What is an Adverb?
adverb (noun): a word that modifies a verb, an adjective or another adverb, expressing manner, place, time or degree; a word that can modify a phrase, clause or sentence
An adverb is a word that tells us more about a verb. It "qualifies" or "modifies" a verb (The man ran quickly). In the following examples, the adverb is in bold and the verb that it modifies is in italics.
- John speaks loudly. (How does John speak?)
- Afterwards she smoked a cigarette. (When did she smoke?)
- Mary lives locally. (Where does Mary live?)
But adverbs can also modify adjectives (Tara is really beautiful), or even other adverbs (It works very well). Look at these examples:
- Modify an adjective:
- He is really handsome. (How handsome is he?)
- That was extremely kind of you.
- Modify another adverb:
- She drives incredibly slowly. (How slowly does she drive?)
- He drives extremely fast.
Note that adverbs have other functions, too. They can:
- Modify a whole sentence: Obviously, I can't know everything.
- Modify a prepositional phrase: It's immediately inside the door.