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Adverbs More than just adding -ly
What is an adverb?/Adverbs modify verbs An adverb is a word that modifies, or describes a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. The most common function of adverbs is to modify verbs. An adverb may tell how, how often, when or where about a verb: (ex. The students study.) How do the students study? The students study well in groups. (efficiently, reluctantly, unproductively, happily, better) How often do the students study? The students study everyday. (always, never, frequently, seldom, daily). When do the students study? Students are studying now. (today, yesterday, tomorrow, later, then) Where do the students study? The students study everywhere. (there, everywhere, downstairs, inside, abroad)
Adverbs modify verbs cont. When modifying a verb, the adverb can occupy various positions in a sentence. Tomorrow, I’m leaving for Spain. I’m leaving tomorrow for Spain. I’m leaving for Spain, tomorrow. Softly, she sang to the baby. She sang softly to the baby. She softly sang to the baby. NOTE: The placement of adverbs in relation to verbs can change the emphasis or even meaning of a phrase. Ex.1 John was just picked to host the program. (picked just now) Just John was picked to host the program. (only John was picked) John was picked to host just the program. (just picked for the program) Ex.2 She hungrily ate the dinner her mom had cooked. (ate hungrily) She ate the dinner her mom had cooked hungrily (cooked hungrily).
Adverbs modify adjectives Adverbs that modify adjectives or adverbs are called intensifiers (intensifiers usually answer the question: to what extent?). They are also called adverbs of degree because they tell how much or how little. Adverbs can describe adjectives. Ex. The cat is cute. How cute? The cat is so cute. I saw a funny movie. How funny? I saw a ridiculously funny movie! The lecture was interesting. How interesting? The lecture was quite interesting. NOTE: An adverb that modifies an adjective (”completely prepared") usually appears immediately in front of the word it modifies.
Adverbs modify adverbs Some adverbs modify other adverbs. Ex. He plays piano well. (How well?) He plays piano exceptionally well. Some whales are spotted rarely. (How rarely?) Some whales are spotted extremely rarely. She spoke indiscreetly. (How indiscreetly?) She spoke too indiscreetly. NOTE: An adverb that modifies another adverb ("very well") usually appears immediately in front of the word it modifies.
How are adverbs formed? Most adverbs are formed by simply adding –ly to adjectives: Ex. active -> actively; intelligent-> intelligently; quick -> quickly, strong -> strongly, etc. Special cases when adding -ly: Adjectives ending in -y change the y to i before adding the -ly. Ex. angry -> angrily adjectives ending in -e drop the -e before adding the -ly. Ex. true -> truly NOTE: some words ending in –ly are usually adjectives: ex. friendly, lively, lonely, etc. Some adverbs do not end in –ly: ex. sometimes, later, often, soon, here, there, everywhere, so, too, fast, well, hard, long, straight, etc. Refer to your “cheat sheet” for a more extensive list of adverbs.
For Thursday… HW Grammar Book: p. p.113 (A+B), and p.114 (A+B). Mini-lesson on comparative and superlative forms of adverbs
Bibliography Heller, D. (1998). Up, up and away: A book about adverbs. Putnam: New York. (2009). Writer’s choice: Grammar and composition. McGraw- Hill: Columbus, OH.
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