Written by tutor Alexa S.

What is an adverb?

An adverb describes a verb or an adjective. It can describe when, where, or how about an action.

When: After breakfast, he goes to work.

Where: He went upstairs.
How: He quickly ran to the bathroom.

Adverbs are different than adjectives (adjectives describe nouns). However, adverbs are often adjective words that end in -ly.

Adjectives: sad, loving, random
Adverbs: sadly, lovingly, randomly

Adverbs can be one word or a group of words. A group of words that function as adverbs is called an adverbial phrase.

At the end of the day, they wanted to lie down.

You can have more than one adverb or adverbial phrase in one sentence, sometimes describing separate verbs or adjectives.

Hopefully I finish this paper by tomorrow or I will be in really big trouble.

Sentence Structure:

Adverbs or adverb phrases can come at the beginning or end of a sentence. They can also be next to the verb or adjective they are describing.

Yesterday I took the train.
She likes to eat carrots on occasion.
We desperately needed to get gas for the car.

Adverbs Practice Quiz

Now, test your knowledge by answering the questions on adverbs!

Which of the words in the following sentence are adverbs?
If he drives too quickly, politely tell him to slow down.

too quickly, politely
if, politely
The correct answer here would be A.

“Too quickly” describes how he drives, and “politely” describes how to tell him to slow down.

Which of these phrases does not include an adverb?

almost ran
left yesterday
big box
cried bitterly
The correct answer here would be C.

“Big” is an adjective describing the box (a noun).

In the following sentence, what verb or adjective does the adverb happily describe?
We had climbed to the top of the mountain happily, but coming down wasn’t as fun.

coming down
the mountain
The correct answer here would be C.

“Happily” describes how “we” climbed.

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