Adverbials

Adverbials

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Hi Peter, Thank you very much for answering my question. I am now quite sure that what our Mizo grammarians termed as "double adverbs" are not actually "double adverbs".
*Mizo language : It is a language spoken by the Mizo's who inhabited the hilly areas in the north-eastern part of India (called Mizoram which is sandwiched between Bangladesh and Myanmar), and its adjoining areas in Bangladesh and Myanmar and whose language belongs to the Tibeto-Burman group.

Submitted by Yigido on Sun, 13/12/2020 - 20:17

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Hi team, I am confused about some words in time-order signals.Do''then'',''after that'',''next'' and ''later'' means the same thing?Can we use all of them for same blank?I think we can but I am not sure.
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Submitted by Kirk Moore on Mon, 14/12/2020 - 07:52

In reply to by Yigido

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Hello Yigido,

In some contexts -- for example, in a description of a process -- they all mean pretty much the same thing. We generally try to avoid repeating the same adverbial too much.

In general, you could use any one of them in a blank, but I can't say for sure without knowing the specific context.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by SonuKumar on Sat, 28/11/2020 - 17:22

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Sir, A reservoir is an artificial lake where water is stored. Most reservoirs are formed by constructing dams across rivers. What does the adverb word 'across' mean in this sentence ? What's the other way to say the same thing ?
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Submitted by Peter M. on Sun, 29/11/2020 - 08:13

In reply to by SonuKumar

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Hello SonuKumar,

'Across' here means from one side to the other. I'm not sure how else you would say it other than 'from one side to the other', but it would be strange not to use the word 'across' which is clear and succinct.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Yigitcan on Sat, 21/11/2020 - 18:24

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Hello team Yesterday I saw this two sentence: He quickly reads a book. You can easily open this tin. Adverb comes after a verb.Are sentences true?
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Submitted by Peter M. on Sun, 22/11/2020 - 08:30

In reply to by Yigitcan

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Hello Yigitcan,

The position of adverbs in sentences in English is quite flexible. Generally, the adverb comes before the verb rather than after. Where there is an auxiliary verb, the adverb comes before the main verb (after the auxiliary verb.

For your examples, all of these are correct options:

He quickly reads a book.

He reads a book quickly.

You can easily open this tin.

You can open this tin easily.

With other examples there may be more options. The adverb can come at the start of the sentence, for example, especially if it is an adverb of time (yesterday, earlier etc).

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Timmy Ferrer on Tue, 07/07/2020 - 07:07

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Hello! I'd like to clarify the difference between the phrases, "in school" and "at school", and when they appropriately used. Thank you very much!

Hello Timmy,

I think the main difference is that in school is more common in US English, while at school is preferred in most contexts in UK English.

In terms of meaning/use, I think in UK English in school tends to mean that a person attends school (i.e. is a pupil), while at school tends to mean that the person is physically there:

My children are still in school. [= they have not graduated yet]

My children are still at achool. [they have not come home yet]

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you so much! This is really helpful!
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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Fri, 26/06/2020 - 21:37

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It's really helpful.

Submitted by Nagie23 on Thu, 25/06/2020 - 12:00

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Hello, I would like to ask the following 1.Can we use the : short of in order to say up to a point. For example Question : Did you understand what I said? Answer :Short of(up to point?, a little rtc) Thank you in advance
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Submitted by Kirk Moore on Thu, 25/06/2020 - 18:55

In reply to by Nagie23

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Hello Nagie23

Yes, though please note that it's 'sort of' (or 'kind of'), not 'short of'.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Bharati on Fri, 10/04/2020 - 07:45

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Hello, Can "more than"/less than/as good as etc. be used as phrasal adverbs in example sentences :- 1. He was more than(meaning very) deserving. 2. Less than 40 People were present(less than is modifying forty) 3. It is as good as(meaning almost) lost. Best regards
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Submitted by Peter M. on Sat, 11/04/2020 - 07:39

In reply to by Bharati

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Hello Bharati,

Yes, all of those sentences are fine, though very prescriptive grammarians might insist on Fewer than 40 rather than less than 40 to avoid using less with a countable noun. To be honest, though, it is very common to use less in this way, especially in modern English.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Peter, Thanks for your guidance. May i ask if phrases like "let alone/not to mention/much less/what to talk of"etc are also used as adverbials modifying the residual part of the sentence in sentence like "He was incapable of leading a bowling team, let alone/much less/what to talk of/not to mention a country" Best regards

Hello Bharati,

Phrases like these, and similar ones such as never mind and still less, are conjunctions.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Peter, Thanks for your reply. May i ask if the above phrases will qualify as co-ordinate conjunction though no grammar book has a mention of them as Conjunction. Best regards

Hello Bharati,

Yes, I would say so. If you look the phrases up in a good dictionary then you'll see that they are classified as conjunctions:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/still%20less

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/never%20mind

 

There are so many conjunctions in English when phrases are included that it's well nigh impossible to list them all. Most grammar books for learners simplify the list of coordinating conjunctions to the most common and useful seven, using the acronym FANBOYS. There are, however, many more.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by tareq on Tue, 07/04/2020 - 12:31

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I have a question What does the phrase between brackets describe?Carriages used to be drawn( by horses.) * 1. used to 2. carriages 3 drawn

Hello tareq

'by horses' is the agent of the passive verb 'used to be drawn'. Another way of saying this is 'In the past, horses drew carriages.' 

I'm afraid that none of three options you list explains the meaning of 'by horses'.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by alice24pirsoul on Tue, 31/03/2020 - 23:03

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Hello. I've got a question. Could someone tell me which sentence is better? I went to London with my parents. I went with my parents to London. Thank you very much, Kind regards, Alice Pirsoul

Hello Alice,

The normal word order here is the first one. We usually say where to before who with. It's not grammatically wrong to say it in a different order, but it is not the normal way and not how we would phrase it.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Peter, Is phrase "more than " in the following sentences used as adverb of degree. He was more than(meaning very)pleased. More than 40 people were present. I can't find any other explanation. Thanks

Submitted by inaki on Sun, 15/03/2020 - 08:41

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Could you confirm to me if the next grammar rule is true?: If the main verb has an auxiliar, the adverb goes after auxiliar and before main verb, for instance: "I have only been there once". Thanks.

Hello inaki

It's true that adverbs of frequency tend to come before the main verb (in this case, 'been'), but I'm afraid that adverbs can go in many different positions. You can read more about this on the Where adverbials go in a sentence page in this section, as well as this Cambridge Dictionary page.

Hope this helps.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Imran 26 on Sat, 29/02/2020 - 15:45

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Hi Sir, Thanks for the above details. reference to the description as you mentioned above It might say that " An Adverbial might be a preposition or verb or Noun or any pronoun?
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Submitted by Kirk Moore on Sun, 01/03/2020 - 09:17

In reply to by Imran 26

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Hello Imran 26

I wouldn't say it that way, because it sounds as if, for example, nouns are adverbials by themselves, which is not true. An adverbial can include a noun (e.g. in a prepositional phrase), but that's a different story.

I'm not sure if I've answered your question. Please feel free to ask again if not.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Bharati on Thu, 27/02/2020 - 08:14

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Hello, Are discourse markers, sentence connectors and conjunctive adverbs the same thing called differently by grammarians. If yes, what do they modify? The complete clause following the discourse marker since conjunctive adverbs modify the entire clause to which it is attached(sentence adverbs) . Thanks
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Submitted by Imran 26 on Mon, 24/02/2020 - 18:25

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Hi Sir, I wanna know that what is the difference between ADVERBS and ADVERBIALS ?
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Submitted by Peter M. on Tue, 25/02/2020 - 06:58

In reply to by Imran 26

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Hi Imran 26,

An adverb is a kind of word. An adverbial is any word, phrase or clause which functions as an adverb in the sentence. Thus, adverbial is a bigger category which contains adverbs as well as other things.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Bharati on Sun, 23/02/2020 - 10:41

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Hello, Although by definition, adverb doesn't modify Pronoun,Noun Clause, prepositional phrases etc but their usage pattern in many sentences suggest that adverbs indeed modify the above. Why grammarians differ on this ? My second question is:- Are discourse markers, sentence connectors and conjunctive adverbs the same thing called differently by grammarians. If yes, what do they modify? The complete clause following the discourse marker since conjunctive adverbs modify the entire clause to which it is attached(sentence adverbs) . Thanks

Submitted by Nehashri on Sun, 12/01/2020 - 18:56

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Adverb phrase vs Adverbial phrase! I have studied that all ADVERB PHRASES are also know as ADVERBIAL PHRASES. Can all ADVERBIAL PHRASES also be called ADVERB PHRASES? For instance: Rick writes beautifully. (Here "carefully" can also be called an "ADVERB or ADVERBIAL.") Rick writes very beautifully. (Here "very beautifully" can also be called an "ADVERB phrase or ADVERBIAL phrase.") Rick writes in a beautiful manner. (Here "in a beautiful manner" can only be called "ADVERBIAL PHRASE".") Can "in a beautiful manner" also be called "ADVERB PHRASE"? Adverb is a single word and an adverb phrase is two or more adverbs together. However, an adverbial phrase is a more informative group of words that will contain other words apart from adverbs and may or may not actually contain an adverb. I have confusion about Adverb phrase and Adverbial phrase!

Hello Nehashri

It sounds to me as if you do understand this, but I'll explain it briefly in case that helps.

An adverb is a single word (e.g. 'quickly'). An adverb phrase can be simply an adverb (e.g. 'quickly') or an adverb plus other words (e.g. 'very quickly', which is two adverbs, the main one being 'quickly').

An adverbial phrase functions as an adverb, but does not necessarily contain an adverb. Prepositional phrases (e.g. 'in two years'), for example, often function as adverbs: 'I will graduate in two years'. Note that there is no adverb in this adverbial phrase.

In this grammar, adverbs and adverb phrases are also referred to as 'adverbials' -- the term 'adverbial' is used for any word or phrase that has an adverbial function in a sentence.

Hope that clears it up for you.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

 

Submitted by Lavern24 on Sat, 11/01/2020 - 15:01

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Hello sir, good evening! How are you? I hope everyone's fine. I just would like to ask what is the explanation of adverbs of quantity (with count nouns : too much, fewer, more and n't enough) and what about noncount nouns: too much, less, more and isn't enough) I don't understand them how to use them. Regards! Lavern

Hello Lavern,

We actually have a page devoted to the topic of quantifiers. I think you'll find it useful. It also has some exercises so you can test yourself on the topic. You can find the page here:

https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/english-grammar-reference/quantifiers

We can't give detailed general explanations of language items in the comments sections of the pages but if you have any specific questions we'll be happy to answer them. Including an example to illustrate your question is helpful too.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by DanyalParacha on Wed, 27/11/2019 - 13:01

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I needa bit of help please?

Submitted by quds001 on Tue, 19/11/2019 - 07:46

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An adverb is a single word that modifies a verb, adjective or another adverb: I sing badly. (Badly is an adverb that modifies the verb sing) I sing really badly. (Badly is still an adverb, but now really is as well, modifying the adverb badly) My voice is incredibly awful. (Incredibly is an adverb, modifying the adjective awful). An adverbial is when a group of words does the job of an adverb. That group of words can contain nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, prepositions, or whatever, and can be as complex as you want. Am I right?

Hello quds001

Well done, that's a great (and correct) summary!

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by anie1 on Sun, 10/11/2019 - 07:07

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Hello, I would like to ask if the following is correct When there is a house that also has a garden can we say 1.It is a house with a big garden around it. Around it, suits well in the sentence? Thank you in advance
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Submitted by Peter M. on Sun, 10/11/2019 - 08:49

In reply to by anie1

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Hello agie,

That is fine, yes.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by anie1 on Tue, 24/09/2019 - 14:29

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Hello, I would like to ask if the following are correct. 1.They will help you learn fast ot they will help you learning fast? (maths, French etc) 2.They will help you learn quickly? 3.It is the top part of the story. (does this sentence make sense? Is it correct?) Thank you in advance
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Submitted by Peter M. on Wed, 25/09/2019 - 08:32

In reply to by anie1

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Hello agie,

You can say 'help you learn' or 'help you to learn'. There is no difference in meaning.

'Help you learning' is not correct. You could say 'help you with your learning'.

 

We wouldn't say 'the top part of the story'. I'm not sure what you mean, but perhaps we would say 'the first part of the story' or 'the first paragraph of the story', or 'the beginning of the story'.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Prap on Sat, 06/07/2019 - 07:32

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We were taught at school that 'every day' is a noun phrase which functions adverbially in a sentence but many grammar books say it is an adverbial phrase. I wanted to know what kind of phrase it is -- noun phrase or adverbial phrase.

Hello Prap

It can be both. A noun phrase can be used adverbially -- this is another way of saying that the noun phrase functions as an adverb in a sentence (in this case, for example, it can tell you more about the frequency of an action) -- and in that sense it is also an adverbial phrase.

I hope that helps you make sense of it.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Sun, 09/06/2019 - 13:11

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Some teachers say, "You're doing good" instead of "You're doing well". I'm wondering if both are acceptable? σ┃・ω・`*┃

Hello Rafaela1

Strictly speaking, 'well' is the correct form here, but people often use 'good' instead of 'well' in informal speech in a sentence like this.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team