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An adverb modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. It usually answers the question: how?


Mary ate.  
How did Mary eat?  
Mary ate slowly.


An adverb is often formed by adding -ly to an adjective

An adverb can modify a number of different parts of speech, for example:

  • a verb

  • an adjective

  • a past participle

  • an adverb

An adverb has many different functions, for example:

  • adverbs of time answer the questions: when? how long? how often?

  • adverbs of manner answer the question: how is something done?

  • adverbs of certainty answer the question: how certain is the speaker?

  • adverbs of completeness answer the question: how much?

  • adverbs of place answer the question: where?

    Note: Most adverbs can have a number of different functions, depending on how they are used in a sentence.

An adverb must follow rules for word order.

Related sections
Adverb Clauses
List of Common Adverbs
Linking Words