Grammar-QuizzesAdverbials › Adverbs


Recognize function and form

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We walk rather briskly.
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► What is an adverb? ▼ Explanation of term

An adverb

  • expresses a particular meaning: (1)"situational adverbs" add detail information about the action—manner, frequency, degree and so on; (2) "stance adverbs" include opinion (Perhaps, Sadly) or information about the circumstances under which something is being said (Frankly, Briefly); and (3) temporal adverbs that add information about timing (soon, early, late).
  • functions as a modifier: to a verb (quickly, frequently, daily), to an adjective (very, rather, quite) to another adverb (too fast, so slowly, really loudly) or to a clause (Unfortunately, Sadly).
  • takes form with an -ly suffix (usually, rapidly) and occasionally a -ways suffix (sideways) or -wise (otherwise) suffix. A few adverbs take no suffix (well, fast, hard, loud).

Adverb Clause is/was a term used in traditional grammar descriptions.  The adverbs that were part of the traditional "adverb clause" (e.g., though, because, before, if [cond.] and so on) were reanalyzed as prepositions.  Linguistic analysis determined that these words functioned more similarly to prepositions than to conjunctions or any other categories in which they had previously been placed. In addition, the description of the structures that can follow (complement) a preposition was widened to include not only a noun phrase but also a gerund, a prepositional phrase, a full clause and more.  (See Prep Uses and Prep Complements.) 


    See Connector Overview for grammar sources.


Summary of Practices



Adverb Diagnostic: identify specific English grammar points that need review

persian cat

Quiz 1: beginning–intermediate

Quiz 2: intermediate–advanced

An Adverb: recognize the ways an adverb can function in a clause

Beginning–Advanced ESL, Native Speakers


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)

Adverb Suffixes: express how an action occurs

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

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)

Adverbs for Manner: compare the positioning of adverbs

Intermediate-Advanced ESL, Native Speakers


He moved silently.   (verb)

He was purposefully silent  (adjective)

Quietly, he turned the dial on the safe.  (sentence)

Adverbs Splitting Verbs: compare the positioning of adverbs

Intermediate–Advanced ESL, Native Speakers


I will faithfully execute the office of president...

I will execute faithfully the office of president...

Adverbs for Degree: express the intensity of an action —how much?

(Intermediate–Advanced ESL, Native Speakers

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: express the timing of an action  (temporal modifiers)

Beginning–Intermediate ESL, Native Speakers


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)

Adverbs for Place : express movement in a particular direction (locational modifiers)

Beginning–Advanced ESL

man entering 

He went in.

He went inside.

He went in the house.

He went inside of the house.

Adverbs Frequency: express how often an action occurs

Beginning–Intermediate ESL


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: draw attention to particular information

Intermediate–Advanced ESL, Native Speakers

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)


Already v. Yet: indicate completed or delayed timing of an action

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

Waiting for the bus

The bus has already been here.

We have already waited for half an hour.

The bus hasn't come yet.

I haven't waited a long time yet. 

I have yet to receive our order.  (before infinitive)

We have yet begun to fight. (without a negative)


So…that / Such that: emphasize qualities and characteristics

Intermediate. ESL, Native Speaker


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)

So that / so…that: express purpose vs. effect

Intermediate– Advanced ESL, Native Speaker

Meteor Shower

We stayed up all night so that we could watch a meteor storm.

We stayed up late, so we were able to see the meteor storm as it passed.

Modifiers to Prepositions: specify more precisely the timing, location or manner of the action (adverbial phrases)

Beginning–Advanced ESL


The batter hit the ball right here. 

The player threw the ball over here. 

The player threw the ball straight ahead.

The pitcher threw the ball smack into the batter's head.

He batted the ball clear out of the park. 

He hit the ball way over in the bay. 


Indeed / Even : emphasize unexpected or extraordinary details 

Intermediate–Advanced ESL, Native Speakers

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

Negative Word Forms: express absence, doubt, denial, prohibition and more (Negative Word Forms)

Beginning – Advanced ESL, native speakers

No No's

No one  /   Not anyone has parked illegally.

His inability / disability was clear to us.

He was unsatisfied / dissatisfied.

Do not park there!  We do not park there.

He would park there, wouldn't he?

We asked him not to park there.

I doubt that he *never / ever helps.

He is neither optimistic nor pessimistic.

His no nonsense approach to life is refreshing. (expression)