Kinds of Adverbs

An Adverb is a Part of Speech in English Grammar that modifies, defines, describes a Verb, an Adjective, another Adverb or a clause or any other word or phrase, apart from a Noun.

· Adverbs are in layman’s terms those words that provide us an idea of how, where, when, in what manner and to what extent something is done or happens.

·  In most cases, Adverbs end with the suffix ‘-ly’but there are scores of Adverbs that do not end in this manner.

Types of Adverbs

1.  Adverbs of Manner

These are those words which provide a context of ‘how’; an action is carried out, as indicated by the Verb.

·  In most cases, Adverbs of Manner contain the suffix ‘-ly.’
However, in some cases, they may contain the word in its original form, without any change.

Examples: Slowly, quickly, softly, beautifully, sadly

· She sang the song mellifluously.

· The exam went very badly.

· I answered the questions in the interview correctly.

However, in some cases Adverbs of Manner may be used in the original form, without any change.


· The boys played hard to win.

·  The car drives fast under the circumstances.

At times, Adverbs of Manner may be formed by a totally new word as opposed to the original word.

·  The acrobats performed well at the final stage. (The original word being ‘good’)


2. Adverbs of Place

Also called Spatial Adverbs, they help provide the context of layout or location of the Verb.


·  They drove down the road to the village.

· They looked for him herethere and everywhere.

Some Adverbs of Position also point out to the direction of movement. In such cases they contain the suffix – ‘wards’.


·         They pointed upwards towards the stars.

·         The moved forward towards the marching line.


3. Adverbs of Frequency

These words refer to the frequency with which a Verb occurs.

Adverbs of Frequency can be further classified in two parts:

i.  Adverbs of Indefinite Frequency – which do not provide a clear indication of how frequently the verb occurs.(Usually, regularly, normally, always)

· They are positioned between the Auxiliary Verb and the Infinitive, in such cases.


I will always love you.

I can normally handle such affairs on my own.


ii. Adverbs of Definite Frequency – These provide a definite inkling of the frequency with which the verb occurs.

· In most such cases,the Adverbs can be found at the end of the sentences.


We come here for our walk daily.

The vendor takes the payment monthly.


4. Adverbs of Time

These Adverbs indicate the timing or ‘when’ of the Verb.

· In such cases, they are usually found at the end of the sentences.


· I have to leave now.

· We met our grandmother last summer.

Sometimes they might appear at the beginning of the sentence.


·  Last week, was the best time of my life.

·  Yesterday, I dreamt of my father.


5.  Adverbs of Purpose

Such Adverbs are also known as Adverbs of Reason and they indicate the purpose or the ‘why’ of an action performed by the Verb.

·  They may be singular words such as ‘because’, ‘since’, ‘for’ or they may be clauses ‘so that’, ‘in order to’ etc.

·  They may appear at the beginning or the middle of a sentence.


·  I drove faster because I was late for office.

·  Since it is your wish, I shall appear for the interview.

English Grammar and Composition

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