Adverbs are words like slowly, quickly, sweetly, very, tomorrow and soon. An adverb usually modifies a verb or verb phrase and provides information about the manner, time, place or circumstances of the activity or state denoted by the verb or verb phrase.
Study the following sentences:
- The boy ran quickly.
- He came yesterday.
- The children are playing upstairs.
In sentence 1, quickly shows the manner in which the boy runs. In other words, quickly modifies the verb ran.
In sentence 2, yesterday shows the time of the action indicated by the verb came.
In sentence 3, the adverb upstairs shows the place of the activity denoted by the verb.
An adverb can modify an adjective.
- She is very kind.
- That is quite clear.
Here the adverbs very and quite modify the adjectives kind and clear.
An adverb can also modify another adverb.
- She walked very slowly.
Here the adverb very modifies another adverb – slowly.