Using adverbs

February 16, 2013pdf

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.)


Free Grammar Guide: "120 Deadly Grammar and Vocabulary Mistakes."