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




Greetings Team,
I came across this sentence in a book. is it correct?

The hare was very proud of his running quickly in the anecdote.

Should it be quick or quickly?


Hello iamsam1987,

In this sentence, 'running' is a noun, and so yes, an adjective ('quick') is the correct form here, though as an adjective it should go before the noun it modifies.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Kirk,
I have read the following thing in a book -

Gerunds or Verb Nouns- Gerunds are also called Verb Nouns and Verb Nouns can be modified by Adverbs, and not by Adjectives.

Verbal Nouns - 'The + Gerund + of' is callled a Verbal Noun and it can be modified by an Adjective.
Example - The killing of rhinoceroses should be stricly prohibited as it has already endangered them.

Since in the following sentence - 'The hare was very proud of his running quickly in the anecdote',

Running functions as a Gerund, it should be modified by an Adverb (quickly), and not by an adjective (quick).

Is it correct what I wrote ?

Thank you so much,

According to Warriner's English Composition and Grammar, a gerund can be a single word, the verb + ing, or a phrase with all its compliments and modifiers.

The sentence in question contains the gerund phrase "running quickly," not just a gerund. The adverb "quickly" specifies how the hare ran, and it should be part of the gerund that is modified by the verb "proud." Without it, the rabbit is proud of only "running," instead of "running quickly."

Here is an example that comes from Warriner's:
"My grandparents enjoy walking briskly."
Here, the grandparents enjoy walking briskly, not just walking.

Concerning the use of adjectives with gerunds in the other example sentence, "the killing of rhinoceroses" is a noun phrase consisting of a gerund and the prepositional phrase, "of rhinoceroses," which is an adjective phrase that limits the gerund, "the killing," to a specific type of killing, not just killing in general. If this seems strange, know that prepositional phrases can function as adjectives, adverbs, and sometimes nouns.

I suppose an easy way to go about this is so: If the action in question has any modifiers prior to becoming a gerund, treat those modifiers as if they are modifying a verb, not a noun. Otherwise, treat modifiers as if they are affecting a noun.

Hello Sam,

In general, we don't comment on other grammar sources. Also, this is not the kind of topic that we deal with here on LearnEnglish. We don't enter into debates about obscure points of grammar because there's simply too much other work that is more valuable for a greater number of our users.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello teachers,

I'm learning a lot on this website! Thanks!

"I don’t know where the keys are but they’re not in the car for sure. I’ve looked!"
According to this website the full adverbial phrase should be " for sure". I don't understand this. I would say " in the car" is also a adverbial (of place) phrase.

Could you explain this to me?

Thanks in advance!


Hello Taat,

This is a tricky example. In the setence 'in the car' is indeed a prepositional phrase, but its function in the sentence is as a complement, not as an adverb. This is known as a locative complement - a complement which informs us of location - and it is used with certain verbs, including 'be'. Remember that 'be' is not modified by an adverb: we do not say 'He is happily' but rather 'He is happy'.

I hope that helps to clarify it for you.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Team,

Here are two sentences,please look into this in terms of time.
One is,
1.I just finished learning english.
second is,
2.I just now finished learning english..

Here,should we use 'now' after 'just' to express that i have finished learning moments back or is 'just' itself enough as in the first sentence to express time?

Thanks,and Regards,

Hello Nandish,

In general, 'just' by itself expresses that you recently finished learning. But time is relative, so if you really want to emphasise that the action was recent, you can add 'now'.

By the way, I've been speaking English since I was born and am still learning it, so I'm not sure this sentence could really be true of anyone!

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Kirk,
Yes yes,it cannot be true of anyone!.Took a random example....
Thanks for your info,is really helpful.will come up with more sentence for 'just'...

Best Regards