Campus Recruitment – Verbal Ability – Adverb
An adverb is a word which modifies the meaning of a verb, an adjective or another adverb,
e.g.: Usain Bolt runs very fast, (modifies the adverb fast)
These fruits are quite ripe, (modifies an adjective)
She works meticulously, (modifies the verb)
Adverbs may be divided into the following classes according to their usage:
Adverbs of time which show when an action is performed.
e.g.: I have spoken to him already.
He arrived late yesterday.
She called me a few minutes ago.
We shall now begin our work.
Adverbs of frequency which show how often an action is done.
e.g.: He often makes mistakes.
The postman called again.
I have told you twice.
Adverbs of place which show where the action takes place.
e.g.: Look up!
The miscreants ran away.
It is essential to learn the difference between an adverb and a preposition, because the same word might function as both. Remember, a preposition is always followed by another noun, whereas an adverb is not.
A word is a preposition when it governs a noun or pronoun; it is an adverb when it does not. For example,
|Has he come in?||Is he in his room?|
|Carry on!||The book is on the table.|
|The wheel came off.||The driver jumped off the bus.|
|Come down.||We sailed down the river.|
|I have read the book through.||The path leads through the forest.|
|His father arrived soon after.||He returned after a month.|
Adverbs of manner which show how or in what manner an action is done.
e.g.: Sanjay works hard.
This book is well written.
Adverbs of degree or quantity which show how much, or in what degree or to what extent.
e.g.: The Sea is very stormy.
I am rather busy.
Adverbs of Affirmation and negation.
e.g.: He certainly left early.
You surely don’t mean it.
Adverbs of reason.
e.g.: As it was raining I couldn’t come yesterday.
This table is very heavy because it has a metal top.
Position of adverbs:
- Adverbs of manner, which answer the question ‘How?’ are generally placed after the verb or after the object if there is one.
e.g.: The car is going fast.
He is driving carefully.
It is raining heavily.
- Adverbs of place and time are also usually placed after the verb or after the object if there is one.
e.g.: I searched everywhere for my mobile.
He is attending an interview next week.
- When there are two or more adverbs after a verb, the normal order is: adverb of manner, adverb of place, adverb of time.
e.g.: He spoke earnestly at the meeting last night.
- Adverbs of frequency, which answer the question ‘how often?’ and certain other adverbs like almost, already, hardly, nearly, just, quite are normally put between the subject and the verb if the verb consists of only one word; if there is more than one word in the verb, they are put after the first verb.
e.g.: She never comes on time.
He has never been to Delhi.
We usually have breakfast early.
She has just gone out.
- If the verb is am/ is/ are/ was/ were the adverbs are placed after the verb.
e.g.: He is never late.
He was always first in class.
- When an adverb modifies an adjective or another adverb, the adverb usually comes before it.
e.g.: This book is quite expensive.
Don’t speak so fast.
- The adverb ‘enough’ is always placed after the word it modifies.
e.g.: He spoke loud enough to be heard.
He was rude enough to interrupt the Chairman
Troublesome Rules and Confusing Areas:
Though many adverbs end in ‘ly’ it cannot be assumed that all words ending in ‘ly’ are adverbs.
e.g.: She’s a lovely girl. (adjective)
Some adverbs retain the same form as nouns, adjectives as well as adverbs.
e.g.: He likes fast food. (adjective)
She’s usually on fast on Saturdays, (noun)
She speaks fast. (adverb)
Some adverbs have two forms, one ending in – ly and the other the same as the adjective form.
e.g.: loud, hard, quick, high, near, late etc. the meaning of the two forms may differ. So, care should be taken to use them properly.
- Hard/ hardly:
She works hard.
If ‘hardly’ is to be used, the position and meaning changes though it still acts as an adverb.
She hardly works, (it means that she doesn’t work at all)
- Late/ lately:
She always comes lately. (incorrect)
(lately means recently)
She always comes- late, (correct)
There have been no such cases lately.
- Pretty/ prettily:
e.g.: You are pretty late, (means quite late)
She is prettily dressed.
(means dressed in a pretty manner)
- ‘Too’ as an adverb means ‘more than necessary’ and has a negative connotation.
e.g.: It is too good to be true.
He is too slow to complete the work.
- ‘Good’ and ‘well’ are often used wrongly. ‘Good’ is to be used as an adjective and ‘well’ as an adverb.
e.g.: She speaks good, (incorrect)
She speaks well, (correct)
She is a good speaker.
He plays well.
He’s a good player.
Does your tuition teacher teach welll
– Yes, she’s well, (incorrect)
– Yes, she’s good, (correct)
- As a general rule ‘only’ should be placed immediately before the word it is intended to modify; it never comes at the end of a sentence.
e.g.: I worked only two sums.
Only George succeeded in scoring a century.
I praise him only when he deserves it.
- Two negatives destroy each other. Hence two negatives should not be used in the same sentence,
e.g.: I haven’t got no money, (incorrect)
I haven’t got any money, (correct)
I could not find it nowhere, (incorrect)
I couldn’t find it anywhere, (correct)
The pilot can’t find no place to land, (incorrect)
The pilot can’t find any place to land, (correct)
She never goes with nobody, (incorrect)
She never goes with anybody, (correct)
- ‘So’ as an adverb of degree should not be used absolutely.
e.g.: He is so hardworking, (incorrect)
He is very hardworking, (correct)
This chair is so comfortable, (incorrect)
This chair is very comfortable, (correct)
‘So’ is usually followed by ‘that’.
- Adverbs ending in – ly form their comparative by adding ‘more’ and superlative by adding ‘most’.
e.g.: He works cleanlier than his brother, (incorrect)
He works more cleanly than his brother, (correct)
- ‘Much’ is used with past participles as adjectives and ‘very’ with present participles as adjectives.
The film is very interesting.
The audience is much interested.
Visuals of the Earthquake are very disturbing.
The PM was much disturbed to hear about the I extensive damage to the crops.
Correction of Sentences
- We don’t need no money, (double negatives, so ‘any’)
- He visits us hardly, (hardly here means ‘rarely’ so it should be placed before the verb)
- I know the answer already, (already must be placed before the verb)
- She sang at the concert yesterday, melodiously, (follow the order of manner, place and then time).
- An express train runs more fastly than a freight train. (faster, since we are comparing two objects)
- He is too smart, (very) with ‘too’ something else is expected.
- This place is quiet quite, (distinguish between adjective ‘quiet’ and adverb ‘quite’. The adverb comes before an adjective.)
- This hall is enough large for the party, (enough goes after the adjective) .
- We don’t know nobody, (two negatives are wrong so ; it should be anybody)
- They arrived ten days before, (ago)