Adverbs can act very similar to the adjective, in desriptive qualities and limiting factors. This can make adverbs tricky to locate in a sentence, or to use properly in writing. Adverbs modify verbs, hence the name. They "add" something to an existing verb. However, they can also modify adjectives and other adverbs. One key to locating adverbs is that they often end in -ly. What else can adverbs do? Adverbs can also . . .


a. introduce sentences.

b. connect independent clauses.

c. modify sentences and/or parts of sentences


If you're confused, look at the Venn Diagram below to see how adverbs and adjectives compare and contrast.


























When writing, be cautious not to overuse the adverb. A general rule of thumb is to only utilize an adverb to improve emphasis in a portion of your text. Also, remember to try and put adverbs close to the word(s) you're intending to emphasize.


The singer sang. (Boring)

The singer sang beautifully. (Much better with "beautifully" added for emphasis)



Adverbial Comparatives

Hence the name, adverbial comparatives offer a comparison between two things; whereas the superlative form shows the best or highest quality among three or more items being compared. See the chart below for examples. The adverbs being used are quietly, carefully, happily, and quickly.




















Comparative: I listen in class more carefully than my friend. (Comparing to only one other.)

Superlative: I listen in class most carefully in the morning. (Comparing to all other times of day.)






















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