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English Grammar Adverb Rules with Examples

What is an Adverb?
An adverb modifies a verb; it indicates how the action of a verb is carried out.


The house stands firmly.
She speaks well.
He dresses beautifully.
It can also modify an adjective or another adverb.


The house is very firm.
She answered most considerately.
Important Adverb Rules With Example
Adverbs of manner such as well, fast, quickly, carefully, calmly, etc. are placed after the verb if there is no object and after the object, if there is one.
For example:

It is raining heavily.
She speaks English well.
Adverbs of time such as always, often sometimes, never, generally, ever merely, seldom, etc. are placed before the verb they qualify.
For example:

I seldom meet him. (Correct)
I meet him seldom. (Incorrect)
Adverbs of degree tell us about the intensity of something. It refers to words which show “how much”, “in what degree” or “to what extent” does the action takes place. The words ‘too’, ‘enough’, ‘very’, ‘just’, ‘almost’, ‘extremely’, etc. are examples of adverbs of degree.
For example:

The water was extremely cold.
She has almost finished.
He was just leaving.
She has almost finished.
The movie is quite interesting.
The meaning of ‘too’ is ‘more than enough.’ Too denotes some kind of excess.
For example:

He is too weak to walk.
It is never too late.
Hence, the use of ‘very’ in place of ‘too’ is wrong.

Enough is placed after the word it qualifies.
For example:

Everyone should be strong enough to support one’s family.
It will be wrong if we write “Everyone should be enough strong to support one’s family.”

‘Much’ is used with past participles.
For example:

He was much disgusted with his life.
The news was much surprising.
‘Very’ is used with present participles.
For example:

He is very disgusted with his life.
The news is very surprising.
When ‘very’ and ‘much’ are used to qualify the superlative form of adjectives/adverbs, ‘the’ should be put before the word ‘very’ and after the word ‘much’.
For example:

Rim is the very best boy in his class.
Rim is much the best boy in his class.
Adverbs of Affirmation or Negation refer to words that assert the action emphatically.
Consider these examples:

He certainly was a winner among them
Luckily he survived the crash
‘No sooner’ should always be followed by ‘than.’
For example:

No sooner I saw him I trembled with fear. (Incorrect)
No sooner did I see him than I trembled with fear. (Correct)
‘No’ should not be used with the words, which have negative meaning if we want the sentence to be negative.
For example:

I received no letter neither from him nor from her. (Incorrect)
I received letter neither from him nor from her. (Correct)
‘Of course’ is used to denote a natural consequence. It should not be used in place of certainly, undoubtedly.
For example:

Of course, he is the best player. (Incorrect)
He is certainly the best player. (Correct)
Instead of saying that “Cow’s milk is too nutritious” We should say that “Cow’s milk is very nutritious.”

Following are Common Rules of Adverbs in General
‘Only’ is used before the word it qualifies.
For example:

Only I spoke to him.
I only spoke to him.
I spoke to him only.
‘Else’ is followed by ‘but’ and not by ‘than.’
For example:

It is nothing else but hypocrisy.
‘As’ is often used in a sentence though there is no need for it.
For example:

He is elected as the President. (Incorrect)
He is elected President. (Correct)
‘Perhaps’ means possibly whereas ‘probably’ means most likely.
For example:

Where is Govinda? Perhaps he is not here. (Incorrect)
Where is Govinda? Probably he is not here. (Correct)
NEXT: Preposition Rules

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