariablyEvery so often
DailyPeriodicallyRepeatedlyRegular as clockwork
SometimesInfrequentlyOnce in a whileAlmost always
OccasionallyIntermittentlyFrom time to timeAlmost never
RarelySporadicallyNow and thenEvery other day
SeldomErraticallyEvery now and againLike clockwork

6. Interrogative Adverbs

An interrogative adverb introduces a question. Interrogative adverbs are usually placed at the beginning of the sentence. Interrogative adverbs include how, when, why, and where.

For instance: When will John’s plane arrive from Atlanta?

7. Conjunctive Adverbs

Conjunctive adverbs serve as transitional words, joining and relating independent clauses. Conjunctive adverbs include:

BesidesMoreoverFurthermoreOn the other hand
ConsequentlyNeverthelessMoreoverIn addition
ConverselyNonethelessOtherwiseOn the contrary
References and Recommended Reading
  • Altenberg, E. P., & Vago, R. M. (2010). English grammar: Understanding the Basics. Cambridge University Press.
  • Azar, B. S. (1996). Basic English Grammar. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Regents.
  • Azar, B. S. (2003). Fundamentals of English Grammar: Chartbook: a Reference Grammar. White Plains, NY: Longman.
  • Azar, B. S., & Hagen, S. A. (2009). Understanding and using English grammar: Workbook. White Plains, N.Y.: Pearson Longman.
  • Ansell, M. (2000). Free English Grammar Second Edition.
  • Barduhn, S., & Hall, D. (2016). English for Everyone–English Grammar Guide. New York: DK Publishing.
  • Herring, P. (2016). Complete English Grammar Rules. California: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform.
  • Murphy, R., Smalzer, W. R., & Nguyễn, T. T. (2000). Grammar in Use: Intermediate. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Murphy, R., & Čhakramāt, S. (2002). Essential grammar in use (Vol. 20010). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Tenry Colle
Tenry Colle

Hi! My name is A. Tenry Lawangen Aspat Colle. I am a motivated and resourceful English educator. In addition, as the owner of @rymari.translation17 has shaped me to be a punctual and dependable translator of Indonesian to English and vice versa.

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