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Adverbs

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THE FORM OF ADVERBS

  • In most cases an adverb is formed by adding 'ly' to an adjective.
      Examples: happy --> happily; lucky --> luckily; slow --> slowly; cheap --> cheaply.
    • Time goes quickly.
    • He slowly walked to the door.
    • She certainly has an interesting life.
    • He carefully picked up the sleeping child.
  • Some adverbs have the same form as the adjective.
      Examples: hard, fast, late, early, straight, better.
    • It is a fast car.
    • He drives very fast.
    • He works hard.
    • He is a hard worker.
    • He is a better swimmer than me.
    • He swims better than me.

WELL & GOOD

WELL is the adverb that corresponds to the adjective GOOD.
    Examples:
  • He is a good student.
  • He studies well.
  • She is a very good piano player.
  • She plays the piano very well.
  • They are good swimmers.
  • They swim very well.

COMPARING ADVERBS

When comparing adverbs, the same structures are used as for comparing adjectives.
  • Comparative + than.
  • As....As.
  • Not as ... as.
      Examples:
    • She plays the piano better than her brother.
    • Generally, women live longer than men.
    • Roger dances as well as Michael.
    • Paul speaks French as fluently as Herman.
    • Roger does not dance as well as Michael.
    • Paul does not speak French as fluently as Herman.

MAIN CLASSES OF ADVERBS

  • Adverbs of manner. Adverbs of manner answer the question how? They are generally placed after the direct object or after the verb.
      Examples:
    • They speak Italian badly. (after the object)
    • He swims well, (after the verb).
    • James coughed loudly to attract her attention.
    • She moved beautifully, like a gazelle.

  • Adverbs of place. Adverbs of place answer the question where? They are generally placed after the direct object or after the verb.
      Examples:
    • We bought our car here. (after the object)
    • I looked everywhere. (after the verb)

  • Adverbs of time. Adverbs of time answer the question when? Generally, the adverb of time is placed at the beginning or end of a sentence.
      Examples:
    • He is arriving soon.
    • Then we went to bed.
    • I'm busy today.
    • Finally she accepted his apology.
    • They will stay permanently.

YET and STILL

Yet and still, though having also other meanings, are adverbs of time, corresponding to the Italian "ancóra" (still, and yet in the negative), or "già" (yet in the interrogative).
  • YET: is placed at the end of the sentence or after not Yet means that something did not happen until now, but may happen in the future.
      Examples:
    • Have you finished your work yet? No, not yet.
    • They haven't met him yet.
  • STILL is usually placed before the verb but after the verb to be, and is used in affirmative sentences.
      Examples:
    • I am still hungry.
    • She is still waiting for you.
    • Jack still walks 10 kilometres a day although he's over ninety.
    • My grandmother still talks of her childhood as if it were yesterday.

Adverbs of frequency

Adverbs of frequency answer the question how often? The most common are:
  • always = sempre
  • generally = in genere
  • usually = di solito
  • often = spesso
  • sometimes = talvolta
  • rarely / seldom = raramente
  • never = non...mai
Adverbs of frequency are placed:
  • after to be, when to be is not an auxiliary.
  • before the verb: in simple tenses.
  • after the first auxiliary in compound tenses.
  • Often, usually, sometimes and occasionally can go at the beginning of a sentence.
      Examples:
    • He is always late for work.
    • She often visits her mother.
    • Henry rarely eats meat.
    • Jack has never been to Italy.
    • We are sometimes invited to dinner.
    • I sometimes go to England in the Summer.
    • They are always at home.
    • She has neverlearnt French.
    • Sometimes we stay at home and watch television.

Adverbs of degree

Adverbs of degree tell about the intensity, or degree of an action. Some common adverbs of degree are: almost, nearly, quite, just, too, enough, hardly, scarcely, completely.

Adverbs of intensity, degree or quantity are generally placed

  • Before the adjective or adverb being modified.
  • Before the main verb.
      Examples:
    • It was too cold to swim.
    • He is just leaving.
    • They have almost finished.
    • She doesn't quite know what she'll do after university.
    • They are completely exhausted from the trip.
    • I am too tired to go out tonight.

ENOUGH

Enough is placed after an adjective but before a noun.
    Examples:
  • We have enough bread.
  • They don't have enough food.
  • The dress was big enough for her.
  • She is old enough to make her own decisions.

Interrogative adverbs

The most common interrogative adverbs are: why, where, how, when, how often.
    Examples:
  • Why are you so late?
  • Where is my passport?
  • How are you?
  • How often do you go to the library?
  • When does the train arrive?