Adverbs : Adverbial Phrases 

An adverbial phrase usually consists of an adverb and one or more words either before it (premodification) or after it (postmodification) or, indeed, both.

The phrase performs exactly the same function in a sentence as it would if it were a single word. That is, it provides extra detail about how, why, when, where and in what manner the action of the verb occurs.

In the examples that follow, the adverbial phrases are in red; the words that modify the adverb are underlined.

We normally go to Spain in the summer.
Our holiday passes very quickly
The Sun shone brightly enough
The tapas were really good for the price.
Happily for us it did not rain.
We saved some of our  money secretly to spend in the airport.

In line with adverbs, adverbial phrases can be of manner, place, time, duration, frequency, degree, certainty, necessity, evaluative, viewpoint or linking.


Adverbs : Position

Adverbs are pretty flexible creatures and it is possible to place them in a variety of places in a sentence without sounding too strange. It is unlikely that students of primary school age will be asked to place adverbs in a sentence as part of an assessment. They may well be required to identify the adverb in a given sentence and will definitely be expected to use them in their writing.

There are three normal positions for adverbs in a sentence:

  • 1) initial position (before the subject)
  • 2) mid position (between the subject and the verb or immediately after be as a main verb)
  • 3) end position (at the end of the clause).

Adverb of Manner (e.g.: slowly, carefully, awfully)
These adverbs are put behind the direct object (or behind the verb if there’s no direct object).

Adverbs of Place (e.g.: here, there, behind, above)
Like adverbs of manner, these adverbs are put behind the direct object or the verb.

Adverbs of Time (e.g.: recently, now, then, yesterday)
Adverbs of time are usually put at the end of the sentence. If you don’t want to put emphasis on the time, you can also put the adverb of time at the beginning of the sentence.

Adverbs of Frequency (e.g.: always, never, seldom, usually)
Adverbs of frequency are put directly before the main verb. If ‘be’ is the main verb and there is no auxiliary verb, adverbs of frequency are put behind ‘be’. Is there an auxiliary verb, however, adverbs of frequency are put before ‘be’.


Adverbs : Less common types…

There is no requirement in the UK primary school English curriculum for pupils to be able to recognise different types of adverb. They may be required to identify an adverb in situe and will certainly be expected to use adverbs in their own writing. You can see details of the most commonly encountered adverbs here:

Adverbs : The 5 basic types of adverb…

The following are types of adverbs which are not quite as obvious but, nevertheless, worth knowing about..

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… Continue reading “Adverbs : Less common types…”

Adverbs : The 5 basic types of adverb…

There is no require requirement in the UK primary school English curriculum for pupils to be able to recognise different types of adverb. They may be required to identify an adverb in situe and will certainly be expected to use adverbs in their own writing. However, for interest’s sake here is information relating to the five basic types of adverb.

The five basic types of adverbs in the English language are those of Manner, Time, Place, Frequency, and Degree. Below is a short explanation of the meaning of each, together with example sentences using each type of adverb.

Adverbs of Time
An adverb of time provides more information about when a verb takes place. Adverbs of time are usually placed at the beginning or end of a sentence. When it is of particular importance to express the moment something happened we’ll put it at the start of a sentence.

Examples of adverbs of time: never, lately, just, always, recently, during, yet, soon, sometimes, usually, so far…

So far, we haven’t managed to send a man to Mars.
We haven’t heard from my brother lately
recently moved house.

Adverbs of Place
Adverbs of place illustrate where the verb is happening. It’s usually placed after the main verb or object, or at the end of the sentence. Continue reading “Adverbs : The 5 basic types of adverb…”

Adverbs : Formation

Many adverbs are formed from adjectives and end in -ly. Here are some tips to help you form adverbs and spell them correctly:The majority of adverbs are formed by taking an adjective and adding -ly.

The exact spelling of the adverb will depend upon the spelling of the adjective

The basic rule is that –ly is added to the end of the adjective:

bad -> badly
hopeless -> hopelessly
stupid -> stupidly

If, however, the adjective has two syllables and ends in –y, then you simply replace the final –y with –ily:

crazy -> crazily
happy -> happily
shabby ->shabbily

 If the adjective ends with a consonant followed by –le, simply replace the final –e with –y on its own:
Continue reading “Adverbs : Formation”

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