What is an adverb?

The English language has many parts of speech, some of which can be slightly confusing. One of these parts of speech is an adverb.

An adverb is a word that describes a verb; sometimes it describes an adjective or another adverb. Usually, an adverb will end in the suffix -ly, but that’s not always the case. Likewise, an adverb usually appears right before or after the verb in a sentence. In some cases, you may see an adverbial phrase, which is simply two or more words that describe a verb and thus function as an adverb.

Here are some examples of adverbs:

  • She quickly drove away from the house.
    Here, the adverb ‘quickly’ describes the verb ‘drove’.
  • He was extremely thrilled to receive the award.
    In this sentence, the adverb ‘extremely’ modifies the verb ‘thrilled’.
  • She reached slowly for the last piece of bread.
    The adverb ‘slowly’ in this sentence describes the verb ‘reached’.
  • They were very happy to see their sister after her long trip.
    Here, the adverb ‘very’ describes the adjective ‘happy’.
  • She quite easily found the missing ring.
    In this sentence, the adverbial phrase ‘quite easily’ describes the verb ‘found’.

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