Adverbs modify verbs or adjectives to describe how an action (verb) is performed, how intense a quality (adjective) is, etc.:
No estudiamos demasiado.
Es bastante difícil. | She speaks well. (adverb 'well' modifies verb 'speak')
We do not study too much.
It's quite difficult. (adverb 'quite' modifies adj. 'difficult') |
• Adverbs haveno feminine or plural forms.
Son bastante difíciles.
Las peras están demasiado viejas.
Me gustan mucho las fiestas. | They’re quite difficult.
The pears are too old.
I like parties a lot. |
→ Some adverbs, however, are also adjectives, so they must agree with the noun in number and gender: Tiene muchos problemas, bastantes preocupaciones y demasiadas deudas
Adjectives arewords that we use to describe nouns, as in I have a new, red, velvet bag. New, red and velvet are adjectives used to say what the bag is like.
Adjectives usually come before the noun they are modifying.
Adjectives will never vary according to the form of the noun
Adverbs are used to describe verbs, as in I walked slowly and carefully along the cliff. Slowly and carefully describethe way the speaker was walking.
Adverbs can come before or after the verb they are modifying.
Adverbs can be recognised by their form, function and position.
10.1 Function of the adverb
It can modify a range of other words or even sentences or phrases. In the examples below, the adverb is in bold and the verb is in italics.
It can change a verb:
- Dave eats loudly. (Howdoes Dave eat?)
- Ann works locally. (Where does Ann work?)
- She never exercises. (When does she exercise?)
It can change an adjective:
- She is reallypretty.
It can change another adverb:
- Bert drives incrediblyslowly.
It can change a whole sentence:
- Obviously, I can't know everything.
It can change aprepositional phrase:
- It's immediately inside the door.
10.2 Form of the adverb
Most adverbs can be formed from adjectives by adding ‘ly’ to the end of the adjective.
slow-slowly, quick-quickly, grand-grandly.
If the word ends in a ‘y’ like ‘happy’ then we change the ‘y’ to ‘i’. For example: happy-happily.
There are some exceptions. In these casesthe adverb does not change its form; examples are as follows: fast, very, never, always, often, still...etc
Some adverbs are unlike their verbs (irregulars), for example:
good has the adverb well.
10.3 Position of the adverb
The adverb has three main points of position:
- Before the subject: Now you can learn about grammar.
- Between thesubject and the main verb: We frequently do exercises to remember everything.
- And at the end of the sentence, or after the object: There’s no need to rush, you can take it slowly.
But, careful: the adverb will be placed after the verb to be, as in: she is always late.
10.4 Position of the adjective
The adjective always comes before the noun. When more than oneadjective is used, we follow a specific order. For example: I just got a new big, red, leather handbag from my sister.
The general rule for the order of the adjectives is as follows:
opinion + size + age + shape + colour + origin + material + purpose + NOUN |
Identify whether the word in bold is an adjective or an adverb.
1. I want a chocolate ice-cream.
2. Your shoes arebeautiful.
3. The cat crept slowly towards the bird.
4. Harold eats amazingly quickly.
5. We were well positioned for the attack.
6. I’m late for work.
7. It’s difficult to believe you never got fired.
8. The worst thing is I always knew this would happen.
Choose the correct form of the word in brackets.
1. Sorry I’m _____ (late). I have had a lot of...