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Adverbs: Definition, Types and Examples


A word that usually qualifies a verb, an adjective or another adverb is called an adverb. An adverb may also qualify a sentence at times.


He runs fast.(fast qualifies the verb run)

He is very good.(very qualifies the adjective good).

He runs very fast.(very qualifies the adverb fast)

Luckily I've got the prize.(Luckily qualifies the whole sentence)

Adverbs can be divided into several classes depending on how they are used.

1. Simple or Independent Adverbs:

Simple or independent adverbs are the words that simply qualify an adjective, a verb, an adverb or a sentence.


He will go soon.(soon qualifies go)

He is very beautiful. (very qualifies beautiful)

He runs very fast. (very qualifies fast) 

Fortunately, he has been selected for the job.( Fortunately qualifies the whole sentence)

Simple adverbs can be divided into many categories according to their meaning. 

A. Adverbs of Time or Frequency:

Adverbs of time or frequency show when or how often an action takes place. When, while, already, today, yesterday, tomorrow, frequently, constantly, continually, now, then, always, never, ever, soon, usually, before, daily, often, sometimes, ago, once, twice, early, immediately etc are adverbs of time or frequency.


I met him today.

He came here yesterday.

I go there sometimes.

He always goes to school on foot.

He will come soon.

B. Adverbs of Place:

Adverbs of place show where an action takes place. Here, there, where, near, far, above, below etc are adverbs of place.


Come here.

Where is he going?

He lives near us.

C. Adverbs of Manner or Quality:

Adverbs of manner or quality show how an action takes place. Well, badly, slow, slowly, fast, thus, quickly, moderately, highly, etc are adverbs of manner or quality.


He knows it well.

Smoking has affected him badly.

Come quickly.

Drive slow.

D. Adverbs of Quantity or Degree or Number or Intensity:

Adverbs of quantity, degree, number or intensity show the quantity, degree, number or intensity. They answer how much or what extent of an action. Almost, too, very, nearly, hardly, much, less, least, extremely, scarcely, little, more, once, twice, quite, just etc are adverbs of this type.


He is too angry.

He hardly reads books.

I know more than he.

E. Adverbs of Affirmation and Negation:

Adverbs of affirmation and negation show affirmation or negation. Yes, no, certainly, never, by all means, by no means, really etc are adverbs of affirmation and negation.


Yes, I know him.

I have never seen the Tajmahal.

It is by no means possible.

F. Adverbs of Cause and Effect:

Adverbs of cause and effect show the reason and consequence of an action. Therefore, accordingly, consequently, hence etc are adverbs of this type.


I, therefore, request you.

Consequently he had to suffer.

G. Adverbs of Order:

Adverbs of order show the order of an action. First, secondly, last, lastly etc.


He came first.

Secondly, I would not recommend it.

2. Conjunctive and Relative Adverbs: 

Conjunctive and relative adverbs:

Conjunctive and relative adverbs join two independent sentences or clauses. Examples of conjunctive and relative adverbs include why, where, when, while etc. The only difference between the two types is that a relative adverb always has an antecedent while a conjunctive adverb has no antecedent.

Examples of Relative Adverbs:

I know the man who came here.

She knows the reason why he did it.

I know the address where he lives.

The man, the reason and the address are antecedents of who, why and where respectively.

Examples of Conjunctive Adverbs:

I know who came here.

She knows why he did it.

I know where he lives.

Here the antecedents are hidden. So the adverbs who, why and where are conjunctive here.

3. Interrogative Adverbs:

Interrogative adverbs are used to ask both direct and indirect questions.


When did you come?

How did you do it?

Do you know where he lives?

Tell me where he is going.

4. Sentence Adverbs:

Sentence adverbs qualify the whole sentence. Such adverbs are usually placed at the beginning of a sentence. So, therefore, perhaps, indeed, accordingly, however, therefore, moreover, consequently, otherwise etc are examples of sentence adverbs.


Perhaps he will come today.

Accordingly he did the work.

5. ViewPoint Adverbs:

Viewpoint adverbs show the point of view of the speaker. Seriously, honestly, clearly, surely, obviously are examples of viewpoint adverbs.


I am seriously telling you.

He didn't say anything clearly.

He will surely win the lottery.