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Adverbials

Adverbials are words that we use to give more information about a verb. They can be one word (angrily, here) or phrases (at home, in a few hours) and often say how, where, when or how often something happens or is done, though they can also have other uses.

Read clear grammar explanations and example sentences to help you understand how adverbials are used. Then, put your grammar knowledge into practice by doing the exercises.  

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Comments

Hi
I want to know the structure of the following sentence
- I think about him

1) is the verb "think" an intransitive verb
2) If the verb "think" is an intransitive verb, then what follows is a prepositional phrase ("about him") that modifies the verb
3) If the phrase modifies the verb "think", is the phrase an adverbial phrase (function) ?
4) If it is an adverbial phrase, then what does that phrase answer; WHY, WHERE, MANNER, WHEN, TO WHAT DEGREE?

Hi Peter Chin,

As I understand it, 'think' is intransitive here, but I'm not sure how I'd label the function of the prepositional phrase. This is a great question for an in-depth syntax course, but I'm afraid we don't generally go into this much detail on our site since our main purpose is to help people learn to use English.

I'd suggest two resources for you. The first is a sentence parser. You can find one here, but there are others that I'm sure you can find by doing an internet search for 'sentence parsing' or something similar. The second is the English Language and Usage Stack Exchange, where there are loads of details about English syntax and you can ask questions.

Hope this helps.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello.I have a question about nouns.
Few days ago I read a post on Facebook by one of the NatGeo wild photographer ,He wrote 'A pride of lion .and another one was 'A trio of giraffe.
So my question is why did he use lion instead of lions and giraffe instead giraffes.
Is it incorrect saying a pride of lions?
Also how about trio of giraffe.

Hi Salum Hilali,

It's an interesting question! Both lion and giraffe are countable, and a pride of lions and a trio of giraffes would be the normal forms to use. I can't be sure why the photographer didn't use those forms. It could be a language or typing mistake, or alternatively it could be to create an uncountable meaning of lion and giraffe (meaning a group of them, without considering the animals individually).

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Are there 'double adverbs' in English grammar ? Or Does English language have 'double adverb(s)' ?

Hello Tluangtea,

Could you please give us an example of what you're talking about?

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

*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.

Our grammarians often say that Mizo language* is richest in 'double adverbs'. But I think what they referred to as double adverbs are not at all double adverbs. When I consult such excellent grammar books as (1) A grammar of contemporary English by Quirk et al, (2) A comprehensive grammar of the English language by Quirk et al, (3) A practical English grammar by Thomson & Martinet, (4) Practical English Usage by M. Swan, (5) The complete Grammar by Michael Strumpf, (6) Oxford guide to English grammar by John Eastwood, (7) Cambridge grammar of English by Carter & McCarthy, etc., etc., I do not find any 'Double adverb' mentioned in these books. So my question is - Does the English language have any 'double adverb' ?

Hello Tluangtea,

I'm not sure what you mean by 'double adverbs', but if you are asking if it is possible to use two consecutive adverbs in a sentence then the answer is yes:

He is almost always late.

The boy ran extremely quickly.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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".

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