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 & Degree

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)

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 Time & Place


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)


man entering 

He went inside.
He went inside the house.


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 Focus

mobile/cel phone

Only my phone can make calls to family  in this area. (not my tablet)

My phone can only make calls to family  in this area. (one function)

My phone can make only calls to family  in this area. (not texts)

My phone can make calls only to family  in this area. (not friends)

My phone can make calls to family only in this area. (not long distance)

My phone can only make calls to family in this area only because I have a limited service contract. (one reason)

Positioning of Adverbs


I will faithfully execute the office of president...

I will execute faithfully the office of president...

Stance Adverbs

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.


A climber 

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

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.

Linking Adverbs


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.  


Uh! Can't make up his mind. 

Uh. Which one should I eat?.  (pause)

Wow!   This tastes good.  (surprise)

Oops. I dropped it. (embarrassment)



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

Related Pages

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)


You can open it by using a knife.

You can cut the string with a knife.

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