Verbs and Adverbs


An adverb is a word used to tell more about a verb, and it almost always answers the questions how?, when?, where?, how often?, and in what way?. Words like slowly, loudly, carefully, quickly, quietly or sadly are all adverbs. Adverbs usually, but not always, end in -ly.

Examples of adverbs in a sentence (with the adverb in italics): that is a weird word and is seen differently

  • How did the man walk? The man walked slowly.
  • How did the dogs bark? The dogs barked loudly.

An adverb can also modify (describe) an adjective or another adverb


  • Adverb modifying a verb: He writes well
  • Adverb modifying another adverb: He writes very well
  • Adverb modifying an adjective: He is very well

In the first two examples the word 'well' is an adverb. In the last example, it is an adjective. This is one example in which the same word can be both an adjective and an adverb but not in the same sentence.

As a rule, the same word can play different roles but not in the same sentence. It all depends on what the word is doing in the sentence. It could be a noun, an adjective, an adverb, a verb, etc. Example: take the word 'cool'. In the sentence, "he walks cool", the word 'cool' is an adverb. In the sentence, "cool the hot dish", the word 'cool' is a verb. In the sentence, "it is a cool evening", the word 'cool' is an adjective. In the first example, "he walks cool", the word 'cool' really means 'coolly' as in "play it cool" (do not get excited; be calm).

Adverbs most commonly describe HOW, but below is a more comprehensive list of the most common types of adverbs.
Type of Adverb Example
Adverbs of manner (or how) Christine sang the song atrociously. No more karaoke for her!
Adverbs of time Michelle did her homework yesterday, but she did the wrong assignment.
Adverbs of place I met my friend at the coffee shop, and that’s where we saw the first signs of the outbreak.
Adverbs of degree It’s too quiet in here.
Adverbs of frequency Michael Jordan rarely misses a free throw, but Shaq frequently does.
Adverbs of purpose I clean the litter box every day to keep the house from smelling.

And like adjectives, adverbs have a “royal order.” While you may already have an innate sense of this order, it can be helpful to review the rules.

The Royal Order of Adverbs
Noun+Verb Manner Place Frequency
Beth swims avidly in the pool every evening
Dad walks impatiently into town every morning
Joe naps peacefully in his room every afternoon


Source: Wikipedia,
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License

Source: Excelsior Online Writing Lab,
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 License.