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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fahri 提交于 周一, 23/10/2017 - 14:32

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Hello dear team, The children were playing happily. Happily=adverb The happily children were playing. Happily = adjective Is that correct?

Hello fahri,

'Happily' is not an adjective. The correct form in the second sentence is 'happy':

The happy children were playing.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Alice Wang 提交于 周四, 19/10/2017 - 02:02

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Hello! In reference to my previous question about "freezing", etc., I used a parser (http://zzcad.com/cgi-bin/webparse.exe) and I discovered, much to my surprise, that the word "freezing" in "The weather is freezing cold." is a gerund! Is this correct? Can a gerund modify an adjective? I begin to think that "freezing cold", "scalding hot", and "dripping wet" are fixed phrases. If they are fixed phrases, that means that they do not necessarily follow the rules of grammar. Am I on the right track here? Thank you.

Hello Alice,

As I said in my answer to your earlier question, the -ing forms here are functioning as adverbials.

The -ing form is very flexible. It can be part of a verb phrase, it can function as an adjective, it can function as a noun (a gerund), it can head a participle clause/phrase and it can function in some cases as an adverb.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Alice Wang 提交于 周四, 19/10/2017 - 01:46

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Hello! I have a grammar question that has baffled me. In the following sentences, are the words "freezing", "scalding", and "dripping" adjectives or adverbs? 1. He is dripping wet. 2. The weather is freezing cold. 3. The pan is scalding hot. Thank you.

Hello Alice,

In these sentences the words you highlight are functioning as adverbs. They are modifying the adjectives which follow them, so 'freezing cold' means 'extremely cold', 'dripping wet' means 'extremely wet' and so on.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

SonuKumar 提交于 周三, 20/09/2017 - 15:40

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Sir, The whiter is his face the blacker is his heart. is it also possible like 'His heart is as black as his face is white' though it seems worng and I think it is what do you look at it ? if something gets away from you or you stay away from it so you forget about it because there is no connection between you and that thing or there remains no connection between you and that thing. Could I also say "Because there has been no connection between you and that thing ?
Hello, In the following sentence: 'We go home very late on Friday.' Very is adverb describing late. Is 'late' adverb describing the verb go? Or, is 'late' is adverb describing the adverb on Friday. Can you recommend me a good website where I can find examples of analyzing sentences explained in detail?

Hello Sash,

The kind of analysis you're asking about here is called 'sentence parsing'. If you do an internet search for 'free sentence parser', you should be able to find at least a couple that will help you with this kind of analysis. You could also try a British Council class to seek help from a teacher if that's feasible for you.

'late' is one of a group of words that have the same form as adjectives and as adverbs. In this case, I'd say that it's an adverb modifying the verb phrase 'go home' and is not connected to the prepositional phrase 'on Fridays'. 

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

SonuKumar 提交于 周五, 18/08/2017 - 09:11

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Sir, He campaigned or breathed heavily, or He heavily campaigned or breathed heavily. Is there any difference ?

Hello SonuKumar,

The first ones sound unnatural and the second ones sound natural.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Azim 提交于 周六, 03/06/2017 - 12:20

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Hi What's the difference between reduced adverb clauses and participles?

Kirk 提交于 周六, 03/06/2017 - 14:58

Azim 回复

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Hello Azim,

There are different kinds of participles. For example, present participles ('talking') and past participles ('talked'). They can be used in participle clauses, which you can read about on our Participle clauses page.

A participle can also be used in place of a relative pronoun and verb. This is called a reduced relative clause. For example, 'The woman who was talking to him was the CEO' can be reduced to 'The woman talking to him was the CEO'.

You're welcome to ask us any further questions you might have about this, but please make your question as specific as possible, and, if possible, with an example sentence.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Adya's 提交于 周四, 25/05/2017 - 05:42

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Hi Do we use article 'the' before superlative adverbs as we do for superlative adjectives? Which one would be correct? 1. He ran fastest. 2. He ran the fastest. Thanks

Kirk 提交于 周四, 25/05/2017 - 06:58

Adya's 回复

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Hello Adya's,

Yes, 'the' is used with superlative adverbs as well -- 2 is correct here.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

SonuKumar 提交于 周日, 07/05/2017 - 12:34

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Sir, Could you please tell me If we can make words like this Sometimes we say it is a watchable movie and other times it is a worth watching movie and we speak many sentences What I want to Know is that, Could we make word like this by applying able before verb like watchable or seeable or should we make like worth watching or worth seeing and is there any difference between them please explain?

Hello SonuKumar,

'Worth watching' is more postitive: it means that watching the film or show is recommended.

'Watchable' means that it is not terrible. It does not mean that it is not good, but it only tells us that it is not terrible.

Remember, however, that context and tone of voice are very important in establishing the meaning of such items.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

aurorant 提交于 周日, 23/04/2017 - 05:27

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i'm having a doubt about which one is correct The girl happily posed for the cameras. or The girl posed happily for the cameras

Hello aurorant,

Both sentences are correct but there is a difference in meaning between them. The first sentence (happily posed) means that the girl was willing to pose and saw no problem in it. The second sentence (posed happily) suggests that the girl posed in a way which looked happy - she smiled, for example.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

SonuKumar 提交于 周日, 09/04/2017 - 13:05

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Sir, I have seen some people writing and saying "I don't need you no more or Don't hurt me no more and I haven't got nothing to do" but Sir, Why so ? Instead of that, I think it should be ' I don't need you anymore, Don't hurt me anymore and I have nothing to do' is not it right form ?

Hello SonuKumar,

These are non-standard forms which appear in certain dialects. Not all English that is spoken is grammatically standard. We would not use these forms in formal language or in writing as they are not considered grammatically correct but you can hear them in informal speech amongst some groups and in some areas.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

SonuKumar 提交于 周六, 08/04/2017 - 13:51

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Sir, My friend is going to London or New York. Now I want to ask him if He is going to London or New York. I can ask him like this " Are you going London or you are going New York and are you going New York ? Now all I wanna ask is, should I use question mark sentence after the word 'OR' or I should use the simple sentence after 'OR' please help ?

Hello SonuKumar,

There are different ways you could ask, but I'd say the most common would be 'Are you going to London or are you going to New York?' Another possibility would be 'Are you going to London? Or are you going to New York?'

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

SonuKumar 提交于 周四, 09/03/2017 - 12:01

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Sir, If My Dad is going to London tomorrow and I too want to with him, So could I say that I want to go with you too. Or should say I too want to go with you. Sir Dose too change any meaning in this sentence if I move too in sentence, And Sir if too comes after subject or in the last of the sentence dose it make any difference or it depends on the context ?

Hello SonuKumar,

There is a difference in meaning here. For the meaning you describe the correct form would be:

I want to go with you too.

Here, 'too' is relating to 'go' in the sense of 'also go'.

The other sentence is different:

I too want to go with you.

We might say this if someone is going with your father and you want to be the third person. The 'too' here relates to 'I' and has a meaning of 'I also'.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you sir I have another question that we define adverb as Adverb modifies verb and adjective How it does so ...? I am confused in the concept "modifying" and please explain that his it modifies verb + adjective?

Hello Owais,

'modify' in this context just means that it tells us more about the verb, adjective or adverb (adverbs can also modify other adverbs). For example, I can say 'I am sick'. If I modify the adjective 'sick' with the adverb 'very', it gives more details about 'sick'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you I will elaborate it sir If we take the sentence in isolation Okay leave that , in context if I go to a marriage hall to meet the people and when I reach there I find the hall empty , then I text my friend that they are gone ( means the people are gone) Is it correct because we don't use are with past participle form of verb My guardian told me that you should better write they have gone? What do you say sir I mean why this is wrong or why correct?

Hello Owais,

Thanks for explaining the context. You could say 'They are gone' or 'They have gone' in this case. 'have gone' is a present perfect verb and would mean that they left a short time ago.

'are gone' is what most people would say, and although it looks like the present perfect, it is not – it is the verb 'be' in the present simple tense with the past participle 'gone', which in this case acts as an adjective.

I would recommend saying and writing 'They are gone'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Aa everyone ... Sir I have a simple question Please help me in making my concept clear We say "They are gone" Is this sentence correct ? If yes please explain and if wrong then please make it correct with giving clear cut rules Thank you

Hello Owais,

'They are gone' is grammatically correct, but whether it is not correct in a situation depends on the situation.

We're happy to help with your questions if they are related to the topic on one of our pages. Please make them as specific as possible, with as much explanation of what you understand and don't understand and how you see the issue you're asking about. We can help you much better this way!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

naghmairam 提交于 周四, 02/03/2017 - 06:46

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Hello, Is the following sentence correct? 'Explain in detail so that the students can understand.' I am not sure what tense to use after 'so that'. Please advise. Thanks

Hello naghmairam,

That sentence is fine. There is no rule about the tense that can be used here, other than normal rules of logic. As 'explain' refers to an action in the present or future you could not use a past form, but if we change 'explain' to 'explained' then a past form would be fine. It is just a question of logic: the result must be later in time than the cause.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Khatetsky 提交于 周三, 22/02/2017 - 11:24

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Hello there, Would you clarify me please if there is any grammatical mistake regarging the word order (the place of the adverb 'continuously') in the sentences below: 1) We have continuously been improving our skills ... 2) We have been continuously improving our skills ... If both variants are possible, please kindly explain me the difference in their meaning. Thank you and regards,

Hello Khatetsky,

Both sentences are correct and mean the same thing. Sometimes, moving an adverb from one position to another will change the meaning slightly, but in this case I can't think of any obvious change.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

kisa zehra 提交于 周二, 07/02/2017 - 16:33

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No sir now i got it ,thank you :)

kisa zehra 提交于 周日, 05/02/2017 - 11:19

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No, its a question sir.... my teacher says I is subjective case and me is objective and i didnt get her what she meant so that previous question made more confused

Hello kisa zehra,

Then the correct question is 'May Aysha and I go to university?' What you teacher means is that 'I' is used as the subject of a verb. For example, if you say 'I see the dog', 'I' is the person who is seeing. But if you say 'The dog sees me', 'me' is not the person seeing – it's the dog who is seeing. 'me' is used when it is the object of a verb.

I hope that helps you. If not, I'd encourage you to ask your teacher, as I'm sure she can explain it in a useful way for you.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

kisa zehra 提交于 周六, 04/02/2017 - 12:36

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Sir, Whats the differnce b/w these two sentences or are they correct or not:- May I and aysha go to university. May me and aysha go to university.

Hello kisa zehra,

It's not clear to me whether you want to ask a question or express a wish. In either case, in standard English, it's generally considered more polite to put the other person's name before 'I' or 'me'. In this case, 'I' is a subject of the verb (not an object), so 'I' is better than 'me'.

If you want to express a wish, I'd say 'May Aysha and I go to university.' If you want to ask a question (asking for permission), the sentence is the same, but with a question mark (?) at the end.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Salie108 提交于 周五, 03/02/2017 - 17:10

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some words like rather, very, slightly, etc are types of adjectives and adverbs. So, how to differentiate between adverbs and adjectives?

Hello Salie108,

All of those words are adverbs, not adjectives, so there is no confusion there.

There are words which have the same form as adverbs and adjectives - fast and live are examples. With words like these you need to look at the context and decide what the word is describing and what its role in the sentence is.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Emad Fawzy 提交于 周五, 03/02/2017 - 15:07

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I'd like to know the correct question tag for this sentence He must have been here before

Hello Emad Fawzy,

To make a question tag you use the auxiliary verb, which in this case is 'must'. As the sentence is an affirmative sentence the tag is generally negative, so the tag would be 'mustn't he'.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

pumbi 提交于 周五, 03/02/2017 - 02:58

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Hi Sir ; I have heard that people always use the word "Basically" . Sometimes it is difficult to figure out the meaning. Example : It is basically very fast method. Thanks

Hello pumbi,

Have you tried looking it up in the dictionary? There's a definition and numerous example sentences in the Cambridge Dictionary entry for 'basically' – I'd encourage you to take a look at them. Note that 'basically' is also discussed in a blog entry on adverbs that are often used to start sentences.

The example sentence you cite implies that the most important thing about the method (for the person who says the sentence) is that the method is very fast.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team