What is an Adverb
An Adverb modifies (adds something to the meaning of) any Part of Speech except a Noun or a Pronoun. It depicts the frequency of any happening. It explains the happening by using following degrees such as how, where, when etc. For example:
- This flower is very beautiful. ("very" is an Adverb, because it adds to the meaning of an Adjective – "beautiful").
- The sun shines brightly. ("brightly" is an Adverb, because it modifies a Verb – "shines").
- She sings very sweetly, ("very" is an Adverb, because it modifies another Adverb – "sweetly").
Modification of a Verb takes place by following course of actions:
- How any ation is occurred.
- Where any action is occurred.
- At what time any action is occurred.
- How often (frequency) this action is occurred.
On the basis of these four characteristics adverb is divided into following five kinds:
Adverbs of Manner: where how and intensity of manner is described e.g. The girl works hard.
Adverbs of Place: Where the specific point in time is highlighted e.g. new, inside, somewhere, there etc.
Adverb of Time: It shows time i.e. "when". For example:
- He has heard this before.
- I have written to him already.
Adverbs of Affirmation and Negation: Here confirmation or negation of anything is described. For example:
- She does not know him.
- He has certainly killed her.
Adverbs of Frequency: It shows how often something is being done. For example:
- The teacher called again.
- She seldom visits there.
Position of the Adverb
The Position of the Adverb in a sentence is governed by the following considerations:
Use of Adverb
Here are a few important points about the use of Adverb
- Some Adverbs, unless placed immediately before the words they modify, change the very sense of the sentence.
- He only buys pictorial magazines these days. ("Buys" but does not "read").
- He buys only pictorial magazines these days. ("Buys" no magazine that is not "Pictorial").
- He buys pictorial magazines only these days. (Did not buys ever "before").
"Chiefly" and "Solely" are also Adverbs of this every kind.
- Some Adverbs have two forms with different meanings and should, therefore, be used with great care.
- I went direct to the Manage. (One form)
No action was taken directly. (The other form)
- Books were given free. (One form)
He moved freely amongst the guests. (The other form)
- The train came late. (One form)
We have lately come here. (The other form)
- She sat near me. (One form)
I lost nearly Rs.100. (The other form)
- An Adverb is not placed between an infinitive and its sign "to".
- I request you to kindly forgive him. (Incorrect).
- I request you kindly to forgive him. (Correct).
- "The" is used as an Adverb, when it precedes a comparative and means "by what amount" or "by that amount".
Example: The more men have, the more they desire.
Use of Some Particular Adverbs
Very and Much
"Very" is used:
- With Adjectives and Adverbs of the positive Degree; as,
- He was very happy.
- She runs very fast.
- With Present Participles; as,
The scenery of Kashmir is very charming.
- With the following Past Participles;
Pleased, Surprised, Annoyed, Tired, Grieved, Pained, Delighted, Experienced, Contented, Dejected.
"Much" is used:
- With Adjectives and Adverbs of the comparative Degree; as,
The patient is much better today.
- With an Adjective in the Superlative Degree to intensify its meaning; as
She is much the tallest (by far the tallest) girl in the class.
- With Past Participles; as,
They were much surprised to see his tricks.
Before and Ago
"Before" means formerly, and is used in respect of a point of time; as,
It never happened before.
"Ago" is used to denote a period of time from the present dating backwards; as,
She came here three year ago.
Too, Very and Quite
"Too" signifies more than enough, and is used in a negative sense to be equal to "so that not"; as,
- It is too hot to sit inside (=so hot that one cannot sit inside).
- It is never too late (=exceedingly late) to mend.
"Too" preceded by "only" has a positive sense; as,
He is only too glad (i.e. exceedingly glad) to help the poor.
"Very" conveys the idea of high degree or extent; as,
It is very hot inside.
"Quite" conveys the idea of completely or altogether; as,
His work is quite satisfactory.
So, As, But and Needs
"So" is used in Negative Sentences with its correlative "as", as,
You are not so clever as your brother.
"As" is used in Affirmative Sentences and is followed by a correlative "as" as,
Akbar was as strong as his father.
"But" when used as an Adverb, means only or also; as,
He is but a fool.
"Needs" is used as an Adverb; as,
You needs must go home.
Dear and Dearly
"Dear" and not "Dearly" is used after Verbs like cost, sell, and pay; as,
- Rice sells dear now-a-day.
- It will cost you dear to plot against him.
"Dearly" is used in the sense of "tenderly"; as,
She loved her father dearly.
Common Errors in the Use of Adverbs
Any violation of the rules regarding the correct use of an Adverb, leads to a serious mistake, as shown in the following sentences;
- I requested him to kindly help me. I requested him kindly to help me.
- She is very happier today. She is very happy today.
- He is too strong. He is very strong.
- I work hardly on Sunday. I hardly work on Sunday.
- If you attempt it, it will cost you dearly. If you attempt it, it will cost you dear.
- Yes, I shall not go there. No, I shall not go there.
- This letter is bad written. This letter badly written.
- Alms were given free. Alms were given freely.
- She was only born last month. She was born only last month.
- He died two months before. He died two months ago.
- I went directly to my father. I went direct to my father.
- He never will mend his ways. He will never mend his ways.
- Cloth sells dearly now-a-days. Cloth sells dear now-a-days.
- This water is very hot to drink. This water is too hot to drink.
- Walking is quite useful for health. Walking is very useful for health.
- This box is too much heavy for me. This box is much too heavy for me.
- I am too glad to see you. I am very glad to see you.
- Go on trying, till you do not succeed. Go on trying till you succeed.
- She was named as Sehar. She was named Sehar.
- He will not enter unless you do not allow. He will not enter unless you allow.
- Do you know to swim? Do you know how to swim?
- I am very obliged to him. I am much obliged to him.
- You had better to give in. You had better give in.
- He died four days before. He died four days ago.
- This is the very better pen I have. This is the very best pen I have.