Why do we use adverbials?

We use adverbs to give more information about the verb.

We use adverbials of manner to say how something happens or how something is done:

The children were playing happily.
He was driving as fast as possible.

We use adverbials of place to say where something happens:

I saw him there.
We met in London.

We use adverbials of time to say when or how often something happens:

They start work at six thirty.
They usually go to work by bus.

We use adverbials of probability to show how certain we are about something.

  • Perhaps the weather will be fine.
  • He is certainly coming to the party.


Try these tasks to practice your use of adverbials.

Task 1


Task 2


Task 3




Hello Vidyaarthi,

'Short' is indeed an adverb in both sentences.  In the first sentence it forms part of a phrasal verb 'cut short' with an idiomatic meaning; in the second it is an adverb modifying the verb 'cut'.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks, Peter.

which sentence is correct : What should a person say when he loses a close relative or friend?

What should a person say when he loses a close relative or a close friend?

Hello zagrus,

Both sentences are correct.  In English we often miss out words which are repeated in the sentence - such as 'close' in your sentence - because it makes the sentence simpler and, often, more elegant.  The name for this is 'ellipsis'.  I would say the first sentence is a little more stylish, but both sentences are perfectly correct.  Or, to put it another way:

You can use either the first (sentence) or the second sentence; both are correct.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team


I'm studying end-position adverbials from a course book.
Could you please identify the adverbials in the following sentences?

What did John do yesterday?
He played baseball.

What is Mary going to do tomorrow?
She is going to go to school.

What did Tom and Peter do last Saturday?
They went to the movies.

What are the girls going to do next Saturday?
They are going to swim in the sea.

What is Mimi going to do tonight?
She is going to do her homework.


Hi lexeus,

The adverbials in the questions you wrote are all adverbials of time: yesterday, tomorrow, last Saturday, next Saturday and tonight. In the answers, the phrases that specify location (e.g., to school, to the movies and in the sea) are also adverbials.

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Kirk,

Thanks for your help.
Are there any adverbials in the remaining two answers (He played baseball, She is going to do her homework)?

Best wishes

Hi lexeus,

No, there are no adverbials in those two answers.

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team

I was fairly comfortable with English till I started studying grammar! In the sentence, 'She came home early.' , are both 'home' and 'early' adverbs? (place and time) In 'Bring the books here.', 'here' is an adverb, isn't it?

Hello Vidyaarthi,

'Home' is a difficult one, because it can be a noun, a transitive verb, an intransitive verb, an adjective or an adverb! In this example, you are correct: it is an adverb. Similarly, 'early' can be both an adverb and an adjective; here, as you say, it is an adverb.

'Here' can have several roles in the sentence but is usually an adverb, as it is in the sentence you provide.

I hope that answers your question - though I think you had the answers yourself already!

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team