Adverb Summary



Soccer Player

Quiz 1: beginning – intermediate

Quiz 2: intermediate – advanced 




He spoke freely. (modifies a verb)

He is very smart. (modifies an adjective)

He teaches quite creatively. (modifies an adverb)

He stopped exactly on time. (modifies a preposition phrase)

Suddenly, everyone started clapping. (modifies a clause)

Frankly, I don't understand the problem. (modifies a clause)


Adverbs for Manner

Tennis player Nadal

He is an excellent tennis player.
He plays tennis excellently.

It was a hard game. (adjective)
They played hard. (adv – manner) 
He hardly played. (adv– degree)

*He appears expertly.            appear – seems  stative verb
He appears professionallyappear – take part in a public event (dynamic verb)



He moved silently.   (verb)
He was purposefully silent  (adjective)
Quietly, he turned the dial on the safe.  (sentence)


Adverb Modifiers for Time


The sun heats the earth. (general truth – no adverb)
I am heating some water for tea. (at the moment)

The volcano erupted on April 14 2010. (specified time)
The volcano was erupting  for over month. (indefinite time)

The Tower has stood in Pisa since 1352 (permanent)
We have been standing in line for two hours.   (temporary)




We normally take the garbage out at night.  (Unless something unexpected prevents this.)
We frequently take out the recyclables.
We occasionally take batteries out. 
We never take hazardous waste out.

We never have much time together.
Never do we have much time together.


Adverbs for Place

man entering 

He went inside.
He went inside the house.

He went there.


Adverbs for Degree

A big talker

He talks excessively. (verb) 

He talks extremely fast. (adv) 

He is rather talkative. (adj)


He literally doesn't stop talking. (adv. degree) 

He translated the text literally. (adv. manner) 


Adverbs for Focus

mobile/cel phone

My phone can also play music.
It has really been useful. 
It can only / just make local calls. 
It is mainly for business use. 
It can even show me where I am.


Gingerbread House

His work is indeed more amazing than before
His work is even more amazing than before
His work is in fact more amazing than before


Adverb Placement


I will faithfully execute the office of president...
I will execute faithfully the office of president...


Adverbials (adverbs as clause modifiers)

A climber 

Hopefully, he will reach the top. (evaluation adv.)
He set out hopefully to reach to the top. (manner adv.)


A climber

Possibly, he will reach the top. (uncertain)  
He might reach the top of the ice wall. (uncertain)

He apparently has super-human strength.  (inference)
He must have super-human strength. (inference)

He actually climbed it by himself.  (factual, widely accepted)
In my view, he's pretty amazing.
He apparently climbed it in world-record time.


Frankly, it won't last 

Frankly, I don't think your plan will work. (speech-act related adverb)
He told me frankly about his problems. (adverb)

Confidentially, Ed is having some money problems.
He mentioned confidentially that he's having money problems.



Buying organic fruit and vegetables is a better choice.  In the first place, they are less contaminated by chemical pesticides.  For another, they are not genetically modified. In addition, they are allowed to mature or ripen fully.  Finally, they have a shorter "shelf life" so they are sold when fresh or best.  


Giving a presentation 

So!   What you are saying is that we have to have everything ready by then.
So… what you are saying is that we have to have everything ready by then.

So, you are saying we have to have everything ready by Wednesday midnight.  (inf.)  I guess that…
So we need to get the testing, advertising and database in place.  (inf.) In summary


wolf lets out a howl
A wolf lets out a long howl.

Look up. 
Look up the word in the dictionary.

He took his coat off.
He took off his coat. 
The airplane took off.







Meteor Shower

The meteor storm was so beautiful that we watched it all night.
It was such a beautiful meteor storm that we watched it all night.

We will learn so much interesting information that it will take years to process it.  (quantity)
We will learn such interesting information that it will take years to process it.  (quality)


Moved to Connectors section

working hard

Because Tom worked so hard, he earned a good salary. (same time)
Working so hard, Tom earned a good salary. (same time)

Because Tom had been working so hard, he needed a vacation.
Having worked so hard (earlier time), Tom needed a vacation.


Dog coming in door

When I call the dog, she comes.

After I call the dog, she comes.

Before I call the dog, I open the door.

After I take the dog out, we'll sit down for a while.


Talking on phone and looking at newborn

When you called, he picked up his cell phone.

While he was talking on the phone, the baby slept.



By the time I leave work, the sun will be setting. (ongoing)
By the time I leave work, the sun will have set. (completed)



While John was walking home, he came across a skunk.

While walking home, John came across a skunk.  

Walking home, John came across a skunk. 

Walking home from school, *a skunk sprayed John. 


Note that because many connectors function as part of adverbial phrases or clauses, their links may be listed on Adverb and Connector summary pages.