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Adverbs are the words which tell us more about a verb or an adjective or even other adverbs.  


  • John Speaks softly. (How does john speak?)
  • Later she smoked a cigarette. (When did she smoke a cigarette?)  
  • Mary lived locally. (Where did Mary live?)
  • Peter is really handsome. (How handsome is he?)
  • It was extremely kind of you.(How kind was it?)
  • Old people drive incredibly slowly.(How slowly do they drive)
  • Young boys drive extremely fast. (How fast do they drive?)

Adverbs can also modify a whole sentence. For example: Obviously, you can't know everything.

And adverbs can also modify a prepositional phrase. For example: They are immediately inside the door. 

Adverb Form

Many adverbs are made by adding -ly to an adjective.

For example:

  • quick becomes quickly
  • beautiful becomes beautifully
  • careful becomes carefully
But not all the words ending in -ly are adverbs. Friendly, lovely and neighborly are all adjectives.

Also, some adverbs have no particular form. 

For example: well, fast,never, very, still, always, often

The form of adverbs can also change to make them comparative or superlative. 

Types of adverbs

Adverbs of Manner tell us the way or the manner in which something happens. Adverbs of manner answer the question "how?" These adverbs mainly modify verbs.

  • They speak slowly
  • She helped us cheerfully
  • James drives his car fast.
We mostly use Adverbs of Manner with dynamic action verbs, not with stative verbs.
  • She ran fast. He came quickly. We worked happily.
  • He looked beautifully. It seems wrongly. We are happily.Adverbs of Place

Adverbs of Place are the adverbs which tell us the place where something happens. The adverbs of place answer the question "where?"

They mainly modify verbs. 

  • Please don't sit here.
  • We looked everywhere.
  • Many cars were parked outside.

Adverbs of Time tells us about the time at which something happens. Adverbs of time also mainly modify verbs. They answer the question "when?"

  • Robert came yesterday.
  • You want it now.
Or they can also answer the question "how often?"
  • They deliver the newspaper daily.
  • We sometimes watch a movie.


Adverbs of Degree tell us about the extent or degree to which something happens. Adverbs of degree answer the question "how much?" or "to what degree?". Adverbs of degree can modify verbs, adjectives and also other adverbs.

  • He entirely agrees with her.
  • Stella is very beautiful.
  • They drove quite dangerously.

Adverb Position

When adverbs modify verbs, there are normally 3 possible positions

 Front - before a subject

I will read a magazine.
Mid - between subject + verb



read magazines.
End - after verb or object

 I read magazines

When adverbs modify adjectives or other adverbs, it usually comes just before the word it modifies. For example:

He gave her a 

study English.

The position of an adverb depends in the type of adverb. It could be an adverb of manner, place, time or degree. The following table demonstrates some guidelines for placement based on the kind of adverb. 

Note: There are many exceptions to these guidelines.



 Kinds of adverb


 Mainly modifies


Usual Position









He was working






He stroked her hair









She finished the job







Go to Paris




Verbs, Adjectives and other Adverbs





It was



Before adjective

He works



Before adverb


Adverbs of Frequency

Adverbs of Frequency

Adverb of frequency are Adverb of time that answer the question "how frequently?" and "how often?"

They show us how often something happens. Here are some examples:

1. daily, weekly, annually

2. sometimes, often, rarely

You probably see a difference between "1." and "2." above. With words like weekly we know exactly how often the words in "1." describe definite frequency. On the other hand, words like sometimes give us an idea of frequency.

We separate them into two groups because they normally take different positions in a sentence.

Adverbs of Definite Frequency


    • Hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, annually.
    • Every second, Once a month, Twice a year.
    • Once, Once or Twice, Twice, Three times.

Adverbs of definite frequency, like all adverbs of definite time, normally go in the end position. Look at these examples:

    • Most people pay taxes yearly.
    • The janitor cleans the toilet every day.
    • The directors meet monthly to review progress.

 Sometimes, for emphasizing or for style, some adverbs of definite frequency, may come in the beginning of a sentence. For example:

  • Everyday more than 2 thousand people use this road.

Adverbs Of Indefinite Frequency

Seldom, sometimes, often, always, never

Adverbs of indefinite frequency mainly go in the mid position in a sentence.                                             100% Always, Constantly                      
They come before the main verb with the exception of the verb - to be.                                                               
  • We usually go for fishing on Sunday.                                                                                                                  Usually, Normally
  • I have often done that                                                                                                                                        Frequently, Regularly
  • She is always late                                                                                                                                                             Often
Occasionally, sometimes, often, frequently and usually can also go at the beginning or                               50%        Sometimes   
end of a sentence                                                                                        
  •  Sometimes, we go and stay with them.                                                                                                               Occasionally
  • I play cricket occasionally.                                                                                                                                   rarely, infrequently                                
Seldom and rarely can also go at the end of a sentence (often with very)                                                                  Seldom  
  • We meet them rarely.                                                                                                                                                     Hardly Ever
  • John eats vegetarian food very seldom.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             0%      Never      

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Adverbs Exercises