Adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives, even other adverbs. They describe the manner in which something was done, when or where something happens, and to what degree or purpose. Many adverbs end in "-ly," which makes them easier to identify (but watch out for adjectives that end in "-ly," such as "friendly" or "lovely"). These are the words that give us a better understand of the situation at hand. It can tell us how much or how often something happens. It also shares the authors opinion of the scenario with the audience. All and all the benefits for the reader and their understanding of what the author is sharing with them. You will often find that adverbs can be spread over several words and are not single words in some cases. They are often expressed as phrases or clauses. There are also some adverbs you will want to avoid using in your writing. These words such as extremely and very are called intensifiers. Some feel that these words demonstrate a limited use of vocabulary and they prefer not to use them. Please note: Answer sheets are fully provided, but in many cases there are many open response questions available here.
Adjectives that describe a noun can become adverbs when the sentence is rewritten so that the verb is described instead. Rewrite each sentence below to make the adjectives work as adverbs.
You can turn many adjectives into adverbs by adding –ly to the end of the adjective. If the adjective ends in a consonant then y, change the y to i before adding –ly. If the adjective ends in a vowel then an l, keep the l and add an additional –ly
Some adverbs tell us how often the verb in the sentence happens. Read each sentence below. Then rewrite it, including the word in the parentheses.
Adverbs can give us more information about a verb by telling us when something happened, or is happening. Complete each sentence by using a common sense word arrangement.
Adverbs that end in -ly need an extra modifier to help them make these forms. Complete the chart with the correct comparative forms. Follow the example.
Comparative compare the action of two people or things. Superlative compare the action (verb) of a group larger than two. Example: Hank arrived the soonest.
Some words give rise to more information about a verb in a sentence. They answer the questions how, how much, where, or when.
Where are they? Spend your time tearing apart the sentences you come across. Underline the verb it modifies.
An adverb gives more information about a verb in a sentence. They answer the questions of how, how much, where, or when. Read each sentence below. Then rewrite it, adding information that answers the question in parentheses.
They often give you more information about a verb in a sentence. They also can answer the questions how, how much, where, or when. Rewrite each sentence below so that it includes the type of adverb indicated.
Read each sentence below. Then rewrite it three ways, each time adding information that answers the question in the left column.
They can change the way you read or understand a sentence and are often seen as pivotal to great writing.
This is a complete synthesis activity that you can give to students that have a good understanding of this topic. Demonstrate your understanding of adverbs by writing original sentences that contain adverbs that answer the questions in the left-hand column. Use the pictures for inspiration.
Find them within the sentences. On the line, write whether the word tells how, when, or where.
How to Use Adverbs in a Sentence Properly
Adverbs are underused in many English sentences, often because many people aren't sure how to properly utilize them. Many will use a modifier that they think fits the situation, only to find out that your term doesn't fit at all or could be replaced with a different one entirely. Adverbs are easy to use in a sentence, but there are plenty of rules to follow in order to ensure that your sentences are grammatically correct and not just aesthetically pleasing.
1. Avoid Ending Sentences With These
Ending sentences with adverbs is grammatically incorrect, and using too many adverbs throughout your writing can come across as awkward and make your writing dull. The best way to avoid ending sentences with adverbs is to only use adverbs when absolutely necessary. For example, you don't need an adverb if you can replace it with very or extremely.
It was really really really hot outside today is an example of bad sentence structure. Instead, try: It was incredibly hot outside today.
2. Limit How Many You Use
Limit how many adverbs you use in a sentence or paragraph. You can come off as over-the-top and even verbose if you don't keep an eye on usuage. If you have several in a row, try using fewer or cutting them out altogether.
For example: "I saw her quickly move across campus to class, happily skipping and playing with others along the way." The phrase quickly moved tells us that she moved quickly without needing quickly again. The word happily skipped tells us that she was happy without needing happily again, which is unnecessary. By saying that she played with others, we get all of those feelings without any adverbs!
3. Emphasize Verbs Over Adverbs
If you have trouble with verbs, consider writing a new sentence that emphasizes them. For example, imagine you're writing a description of an athlete winning his race. The adverb is victorious; if you take it out of your sentence and replace it with a verb (i.e., won), your reader will still know what happened and might gain additional insight into how he did it.
4. Limit Your Use of Very
If you're struggling with finding new ways to describe actions and events, try limiting your use of very. Instead of saying she was very tired, consider describing how she showed signs of fatigue (her eyes were droopy). This can help you find inventive ways to show rather than tell.
Remember that they should be used sparingly; they add flavor but don't always improve meaning.
5. Don't Turn Them Into Adjectives:
Just because it is easy to make a sentence using an adverb into an adjective doesn't mean you should do it. Words like really or actually are perfect examples of what not to do. These become adjectives when we add -ly at their end.
Not doing so will certainly improve your writing. This way, your sentences will be shorter and clearer for sure. Plus, using too many adverbs can sometimes make your writing seem quite amateur.
As you can see, it is vital to use adverbs correctly. By using these terms it is an easy way to add some flair and style to your writing, but it can completely ruin what you're trying to say if misused. This list of tips has shown you that adverbs are pretty simple. When you break them down, making sure that you use them correctly will be easier than ever. Now go forth and make those sentences better!
Fun Project Idea: Have your students perform the Schoolhouse Rock "Lolly, Lolly, Lolly" song (available on YouTube) for extra reinforcement of the definition and use of adverbs.