Join Community | Take A Workshop | Contact Us

Meet Our Editor Demon

Our Editor Demon grammar quizzes are contributed by Jennifer Stewart of Write101.com. Take a moment to visit Jennifer's wonderful site to learn more about grammar and writing.


Do You Subscribe to
Writer's Digest?

Click below and receive a risk-free trial issue.


 


How to Use Adverbs

Adverbs have a similar function to adjectives -- except that adverbs give a helping hand to verbs (and other adverbs and adjectives).

Adverbs are easy to identify; just ask "HOW", "WHEN", "WHERE" or "WHY" after verbs or "HOW" before adjectives or other adverbs.

She speaks QUICKLY. (How does she speak? Quickly.)

He's a VERY happy child. (How happy is he? Very.)

He walked RATHER slowly. (How slowly? Rather.)

Marmaduke ran THERE. ( Where did Marmaduke run? There.) 

They arrived EARLY. (When did they arrive? Early.)

Most adverbs end in -ly, so all in all, they're a fairly predictable gang:

slowly, quickly, laughingly, haltingly, properly etc

Some adverbs (again, like adjectives) can have DEGREES OF COMPARISON:

POSITIVE

Angrily

Quickly

COMPARATIVE

More angrily

More quickly

SUPERLATIVE

Most angrily

Most quickly

 And others, take different forms for each degree:

Badly

Worse

worst

Some other adverbs are : always, there, then, so, here.

Notice that the word "THAT" does NOT appear (and there's a good reason for this ... because "THAT" is NEVER an adverb).

Mum was that busy, she didn't hear me. - WRONG

Mum was SO busy, she didn't hear me. CORRECT

Negative words (not, never, cannot, nothing) by name and by nature are difficult to get along with and they fight most of all with SCARCELY and HARDLY. (You know what it's like - there are often a couple of cousins who just can't be left together without drawing blood - so, the rest of the family decide that the best option is to keep them apart.) This is exactly the situation with SCARCELY and HARDLY and the Negatives.

Marmaduke could not hardly speak... - WRONG. They'll be bashing each other before the ink is dry ... keep them away from each other ... for pity's sake!

Marmaduke could hardly speak .. OR .. Marmaduke could not speak.

For the same reason, avoid DOUBLE NEGATIVES (they fight so much, they completely cancel each other out).

He didn't do nothing. - WRONG.

He did nothing ... OR ... He didn't do anything.

Exercises:

Correct the adverbs in these sentences.

1. The man ran quick.

2. He felt that sick, he couldn't hardly walk.

3. You shouldn't tell that story to nobody.

4. Don't give her none of your cake.

5. Of the two brothers, he played worst.

6. There wasn't hardly nothing she could do to please him.

7. The boy swims real good.

8. That was the most scariest film I've ever seen.

9. I'll see you real soon.

10.There are two things that bother me about this and I don't know which is the most worrying.

CLICK HERE to see how you scored!