The main building blocks of the English language are the different parts of speech. There are eight such parts, one of which is the adverb.
As the name suggests the adverb is a word that modifies a verb. Obviously, along with the noun the verb is a vital part of speech and the adverb gives an additional dimension to the action that is being portrayed by the verb.
Take a look at the following two sentences:
"The son LOOKS at his father."
"The son LOOKS GENTLY at his father."
Here the word GENTLY adds more meaning to the way a son looks at his father. In this example, GENTLY is the adverb modifying the verb LOOKS.
Suppose the sentence was:
“The son LOOKS ADORINGLY at his father.”
You can see how the two sentences differ when the verb LOOKS is modified by two different adverbs, namely GENTLY and ADORINGLY.
Just as adjectives support the noun the adverb supports the verb. Just as adjectives fall into different categories so do adverbs. Adverbs fall into different categories based on what they relate to. In our example GENTLY and ADORINGLY are adverbs that relate to Manner. Other categories to which adverbs can be placed are Adverbs of Time/Frequency, Adverbs of Place and Adverbs of Degree.
Examples of adverbs of time/frequency are 'always,' 'afterwards' and 'soon.' For instance, ‘the teacher is so harsh that he ALWAYS derides the students’ is a sentence in which ALWAYS is the adverb modifying the verb 'derides' and here the adverb is one of time/frequency.
Examples of adverbs of place are 'below,' 'downstairs' and 'upstairs'. For instance, ‘the cook called the children DOWNSTAIRS for dinner’ is a sentence in which DOWNSTAIRS is the adverb of place.
Examples of adverbs of degree are 'nearly,' 'really' and 'almost.' For instance, ‘The experienced marathon runner was HARDLY tired when he touched the finishing line’ is a sentence in which HARDLY is an adverb of degree.
You will see from the examples that the adverbs relate perfectly to what the category describes. Take the quiz that follows and learn about the different types of adverbs.