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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Submitted by aris on Tue, 07/06/2016 - 21:14

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Dear Mr. Peter M and Mr.Kirk I feel embarassed that I only ask questions without being able to repay your kindness I wish you good health and wish you achieve what you want (unless it is not good) Yours Aris

Submitted by iamsam1987 on Sat, 04/06/2016 - 06:52

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

Submitted by Peter M. on Sun, 05/06/2016 - 05:49

In reply to by iamsam1987

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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

Submitted by aris on Mon, 30/05/2016 - 08:07

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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

Submitted by RTris on Mon, 23/05/2016 - 22:06

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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

Submitted by aris on Sat, 21/05/2016 - 21:50

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hello Sir I came across this sentence :I am not sure I accept it. is accept also a stative verb? thank you very much

Hello aris,

No, 'accept' is not a stative verb. It is a normal dynamic verb.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello again Mr. Peter M thank you for your guidance but. if accept is not stative and is dynamic, how can this sentence be correct? i am not sure I accept it (and not: I will not accept it/if I can accept it) there are few words that are not stative but come in this form i mean simple present (they do not tell a regular basis but they come to inform us about the future) would you please enlighten me further anther example is i decide(instead of i will decide) or I go to the pub( instead of I am going to the pub thank you very much ( you are doing a Godly work)

Hello aris,

The sentences that you offer as not possible are actually quite possible.

'I'm not sure I accept it' - this describes your current point of view

'I'm not sure I will accept it' - this refers to your point of view in the future; you would say this if the offer has not yet been made, but you expect it to be made. For example, I might have a meeting in the afternoon at which I expect my boss to make me an offer, and I am describing it in the morning, saying '(My boss is going to make me an offer and) I'm not sure I will accept it'.

'I'm not sure if I can accept it' - this refers to possibility, not the decision itself. For example, I might want to accept an offer, but be unable to do so because of an earlier promise.

It is also quite possible to say 'I will decide' if the moment of decision has not yet come, and to say 'I'm going to the pub' if we are in the middle of the journey, for example.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Mr. Peter M thank you very much best wishes aris

Submitted by lisa4512 on Mon, 16/05/2016 - 09:37

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Hi, sorry to ask a similar question though if the sentence is changed slightly to this: 'After breakfast, we slept.' Does the word 'after' function as a preposition here or an adverb? Thanks again

Hi lisa4512,

'After' is a preposition here. Note that there is a difference between the word and the phrase here. The phrase 'After breakfast' is an adverbial phrase which is made up of a preposition ('After') and a noun ('breakfast').

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by lisa4512 on Thu, 28/04/2016 - 08:18

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Hello Is this a correct adverbial phrase: 'after dinner, we walked home.' Is 'after dinner' a correct adverbial phrase? Kind regards

Submitted by Kirk on Thu, 28/04/2016 - 09:07

In reply to by lisa4512

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Hello again lisa,

I'd suggest the same sentence parser for this sentence. When followed by a noun, 'after' is typically a preposition – looking through example sentences in the dictionary may also be useful in understanding specific words and phrases.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Peter M. on Fri, 29/04/2016 - 07:35

In reply to by lisa4512

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Hello lisa4512,

Yes, that is correct grammatically. Whether or not it is correctly used will depend upon the context, of course.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by hahalulu on Mon, 11/04/2016 - 07:45

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Hello I saw this sentence "She was deeply hurt that she had not been invited." from dictionary. Is "that she had not been invited" an adverb clause? Does "that" equal "because"?

Submitted by Kirk on Mon, 11/04/2016 - 13:37

In reply to by hahalulu

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Hello hahalulu,

In the sentence you ask about, 'that' begins a 'that'-clause which follows the adjective 'hurt'. Although you could replace 'that' with 'because' and it would mean the same thing, 'that' doesn't really mean anything by itself, but rather makes a connection between the clauses before and after it. There are many adjectives that can be followed by a that-clause, e.g. 'I was proud that my son had finished the race' in the same way as here.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by kinal on Fri, 11/03/2016 - 04:24

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I'm really poor in grammar.Thanks for your help.

Submitted by Aaron Matthew T. on Tue, 08/03/2016 - 12:07

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Oh I see, thanks Peter :)

Submitted by Aaron Matthew T. on Mon, 07/03/2016 - 05:37

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Hello Teachers! I want to ask if adverbials are the same with adverbs? Thanks! - Aaron

Hello Aaron,

'Adverbs' are individual words, such as 'quickly', 'hard' or 'always'.

'Adverbials' include adverbs, but also include phrases which have an adverbial function, such as 'at six o'clock', 'scratching his chin' or 'as quickly as possible'.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by SSF66 on Sun, 14/02/2016 - 07:03

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I am confused between comparative adjectives and comparative adverbs. Which sentence in each pair is correct is correct? A1: He should speak louder. A2: He should speak more loudly. B1: You should type quicker. B2: You should type more quickly. It seems that both are used in everyday speech!

Hello SSF66,

You are correct that both sentences in each pair are used, and both are correct. The meaning is the same within each pair.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Rony Galung on Thu, 04/02/2016 - 02:25

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Good Morning Teachers, An English teacher of mine just told me that last 5 seconds can replace 5 seconds ago last 3 weeks can replace 3 weeks ago last 7 months can replace 7 months ago as adverbial of time. is that correct? Because so far i know "last 5 seconds" is a period of time, in contrary "5 seconds ago" is a point of time. But my teacher said that it was the same. Could you please explain to me? Thanks for your help

Hello Rony,

As far as I know, these two expressions mean something different. 'X + unit of time + ago' refers to a point in time in the past and 'in the last + X + unit of time' refers to a period beginning at the time stated and continuing up until the present. But there are many varieties of English around the world, and it may well be that in parts of Asia the two expressions are used to mean the same thing.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Haneen 95 on Sun, 01/11/2015 - 19:08

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Good evening I have an assignment which I have to finish before Wednesday, The teacher told us to write three sentences about adverbial clauses, one of time, another of manner and one of place. She also asked us to analyse each sentence. I have already started writing notes after revising your interesting lessons. Would you mind checking it for me? 1. Do not disturb me when I am busy with my work. This is an example of → adverbial clause of time. The independent clause is → “Do not disturb me” The dependent clause is → “when I am busy with my work” The subordinator is → “when” The subject-verb combination is → “I am” The adverbial clause in this example follows the independent clause and specifies or tells the time when the speaker doesn’t want to be disturbed. 2. She slept as if she was a baby. This is an example of → adverbial clause of manner. The independent clause is → “She slept” The dependent clause is → “as if she was a baby” The subordinator is → “as if” The subject-verb combination is → “she was” The adverbial clause in this example follows the independent clause and specifies how she slept. 3. Walk past the bank and keep going to the end of the street.( I am completely not sure about this one) This is an example of → adverbial clause of place. The independent clause is → “Walk - keep going” The dependent clause is → “past the bank - to the end of the street” The subordinator is → “past - to” The subject-verb combination is → “ - ” The adverbial clauses in this example follow the independent clauses and specify the direction where the listener should move. I do apologize for making it so long. Thank you

Hello Haneen,

Your first two sentences look good. I would say that sentence 3 doesn't have a dependent clause, but is rather two clauses ('walk past the bank' and 'keep going to the end of the street') joined by 'and'. Instead, you might want to try forming an adverbial clause of location with 'where', e.g. 'He didn't know where they were taking him'.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by iamsam1987 on Sat, 31/10/2015 - 10:32

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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? Regards, Sam

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,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by tantetaat on Thu, 29/10/2015 - 16:24

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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! Taat

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,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Nandishchandra on Tue, 15/09/2015 - 19:11

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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, Nandish

Submitted by Kirk on Wed, 16/09/2015 - 18:10

In reply to by Nandishchandra

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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,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by meryem21 on Mon, 14/09/2015 - 11:51

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i cant see diffrences between the catigories of the adverbials i did the last activity really bad how can i slove this? and i cant understand the HOW catigory why did we put those adverbials together ...thanks

Hello meryem21,

I'll explain the categories to you a bit more – I hope this will help you. 'When/How often?' adverbials describe time or frequency in some way, e.g. 'yesterday' and 'every day'. 'Where?' adverbials describe location, e.g. 'in Baghdad'. 'How likely?' adverbials describe the probability of something happening, e.g. 'likely'. 'How?' is a very broad category that in general describes the way in which something is done, e.g. 'quietly' or 'effectively'.

I hope this helps you!

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Nandishchandra on Wed, 09/09/2015 - 10:21

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Hi Team, i have long been confused while finding differences in below sentences, 1.It made me exhausted. 2.It made me lose my mind. Here what form of parts of speech is 'exhausted'?. And we are easily substituting exhausted with verb 'lose'.it makes sense though. In the second sentence are we using verb 'lose' as adverb form which express action ?. Please help me.. Thanks.. Best Regards, Nandish.

Submitted by Kirk on Wed, 09/09/2015 - 17:30

In reply to by Nandishchandra

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Hello Nandish,

'exhausted' is used as an adjective here. It is identical in form to the past participle of the verb 'exhaust'. 'make' + object + infinitive is a very common phrase and is the one used in sentence 2.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Dalita on Thu, 23/07/2015 - 20:12

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In the task 1-adverbials 1, I selectioned the correct adverbials but when I press 'sumit' my score mark is wrong. Furthermore, I think the indication to select the adverbials is not very clear. My best wishes, Dalia

Hello Dalita,

I've just tried the exercise various times myself and could not reproduce the error you mention. Could you please tell me which question doesn't work for you, and exactly what you type in the gap? We certainly want to fix the game if there's an error, and are grateful that you took the time to let us know about it.

I've also changed the instructions and added some hints. Is that clearer now?

Thanks very much for your feedback!

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by grammar2015 on Mon, 08/06/2015 - 03:13

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hi teachers , Perhaps the weather will be fine, the sample above. Is the adverbial 'Perhaps' modifying the verb 'be' or adjective 'fine'?

Hello grammar2015,

I'm afraid that this sort of detailed grammatical analysis isn't what we are here for – we are here to help users make use of the site to learn to understand and communicate in English. I'm not sure what a syntactician would say, but I'd say that 'perhaps' modifies the entire clause.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by lisa-chriki on Sat, 30/05/2015 - 09:28

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Hi, How often are you late for school? If we want to answer this question using an adverb of frequency, shall we say: I am never late for school, or I never late for school. Thank you

Submitted by Peter M. on Sun, 31/05/2015 - 10:26

In reply to by lisa-chriki

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Hello lisa-chriki,

We have a page which deals with the position of adverbs in the sentence - you can find it here.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by poo koli on Sat, 23/05/2015 - 10:25

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dear kind learning english staff sir, there are two types of sentences .....exclamatory and optative sir there is also a part of speech ....in which interjection is a word.... now my question is what are the diffrences between part of speech and sentence? which i've written above

Hello poo koli,

I'd suggest you look up both these terms in the wikipedia, where you'll explanations and photos. Part of speech is a category for classifying words, e.g. verb, noun, adjective. Many words can function as different parts of speech depending on how they are used. A sentence is a group of words (with different parts of speech) that express an idea. Many sentences end with a full stop (.) – this comment has five sentences.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by MichelaP on Thu, 07/05/2015 - 13:31

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Dear Teachers, "The police are looking for us" is a sentence in the 7th question of the first exercise. Is it correct? if yes, why? I'd rather say "the police is looking for us" And speaking to "rather" : is it correct "I'd rather say....I'd rather prefer....I'd rather +Verb? thanks a lot

Dear Michela,

As you can see in the dictionary entry for 'police', it is a plural noun - that is why the verb is plural in the exercise. To talk about one person from the police, we generally say 'police officer'.

'would rather' + verb is used to talk about preferences, so yes, you can say 'I'd rather say nothing', but not 'I'd rather prefer' - this would be like saying 'I'd prefer prefer'!

Best regards,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team