All about Grammar-Part 5 (Adverb).

ADVERBS

Adverbs are the words that describe or modify verbs, adjectives, other adverbs or clauses. They can be a single word, a phrase or a clause. Adverbs generally answer one of these four questions about the entity they modify: How? When? Where? and Why?

For examples:
Kim quickly grabbed the last cookie left on the plate.
In this sentence, the adverb “quickly” modifies the verb “grabbed” by defining the How aspects of the action. How did Kim grab the last cookie? She grabbed it “quickly”.
In the game of hide and seek, Amy decided to hide in a completely dark room in the basement.
Here, the adverb “completely” refers to the adjective “dark”. How dark was the room? It was completely dark.
Ria happily accepted the new project that was the gateway for her promotion.
In this sentence, the adverb “happily” describes the adverb “accepted”. How did Ria accept the new project? She did so happily.
Ria very happily accepted the new project that was the gateway for her promotion.
In this sentence, the adverb “very” describes the adverb “happily”. How happily did Ria accept the new project? She did so very happily. So here the adverb presents the extent or degree of happiness.
Surprisingly, our Indian food stall had the maximum footfall in the World Gourmet Fest.
Here, “Surprisingly” describes the entire main clause.

HOW ARE ADVERBS FORMED?

Most of the single-word adverbs end with “ly”.

For example, “quickly”, “completely”, “happily”, and “surprisingly” are all adverbs ending with “ly”.
However, there are a few words that are not adverbs despite ending with “ly”. For example, “lonely”, “lively”, “lovely”. Even if they end with “ly”, these words are adjective that modify nouns. So you must not blindly consider any “ly” ending word to be an adverb. Always go by the meaning and role of the word!
Furthermore, there are many adverbs that do not have a specific ending. For example: next, not, then, often, and seldom.

So as you saw above, adverbs can describe any entity in the sentence except nouns and pronouns. They can describe verbs, other adjectives, other adverbs, and even complete clauses. In these examples you also saw that adverbs that are single words. Furthermore apart from single words acting as adverbs, phrases and clauses can also act as adverbs.

ADVERBS – WORDS, PHRASES, AND CLAUSES

We learned that adverbs are the words that describe verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and clauses. For example:
Ria very happily accepted the new project that was the gateway for her promotion.
In this sentence, the adverb “happily” describes the adverb “accepted”. How did Ria accept the new project? She did so happily. Furthermore, the adverb “very” describes the adverb “happily”. How happily did Ria accept the new project? She did so very happily. So here the adverb presents the extent or degree of happiness.
Now apart from just words, even phrases and clauses can act as adjectives. For example:
Joe finished his dinner at 9 pm.
Notice here that “at 9 pm” is a prepositional phrase. Prepositional phrases can modify nouns as well as verbs. Those prepositional phrases that modify verbs act as adverbs. In this sentence, the prepositional phrase “at 9 pm” modifies the verb “finished”. It talks about the “when” aspect of this action.
Mary mixed the cake dough with an egg beater.
In this sentence, the prepositional phrase “with an egg beater” describes how Mary mixed the cake.
Nancy hid the marbles under the pillow because she did not want to give them to her brother.
Here, the dependent clause “because she did not want to give them to her brother” is an adverb because it modifies the verb of the preceding main clause. Why did Nancy hide the marbles? She did so because she did not want to give them to her brother.
So as you saw in the above four example sentences, adverbs provide some more information about the entity that they describe and adverbs can be a single word or a phrase or a clause.
Adverbs can also be used to make comparisons. When we make comparisons, we need to use adverbs in their comparative or superlative forms.

ADVERBS – FOR COMPARISONS

We learned that adverbs are used to describe another verb, adverbs, adjectives, or clauses. While describing these entities adverbs can also present comparison. And when they do, they should be used in the appropriate comparative or superlative forms.
When we compare an aspect about two entities, we add “more” or “less” before the adverb to make it a comparative adverb. For example:
Jack goes to swim more frequently than his sister Jill.
Jill is less agile than Jack.
When we compare an aspect of more than two entities, then we use adverbs in superlative form. In order to make an adverb superlative, we need to add “most” or “least” before the adverb. For example:
The quality of the project showed that Amy’s was the most hastily done project in the class.
Prof. Roy always raises the least frequently discussed topics in philosophy.
So always be sure to use adverbs in their correct form. Add words such as “more” or “less” when you compare two entities. Likewise use words such as “most” or “least” when you compare more than two entities.

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