The Adverb

An Adverb is a word which modifies the meaning of a verb or an Adjective or another Adverb.
  • Jagan writes well. (writes - verb)
  • This fruit is very sweet. (sweet - adjective)
  • Sudha sings very beautifully. (beautifully - adverb)
Adverbs modify phrases.
  • Kandan was standing close beside his friend.
Adverbs, placed at the beginning of a sentence modify the whole sentence.
  • Luckily he escaped unhurt.

Kinds of Adverbs

I) Simple Adverbs

1. Adverbs of Tense / Time (answer to the question 'when?')
    He comes here daily.

2. Adverbs of frequency (show how often)
    I have told you ten times.

3. Adverbs of Place (answer to the question 'where?')
    Come in.

4. Adverbs of Manner (show how or in what manner)
    That boy works hard.

5. Adverbs of Degree or Quantity (show how much or in what degree)
    I am very glad.

6. Adverbs of Affirmation and Negation
    Surely your answer is right.
    I have never done it.

7. Adverbs of Reason (answer to the question 'why?')
    Kannan is sick, therefore he is absent for work.

II)  When Adverbs are used to ask questions they are called Interrogative Adverbs.
      Where?  When?  Why?  How?

III) When an Adverb (e.g Where) relates or refers back to its antecedent it is called a Relative Adverb.
      Show me the house where ihe lived.

IV) Nouns expressing adverbial relations of time, place, distance, weight, value, measurement, degree
      etc., are often used as Adverbs.  These are called Adverbial Accusative.
      He went home.

Comparison of Adverbs

1. If the Adverb is of one syllable the comparative 'er' as suffix and the superlative is formed by adding.
    'est' to the positive.
    Fast, Faster, Fastest.

2. Adverbs ending in 'ly' take 'more' and 'most' to form the comparative and superlative.
    swiftly, more swiftly, most swiftly.

3. Some Adverbs form in an irregular manner.
    Exception - Badly, worse, worst.

4. Some cannot be compared.
    Now, then, where, there.


Find the adjectives in the first sentence and fill the gap with the adverb.
Example: Ramesh is a slow learner.  He learns slowly.

  1. Joanne is happy.  She smiles_________.
  2. The boy is loud.  He shouts_________.
  3. Her English is fluent.  She speaks English_________.
  4. My neighbour is a careless driver.  He drives_________.
  5. The painter is awful.  He paints_________.
  6. Jim is a wonderful piano player.  He plays the piano_________.
  7. This girl is very quiet.  She often sneaks out of the house_________.
  8. She is a good dancer.  She dances really_________.
  9. This exercise is simple.  You_________have to put one word in each space.
  10. Our mum was angry.  She spoke to us_________.
Answers: 1. happily  2. loudly  3. fluently  4. carelessly  5. awfully  6. wonderfully  7. quietly  8. well                9. simply  10. angrily


Fill in the correct form of the words in brackets (comparative or superlative).
  1. My house is (big) than yours.
  2. This flower is (beautiful) than that one.
  3. This is the (interesting) book I have ever read.
  4. Non-smokers usually live (long) than smokers.
  5. Which is the (dangerous) animal in the world?
  6. A holiday by the sea is (good) than a holiday in the mountains.
  7. It is strange but often a coke is (expensive) than a beer.
  8. Who is the (rich) woman on earth?
  9. The weather this summer is even (bad) than last summer.
  10. He was the (clever) thief of all.
Answers: 1. bigger  2. more beautiful  3. most interesting  4. longer  5. most dangerous  6. better                7. more expensive  8. richest  9. worse  10. cleverest


Fill in the correct adverb form (comparative or superlative) of the adjectives in brackets.
  1. I speak English (fluent) now than last year.
  2. She greeted me (polite) of all.
  3. She smiled (happy) than before.
  4. This girl dances (graceful) of all.
  5. Could you write (clear)?
  6. Planes can fly (high) than birds.
  7. He had an acccident last year.  Now, he drives (careful) than before.
  8. Jim can run (fast) than John.
  9. Our team played (bad) of all.
  10. He worked (hard) than ever before.
Answers: 1. more fluently  2. most politely  3. more happily  4. most gracefully  5. more clearly                          6. higher  7. more carefully  8. faster  9. worst  10. harder


Rewrite the sentences and put the adverbs in correctly.
  1. I have been to Chennai. (often)
  2. Have you been to Vizag? (ever)
  3. He plays golf on Sundays. (sometimes)
  4. The weather is bad in November. (always)
  5. It rains in Ramnad. (never)
  6. We have fish for dinner. (seldom)
  7. She will see him. (rarely)
  8. Peter doesn't get up before seven. (usually)
  9. They do not play tennis on Sundays. (always)
  1. I have often been to Chennai.
  2. Have you ever been to Vizag?
  3. Sometimes he plays golf on Sundays.
  4. The weather is always bad in November.
  5. It never rains in Ramnad.
  6. We seldom have fish for dinner.
  7. She will rarely see him.
  8. Peter doesn't usually get up before seven.
  9. They do not always play tennis on Sundays.
Next: Preposition

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