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

Exercise

Task 2

Exercise

Task 3

Exercise

Section: 

Comments

Hello,
Greeting to all. Is there any difference between intensifiers and adverbs of degree? Or they are the same

Hello iamsam1987,

This is a very subtle distinction which belongs more to the field of linguistics than language learning. You can find an explanation in the first paragraph on this page.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Mr. Pter M,
thank you for your time
is there any grammar that can describe simple tense to be used to show present status of somebody's action?
you said I am not sure i accept it shows my current status, but we use present tense to show regular things/scheduled things-or with the use of stative(non-continuous) present status. now you say i am not sure i can accept shows my present status.
please accept my apologies for the same question
to make it a little more clear for my self
does: I help you mean(my current opinion is that I want to help you)// I will help you refers to the future?
if yes what kind of grammar/explanation includes the the firs example? and how actually do we use simple tense to show us our current status (with exception of scheduled things and stative verbs) and is it grammatically correct to say I go to the pub to mean(I am going to the pub) if not, how come I accept means my current status but I go does not show my current status
would you kindly introduce to me the topic of these example to study it a little further please?
thank you very very much
Yours
Aris

Hello aris,

Generally, when something is in progress or is temporary we use continuous forms; when something is regular and typical or is a permanent state we use simple forms. For example:

I live in London - this is a permanent state; London is my home

I'm living in London - this is a temporary state which may change

I play football - this is a regular activity

I'm playing football - this is in progress as I speak

I help you would describe typical or normal behaviour - something that happens frequently and not just once.

I'm helping you would describe something in progress - I would say this when I am in the middle of helping you.

I'll help you would be an offer or promise of help, and refers to the future.

There are certain groups of words which do not normally occur in continuous forms: emotions (love, hate, like) and opinions (agree, disagree, accept, reject). That is why we say I accept not I'm accepting, for example.

I hope that helps to clarify it for you.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

i would like to ask is it correct to say "She is not quite as young as she used to or should I say she is not as quite young as she used to. I do have confusion in placement of adverbs when use in comparing. Thank you

Hello RTris,

'quite', as an intensifier (a kind of adverb), usually goes just before whatever word or phrase it is modifying. In this case, it's modifying the whole idea of 'as young as she used to be' (note that normally 'be' is not dropped after 'used to' (though other verbs are), so it should go before it, as in the first version of the sentence you wrote above.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Kirk thank you very much for your response. I have a follow up question regarding intensifier. You have said that quite can be used to whatever word or phrase so it can be used in anothetr adjective or adverb. How about another intensifier? Is it possible to use like quite a bit?

Hello again Tris,

Yes, in general, adverbs can modify other adverbs. 'quite a bit' is perfectly correct and in fact is quite commonly used. You might find it interesting to look up 'quite' and other intensifiers in the dictionary – see the search box on the right side of this page – to read through the example sentences. These will give you a good sense for how they are used in actual writing and speaking.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Kirk,
Thank you for the reply. I am still confused with the word quite maybe because of the gradable and non gradable adjectives that sometimes it modifies but I will just have to read more about it as I go through with my self study in grammar. I have another question about quantifiers (a few,few,a little,little). The first 2 quantifiers are used in plural countable and the latter are used in uncountable nouns.
Little = not much; few = not many
A little = some, a small amount; a few = some, a small number
1. He spoke little English, so it was difficult to communicate with him.
2. He spoke a little English, so were able to communicate with him.
3. She's lucky. She has few problems
4. Things are not going so well for her. She has a few problems.
How come that "a little" is much more than "little". They were able to talk with a little English but were not able to talk with little English. Isn't it "not much" is more than "some"? Same as the case for examples 3 and 4. Could you please help me. Thank you.

Hello RTris,

Your explanation of those quantifiers is very good, so it seems as if you've understood them very well. I'm afraid I can't really say why 'little' and 'a little' mean what they mean. Languages are conventions that develop over thousands of years of being spoken by millions (or billions!) of people. That is not to say they don't have some kind of internal logic sometimes, but ultimately words get their meaning from the way people use them!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Pages