Using adverbs

We have already learned that adverbs modify verbs. They tell us how an action is performed. Sometimes adverbs show the place or frequency of an action.

  • She sings well.
  • They drive carefully.
  • She walked slowly.
  • He gave his reply immediately.
  • He did the work satisfactorily.
  • She suffered the agony bravely.

Note that adverbs are usually formed by adding –ly to the adjective.

  • Careful – carefully
  • Brave – bravely
  • Nice – nicely

Note that there are many exceptions to this rule. Some adjectives and adverbs have the same form. Examples are: daily, hard and fast.

  • A daily newspaper comes out daily.

Some adverbs are not formed from adjectives. An important example is the adverb well. The adjective form of well is good.


  • She speaks good English. (Here the adjective good modifies the noun English.)
  • She speaks English well. (Here the adverb well modifies the verb speaks.)

Adverbs can also modify adjectives. When an adverb modifies an adjective, it goes before the adjective.

  • She is an extremely talented singer.

Here the adverb extremely modifies the adjective talented.

  • She is incredibly beautiful.
  • It was ridiculously hot.

One of the most common adverbs used to modify adjectives is the word ‘very’. Note that very cannot be used to modify adjectives in their comparative degree.


  • She is a very good singer. (BUT NOT She is a very better singer than him.)

To modify comparatives, we use other adverbs like much, far, very much, a lot, lots.

  • She is much older than me. (NOT She is very older than me.)