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2.5: Adverbs

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    Adverbs are words that modify or describe a verb, adjective, or another adverb. Just as an adjective changes a noun, an adverb changes a verb, adjective, or adverb. Adverbs are easily identified because they often end in -ly, but this is certainly not always the case.

    Descriptions make our writing rich and specific, so we shouldn’t be afraid of using adjectives and adverbs in our sentences.

    Look at these three sentences:

    • Jon walked to the store to get canned goods for his zombie stash.
    • Jon walked to the large store to get canned goods for his zombie stash.
    • Jon walked urgently to the massively large store to get canned goods for his zombie stash.

    As you can see, the last sentence is the most descriptive and informative. The use of adverbs and adjectives helps our writing come alive. The following page on adverbs will provide helpful tips on how to correctly use adverbs and give you examples of how adverbs can add descriptive detail to your writing.

    Order of Adverbs

    Adverbs most commonly describe how, but below is a more comprehensive list of the most common types of adverbs.

    Type of Adverb Example
    Adverbs of manner (or how) Christine sang the song atrociously. No more karaoke for her!
    Adverbs of time Michelle did her homework yesterday, but she did the wrong assignment.
    Adverbs of place I met my friend at the coffee shop, and that’s where we saw the first signs of the outbreak.
    Adverbs of degree It’s too quiet in here.
    Adverbs of frequency Michael Jordan rarely misses a free throw, but Shaq frequently does.
    Adverbs of purpose I clean the litter box every day to keep the house from smelling.

    And like adjectives, adverbs have a “royal order.” While you may already have an innate sense of this order, it can be helpful to review the rules.

    The Royal Order of Adverbs

    Verb Manner Place Frequency Time Purpose
    Beth swims enthusiastically in the pool every evening before dusk to keep in shape.
    Dad walks impatiently into town every morning before work to get a newspaper.
    Joe naps in his room every afternoon after lunch.

    Adapted from Adverbs. (n.d.) Capital Community College Foundation. Retrieved from

    2.5: Adverbs is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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