Using Adverbs in English – Part Two

There several ways to use adverbs in English. Our previous article focused on how to use adverbs in order to explain how, when or how frequent an action is carried out. This is the most common way that adverbs are used. However, adverbs can also be used to modify adjectives.

Example 1

  • ‘I am cold.’

The adjective ‘cold’ tells us how the person is feeling. We could also add some more detail to this sentence.

Using Adverbs in English - Part Two
Using Adverbs in English – Part Two
  • ‘I am awfully cold.’

In this sentence, the adverb ‘awfully’ describes how cold this person is in more detail. It tells the reader or listener that they are very cold.

Example 2

  • ‘I was terribly tired.’

In this instance, the adverb ‘terribly’ gives us an idea to what extent this person was tired. It tells us that the individual was very tired.

LIST OF ADVERBS

Here is a list of some more adverbs that are brilliant at describing adjectives. The most commonly used adverbs to modify adjectives in English have been highlighted for you.

  • absolutely
  • awfully
  • completely
  • extremely
  • massively
  • occasionally
  • positively
  • quite
  • terribly
  • totally
  • very
Quiz Sign - Simply Better English
Quiz Sign – Simply Better English

Activity 1

Read the sentences. Then rewrite them to include the adverb in brackets.

  • Jake was feeling hungry. (very)
  • Sue was quick today. (extremely)
  • My work colleague is funny. (absolutely)

ADVERB TIP

If you would like to include an adverb in a sentence and are not sure about where to put it, always find the adjective. This means we have to look for the describing word.

Example 3

Have a look at the sentence below and see if you can find the adjective.

‘John ran fast.’

Using Adverbs in English - Part Two
Using Adverbs in English – Part Two

What is the adjective in the sentence?

The adjective is ‘fast’. We know this because it describes how John ran. We have found the adjective and now we can place an adverb in front of it.

  • ‘John ran extremely fast.’

Example 4

  • ‘The tree is huge.’

In this sentence, the adjective (also known as the describing word) is ‘huge’. Now we have located the adjective, we know where we can put the adverb.

  • ‘The tree is quite huge.’
Quiz Sign - Simply Better English
Quiz Sign – Simply Better English

Activity 2

Read the sentences below. Then write each sentence placing an adverb before each adjective.

  • The film was scary.
  • The parrot was strange.
  • Adam’s performance on the stage was terrible.
  • Sheila’s dress was hideous.

RECAP

This article looked at the use of adverbs in English. When using adverbs to modify adjectives, remember to locate the adjective first. Then you will know where to place the adverb. For more information about adverbs, take a look at Using Adverbs in English. For more information about adjectives, take a look at How to Use Adjectives Effectively.

Here are the answers to the activities in the article. Feel free to leave your answers in the comments section below.

Activity 1

  • Jake was feeling very hungry.
  • Sue was extremely quick today.
  • My work colleague is absolutely funny.

Activity 2

There are many possibilities for answers for this activity. Here are a few to guide you.

  • The film was quite scary.
  • The parrot was very strange.
  • Adam’s performance on the stage was absolutely terrible.
  • Sheila’s dress was extremely hideous.

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