Introduction to Adverbs

Before we get into Adverbs, do you know what a verb is? A verb is basically a word or a group of words that describes an action, event, or situation.

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  • She ran across the fields to meet her best friend. (action verb, ran)
  • Shower some flowers on the bride. (event verb, shower)
  • Pranav and I are growing mangoes in his orchard. (situation verb, growing)

Now that we have some idea of the Verb, we can get into the Adverb.

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What is an Adverb?


(Image source: tes)

An Adverb is a word that qualifies the verb. What does that mean? This means that an adverb shows how, when and where some action, event or situation happened. Let’s understand it with the help of a few examples:

How Adverbs

  • “My younger sister danced gracefully at the snowball event.” – Danced is the action in the sentence. And gracefully describes how that action was done. So if you ask the question: How did she dance? The answer is ‘gracefully’. Here, danced was the verb and gracefully was the adverb. Notice how an adverb is really just describing how the verb is. Similarly, ask the question of how to the following examples and you will find the adverb:
  • “The bulldog sloppily dragged a shoe in the park.” – How did the bulldog drag the shoe? The answer is ‘sloppily’. That is the adverb in this sentence and dragged is the verb. Let’s try another example and guess the verb and adverb.
  • “Early in the morning, Pooja sang melodiously.” – How did Pooja sing? Melodiously, is the adverb and the activity(verb) is sang. 

All these words are describing how the action was done. Let’s give you some more example adverbs and you can try forming sentences around a couple of them before going further to soak in what you learnt:

awkwardly, loyally, briskly, slowly, nervously, cheerfully, really, lazily, adorably, extremely, ruthlessly, stylishly, grimly, hungrily, truly.

Here’s a fun fact: Although most of the adverbs end in -ly, there are plenty others that do not. So don’t get fooled by Mr. -ly.

When Adverbs

These words describe when the action, event or situation happened. Just like how adverbs answer the question of how, when adverbs answer the question of when. Let’s see some enlightening examples to understand this:

  • I will dance tomorrow. Ask the question of when to the activity(verb), you will get your adverb- When will I dance? Tomorrow. That is defining when the action (verb) will take place. It qualifies the verb. Do the same exercise of identifying verb and adverb in the sentences below to find the adverb.
  • Soon she will become a lawyer. When will she become a lawyer? Soon. You have your adverb.
  • never drink water between meals. When do I not drink water between meals? Never. 
  • Chirag reads a newspaper daily. The activity is reading a newspaper and daily defines when is it done.

Where Adverbs

After covering the two categories above, it must have become obvious to you what Where Adverbs are like. As you must have guessed, these are the adverbs that show the location of the verb. For example,

  • My elder sister went abroad to research about Tigers. The action was going and the word that describes this action, also answers the question of where is abroad.
  • Somewhere in the jungle. Where did we camp in the jungle? Somewhere. 

You will further learn how Adverbs also modify not only verbs but adjectives and other adverbs as well. Stay tuned to Toppr Guides, we have more interesting topics on Adverbs coming soon.

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