Types of Adverb

Adverbs Overview and Examples

Adverbs (we've learnt) are words that modify the meaning of verbsOpens in new window, adjectivesOpens in new window or other adverbsOpens in new window.


Adverbs may be subdivided into the following categories:

1.   Adverbs of Manner

Adverbs of manner refer to the manner in which something is done or takes place. Some adverbs commonly used to express this are; “quickly,” “quietly,” “fast,” “slowly,” “immediately,” “simultaneously,” “loudly,” “angrily,” “carefully,” “eagerly,” “easily,” “energetically,” “happily,” “slowly,” “wistfully,” etc.

Examples inlcude:
  • They handled the job enthusiastically.
  • She often does two things simultaneously.
  • As soon as the bell rang, she went to the door immediately.

2.   Adverbs of Degree

Adverbs of degree describe the degree to which something is done.

Examples include:
  • She is considerably hungry for success.
  • He was drunk and could hardly get his hands on the keys.
  • Their performance was immensely brilliant.
Important Hint 

Adverbs of degree are also amplifiers—a form of intensifiers— which can be used to intensify adjectives and other adverbs. See intensifiersOpens in new window

3.   Adverbs of Time

Adverbs of time are words which describe the time when something is done.

Examples include:
  • The event is starting now.
  • She will visit tomorrow.
  • They responded immediately.
  • It is my lifestyle. I do this daily.

4.   Adverbs of Place

Adverbs of place are words which describe the location where the action of the verb takes place.

Examples include:
  • She spent larger part of her life working there.
  • He still comes here.
  • It’s raining somewhere.
  • He lives nearby.

5.   Adverbs of Probability

Adverbs of probability describe the probability or likelihood of something to take place. Words such as “impossibly,” “surely,” “unlikely,” “probably,” “possibly,” “certainly,” etc are used in this expression.

Examples include:
  • He can’t possibly go back there after all the drama that happened.
  • With too many players injured, victory is unlikely.
  • She will probably listen to you.

6.   Adverbs of Purpose

Adverbs of Purpose these are mostly infinitive phrases. They express the reason or the need of something being done.

Examples include:
  • Andy work out frequently to keep up in shape.
  • She studies English grammar to improve her English.
  • I’m studying harder to make good grades.
  • Every morning she wakes up early to get the first bus to work.
  • Faith prays every day to keep up with her tasks.

7.   Adverbs of Frequency

Adverbs of Frequency tells the rate at which something is done.

Examples include:
  • He attends the Sunday service regularly.
  • She comes to the office every day.
  • He often practices piano.
  • We rarely eat lunch together.
  • I never go to bed before 11pm.

Phrases that Act as Adverbs

PhrasesOpens in new window can sometimes take the role of adverbs in English. Some of these include:

1.   Adverbial clause

When a group of words which contains a subjectOpens in new window and a verbOpens in new window functions as adverb and modifies a verb in the sentence, it is known as adverbial clauseOpens in new window.

For Example:
  • When the class teacher comes, she will teach us a new topic.
  • Andy seems so intelligent because he spent more time on studies.

2.   Adverbial phrase

When a group of words without a subjectOpens in new window and a verbOpens in new window functions as an adverb; it takes the place of adverbial phraseOpens in new window in a sentence.

For Example:
  • After his team lost, he came home sitting in silence.
  • I met an old-time friend last night.

3.   Prepositional phrase

For Example:
  • They went through the back door.
  • She visits on weekends.

4.   Infinitive phrase

An infinitive phrase is when a group of words that contains the infinitive toOpens in new window plus the base formOpens in new window of a verbOpens in new window either with or without a modifier or complement takes the role of adverb in a sentence.

For Example:
  • She hurried home to prepare dinner
  • He came often on weekends to see us.