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  ENGLISH GRAMMAR for ESL learners  


ADVERBS
Formation and Position of Adverbs



Adverbs are used to say how, how often, where or in what manner we do something.
  • She danced gracefully.
  • They were all chatting happily when we arrived.
  • He drove carefully along the icy road.
  • The technician explained the problem very clearly.
  • Tom often travels by train.
  • The children are playing outside.
  • Jane really likes that band.

Formation of Adverbs  Adjective  Adverb 
Most adverbs are formed by adding -ly to the adjective. slow
quick
wide
slowly
quickly
widely
If the adjective ends in -l:
double the l
:
careful
hopeful
graceful
carefully
hopefully
gracefully
If the adjective ends in -y:
change the y to i:
busy
easy
lucky
busily
easily
luckily
If the adjective ends in -able, -ible, or -le:
replace the final -e with -y.
probable
incredible
humble
probably
incrediibly
humbly
If the adjective ends in -ic:
add -ally.
Except:
public → publicly
basic
dynamic
energetic
basically
dynamically
energetically
Some exceptions:
good
hard
fast
early
late
daily
straight
well
hard
fast
early
late
daily
straight
Please note:

Although they end in -ly, the following words are adjectives, NOT adverbs :

friendly, lively, lonely, lovely, silly, ugly
 for example : a friendly person, a silly remark, an ugly duckling, and so on ...

Position of Adverbs 
Different types of adverbs go in different positions.

Type  Position  Example 
manner Usually go after the verb, or after the verb and the object. He spoke clearly.
He read the instructions carefully.
He read carefully the instructions
If the object is long, the adverb can go before the verb. He slowly moved the newspaper and picked up the book.
frequency They go after the verb ‘be’. Tom is often late.
They go before all other verbs. Eva sometimes takes the bus.
Between two verbs if there are two. You can always change it later.
After the first verb if there are more than two. I would never have found the way.
Before two verbs if the second verb is an infinitive. We generally try to eat healthy food.
Frequency phrases (e.g. once a week) go at the beginning or at the end of a sentence. Every so often Anna goes to the library.
She plays tennis once a week.
place Here, there, inside,etc. usually go at the end of a sentence. Come and sit here.
They are waiting inside.
degree Really, quite, etc. usually go before the verb.
If there are two verbs they go between.
A lot, very much, etc. go at the end.
I really love that dress.
I would just like a glass of water.
He watches television a lot.


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Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.

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