Daily Grammar

Lesson 169

Parts of the Sentence - Adverbs

Adverbs are words that modify (1) verbsVerbs show action or state of being. Most verbs are action words, but a few verbs indicate state of being or existence.
Source: Lesson 1
, (2) adjectivesAdjectives modify or affect the meaning of nouns and pronouns and tell us which, whose, what kind, and how many about the nouns or pronouns they modify. They come before the noun or pronoun they modify except for the predicate adjective which comes after a linking verb and modifies the subject. Source: Lesson 151, and (3) other adverbs. They tell how (manner), when (time), where (place), how much (degree), and why (cause).

Why is a common one-word adverb that tells why.  Adverbs that tell us how, when, where, and why always modify the verb.  These adverbs can shift location in the sentence without changing meaning or what they modify.  Adverbs that tell us how much modify adjectives or other adverbs.  Adverbs that tell how much will come just before the adjectives or adverbs that they modify.  These adverbs are also called qualifiers because they strengthen or weaken the words they modify.


He kicked the ball solidly. (how)
He kicked the ball immediately. (when)
He kicked the ball forward. (where)
He kicked the ball too hard. (how much)

Not and its contraction n't are adverbs. They really modify the entire sentence, but we will have them modify the verb as it is the most important word in the sentence. This is a common practice in grammar books.

Adverbial objectives or adverbial nouns are nounsA noun is a word that names a person, place, thing, or idea. Examples: man, city, book, and courage.  Source: Lesson 16 used as adverbs. They usually tell amount, weight, time, distance, direction or value. They can have adjectives modifying them.

He waited two days.


Instructions: Find the adverbs in the following sentences and tell what word they modify.

1. I am too tired to play.

I am too tired to play.
  - too (how much) modifies tired (predicate adjective)

2. I am very sorry about your extremely sore leg.

I am very sorry about your extremely sore leg.
  - very (how much) modifies sorry (predicate adjective)
  - extremely (how much) modifies sore

3. The storm was almost completely over at noon.

The storm was almost completely over at noon.
  - almost (how much) modifies completely
  - completely (how much) modifies over (predicate adjective)

4. You look so much better.

You look so much better.
  - so (how much) modifies much
  - much (how much) modifies better (predicate adjective)

5. Your father looks rather feeble.

Your father looks rather feeble.
  - rather (how much) modifies feeble (predicate adjective)

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