Daily Grammar

Lesson 61

Parts of Speech - Adverbs

Since there has been some confusion about adverbs, I think we need a few more lessons about adverbs. We need to memorize what adverbs tell us and what they modify. We must always remember this basic information to handle them correctly.

Adverbs are words that modify (1) verbs, (2) adjectives, 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. Adverbs that tell us how much modify adjectives or other adverbs. These adverbs are also called qualifiers because they strengthen or weaken the words they modify.

Examples:
    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)

Instructions: The following sentences have adverbs that tell us how, and they modify the verb. Find the adverbs in these sentences and tell what they modify.

1. Joe was frantically mumbling to the 911 operator.

Joe was frantically mumbling to the 911 operator.
   -- frantically modifies was mumbling

2. The message was secretly hidden in the cushion.

The message was secretly hidden in the cushion.
   -- secretly modifies was hidden

3. The room was decorated beautifully for the wedding.

The room was decorated beautifully for the wedding.
   -- beautifully modifies was decorated

4. The spy readily accepted the new assignment.

The spy readily accepted the new assignment.
   -- readily modifies accepted

5. He was carefully disguised but captured quickly by police.

He was carefully disguised but captured quickly by police.
   -- carefully modifies was disguised
   -- quickly modifies was captured
   (was is a helping verb to both main verbs)

Note: Adverbs that modify verbs always modify the whole verb phrase when it is made up of more than one word.

© 1996 Word Place, Inc.