How to Use Adverbs - Grammar Examples

Adverbs modify verbs. They tell you how something is done, when something is done, or where something is done.

  • She sings beautifully.
  • They drive carefully.
  • She eats her food slowly.
  • She always gets up early.
  • They use the desk here.

Below you will find rules on how to form and use adverbs in English.

Rule: Adverbs are often formed by adding -ly to an adjective

  • Example: beautiful – beautifully, careful – carefully

Exceptions – Some adjectives don’t change in the adverb form.

The most important of these are: fast – fast, hard – hard

Good is probably the most important exception. The adverb form of ‘good’ is ‘well’.

  • He speaks English well.
  • Tom plays tennis very well.

Rule: Adverbs can also modify an adjective. In this case, the adverb is placed before the adjective.

  • She is extremely happy.
  • They are absolutely sure.

Exceptions – Do not use ‘very’ with adjectives that express an increased quality of a basic adjective

Example: good – fantastic

  • She is an absolutely fantastic piano player.
  • Mark is a very good public speaker. In fact, he is an absolutely amazing lecturer.

Rule: Adverbs of frequency (always, never, sometimes, often, etc.) usually come before the main verb:

  • He is often late for class.
  • Do you always eat in a restaurant?
  • They don’t usually travel on Fridays.

Exceptions – Adverbs of frequency expressing infrequency are not used in the negative or question form.

Some adverbs of frequency are sometimes placed at the beginning of a sentence. The most common of include ‘sometimes’ and ‘often’.

  • Sometimes, I enjoy staying at home instead of going on vacation.
  • Often, Peter will telephone his mother before he leaves for work.

Adverbs of frequency follow – come after – the verb ‘to be’.

  • He is sometimes late for work.
  • I am often confused by computers.

via How to Use Adverbs – Grammar Examples.

How to Use Adverbs – Grammar Examples
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