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Using Adverbs

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Adverb Are Used For How When Where

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.
The 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.

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