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





I'd like to know if the following sentences are correct.

1. He was driving above the speed limit.

2. He was driving 10 kilometers over the speed limit. - because we use "over" with numbers

I have seen "driving over the speed limit". Is this correct? Is it because a limit implies a number?

Thank you for your help.

Hi blueishbox,

The standard form here is 'over' but not because of the number. We use 'over' because it collocates strongly with 'limit' (and the opposite would be 'under'). You can be under the age limit for a film, for example, or over the limit if you have drunk too much alcohol to drive.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

respected sir,
i wanna ask you the difference between the following sentences:
1)Dont forget me when eating your birthday cake.
2)Dont forget me while eating your birthday cake.
tell me the difference between while and when please.

Hello kisa zehra,

In many cases, you can use both 'when' and 'while', though 'while' is better when talking about longer actions that happen simultaneously. There is a page at the BBC that explains this that I'd recommend to you. It would also be a good idea to look up both words in the Cambridge Dictionary. Studying the example sentences should also help clarify how they are used.

Finally, I just wanted to mention that using an -ing form after 'when' or 'while' is rather formal, whereas these sentences look as if they might be informal. So 'when/while you're eating' might be an alternative to consider.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello sir:
I want know what the difference between adverb ( really) & ( very )
why we say it's really delicious not it very delicious
Also, we say : really recommended not very recommended
is there a rule ?

Hello nkmg,

You can find more on 'really' and 'very' on our Intensifiers and Adjectives (gradable/non-gradable) pages and also in the Cambridge Dictionary.

'delicious' is a strong adjective (see the Intensifiers page), which means that it already includes the idea of 'very' in it. This is why you can't use 'very' with it, but 'really' is OK.

Although you can find examples of 'very recommended' on the internet, you're right, in general, there are other intensifiers (such as 'highly' or 'strongly') that are much more common. These are collocations, the words that people tend to use with 'recommended'. It's always a good idea to look at the example sentences in dictionaries such as Oxford and Cambridge to see how they are used.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

"A fire in an enclosed space burns with the aid of reflected radiation that preheats the
fuel, making ignition much easier and flames spreading more quickly."
Is this sentence is correct?

Hello ashok kumar0006,

Except for the last part ('... and flames spreading more quickly') it is. I'd suggest '... making ignition easier and the spread of flames quicker'.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I would like to know why in the phrase "I don’t know where the keys are but they’re not in the car for sure. I’ve looked!", used in the exercise 1, I can't tell that the expression "in the car" is a adverbial.

Hello Diogo Diniz,

You're absolutely right! I've fixed both Task 1 and Task 2 so that they are correct now. Thanks very much for point out this error to us.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team