Adverbs
He drives well; he's a very careful and considerate driver.

Adverbs

'Adding to verb' words are called adverbs - now that's easy to remember! The adverb is to the verb what the adjective is to the noun: the adverb modifies (changes or varies) the meaning of the verb, for example: 'Paul runs quickly'. Quickly is an adverb which describes how Paul runs.

However, adverbs can also modify adjectives, adverbs and even nouns and pronouns. Most adverbs are formed from adjectives by adding -ly to the end of the adjective, for example: 'slow-slowly'. As always in the English language, there are exceptions so be sure to think first before you choose your answer.

Do this 11-Plus quiz and learn a bit more about adverbs.

  1. In the sentence below, which words are adverbs?
    He is often late for work, and she is never on time.
    'Often' and 'never' are adverbs of frequency: they tell you how often something occurs. Here are some more adverbs of frequency: 'rarely', 'sometimes', 'always', 'seldom' and 'usually'
  2. In the sentence below, which words are adverbs?
    He is a good, honest and decent man.
    'Good', 'honest' and 'decent' are all adjectives: they describe the man
  3. In the sentence below, which words are adverbs?
    She was a friendly person but being friendless made her strive to make friends.
    'Friendly' is one of those adjectives that ends in -ly. Here are some more for you to learn: 'cleanly', 'goodly', 'homely', 'lovely', 'manly' and 'timely'. By the way, here is a useful definition: 'to strive' means to try hard, to do your best, to go all out to do something
  4. In the sentence below, which words are adverbs?
    He drives well; he's a very careful and considerate driver.
    'Careful' and 'considerate' are adjectives. 'Well' is an adverb: it is the adverb of 'good'. In this sentence, 'very' is an adverb. Very can be used both as an adverb and as an adjective: it is an adverb if it is used before an adjective or adverb: 'very careful'. By the way, here is a useful definition: 'considerate' means kind, understanding, respectful or caring
  5. In the sentence below, which words are adverbs?
    His face had a kindly expression, and he spoke kindly to the orphan.
    The first 'kindly' is an adjective: it describes the man's face. The second kindly is an adverb: it modifies (changes or varies) the verb 'to speak'. This example shows that adjectives can also end in -ly: beware of this!
  6. In the sentence below, which words are adverbs?
    She spoke sincerely, but he was too insensitive to understand her.
    'Too' is an adverb that is used to describe something that is more than it should be. By the way, here are some useful definitions: 'sincere' means honest and open; 'insensitive' means unsympathetic, uncaring or thick-skinned
  7. In the sentence below, which words are adverbs?
    He hurriedly left town yesterday.
    'Yesterday' is both a noun and an adverb. In this sentence it is used as an adverb of time. The same could be said of 'tonight' and 'tomorrow' if they are used as adverbs of time
  8. In the sentence below, which words are adverbs?
    Ben arrived early. Sheila arrived even earlier than Ben, but Dave arrived the earliest of all.
    'Even' can also be used as an adverb when you use it to describe a fact that is unexpected, unusual or surprising. 'Early', 'earlier' and 'earliest' are the positive, comparative and superlative forms of the adverb 'early'. Don't forget: adverbs like 'early' form their comparative and superlative forms in the same way as their adjectives. Here are some more adverbs that form their comparative and superlative forms in the same way as their adjectives: 'hard', 'fast', 'long' and 'soon'
  9. In the sentence below, which words are adverbs?
    The greedy pig ate its food very noisily.
    Very can be used both as an adverb and as an adjective: it is an adverb if it is used before an adjective or adverb: since noisily is an adverb, 'very' is being used as an adverb. Noisily is formed from the adjective 'noise': notice that the final -e is changed to -i BEFORE the -ly ending is attached
  10. In the sentence below, which words are adverbs?
    He flew very fast jets during his pilot training.
    Very can be used both as an adverb and as an adjective: it is an adverb if it is used before an adjective or an adverb: 'He always speaks very slowly'. 'Orange is a very bright colour'. On the other hand, it is an adjective if it is used before a noun: 'He put his hand into the very bottom of the large sack'

Author: Frank Evans

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