An adverb modifies–changes, enhances, limits, describes, intensifies, muffles — a verb, an adjective or another adverb.
AN ADVERB ANSWERS THE QUESTION HOW?
[In the following examples, the adverb is bold and the word it modifies is underlined.]
It isn’t just the practice, studying, running, bad days, great days and traveling that experienced players handlewell.
- WELL tells us how the players HANDLE things.
They have quickly figured out how to deal with their boss.
- QUICKLY tells us how they HAVE FIGURED OUT.
It’s nice to have a group that handles the situations better than others have.
- BETTER describes how the group HANDLES the direct objects SITUATIONS.
Either they sitquietly and watch, not taking a side, or find themselves actually rooting for one of these two.
- QUIETLY describes how they SIT.
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AN ADVERB INDICATES TO WHAT DEGREE?
This has been a really nice group to work with,” Penn State coach Rene Portland said of her team.
- To what degree is the group nice? REALLY.
- NOTE: NICE is an adjective. This is an example of an adverb modifying an adjective.
How do so-called neutral fans react to this game between two programs they certainly respect but probably can’t stand?
- What kind of neutral are the fans? SO-CALLED.
- NOTE: NEUTRAL is an adjective.
The coach did not sound overly concerned about it.
- What is the degree of concern not expressed? OVERLY
- NOTE: CONCERNED is a PREDICATE adjective.
She is not sure our crowd will bother them that much.
- To what degree will the crowd bother them? MUCH.
AN ADVERB ANSWERS THE QUESTION WHEN?
We are in a busy time now,” the mayor said.
- When is the busy time? NOW
- NOTE: ARE is not a linking verb here. It is in transitive.
“Confident” would not have described the student yesterday.
- When was the STUDENT not CONFIDENT? YESTERDAY
Recently, we’ve allowed her to sneak outside and play the wing.
- WHEN has she been allowed? RECENTLY.
AN ADVERB ANSWERS THE QUESTION WHERE?
The little girl plays inside quietly.
- Where does she play well? INSIDE.
- NOTE: QUIETLY is also an adverb telling us how she plays.
Recently, we’ve allowed her to sneak outside and play.
- OUTSIDE tells us where she has been allowed to sneak.
- NOTE: RECENTLY is also an adverb telling us when we allowed it.
The goat has climbed out.
- OUT indicates where the goat HAS CLIMBED.
An adverb can also introduce sentences or modify entire phrases or sentences.
Thursday, NBC will show the premieres of its best shows.
- THURSDAY tells the reader when about the whole sentence.
Adverbs may refer to:
- TIME (He arrived promptly.)
- MANNER (Cougars walk silently.)
- DEGREE (She was quite miserable.)
- PLACE (The book belongs there.)