adverb


adverb
adverb
1. general.
The term adverb covers a wide variety of words, and is the least satisfactory of the conventional word categories applied to English. The principal adverb uses answer the question ‘how?’ or ‘in what manner?’, many of these being formed by the addition of the suffix -ly to adjectives (e.g. carefully, quickly, steadily, well), ‘when?’ or ‘how often?’ (e.g. soon, regularly, yesterday), ‘where?’ (e.g. downstairs, here, outside), and ‘to what extent?’ (e.g. extremely, hardly, somewhat). For a more detailed analysis of types of adverb, and for further terminology, the reader is referred to a standard grammar such as Greenbaum's Oxford English Grammar (1996), 141–52.
2. formation of adverbs.
The most common formation is achieved by adding -ly to adjectives, as in regularly, steadily, and quickly. Other adverbs are identical with adjectives (fast, well), and members of a third type are formed by adding other elements such as -ward(s), -ways and -wise to nouns, as in edgeways, homewards, and clockwise (some of these are also adjectives). In the 20c the range of adverbs ending in -wise has increased enormously, with many new ad-hoc (and often criticized) formations, such as anthem-wise and hind-foot-wise. Use of these should be confined to occasions when a jocular or other special effect is called for.
3. position of adverbs.
a) Adverbs that qualify single words such as adjectives, nouns, and other adverbs generally precede them as closely as possible (often late / very large / quite a while / too modestly.
b) The position of adverbs in phrases and clauses follows fairly clear rules, i.e. between an auxiliary verb and a main verb (e.g. Roosevelt's financial policy was roundly criticized in 1933 / He had inadvertently joined a lonely-hearts club), except for emphasis or when the adverb belongs closely to what follows the main verb (There is little chance that the student will function effectively after he returns to China), between one auxiliary verb and the next when there is more than one (e.g. A car dealer who could certainly have afforded to hire someone), and not between a verb and its object (Gradually the Chinese communists abandoned the Soviet methods / He dutifully observes all its quaint rules / They aim to set each subject briefly into context / Did he hear her correctly?. See also only, split infinitive.
4. sentence adverbs.
Some adverbs (such as clearly, happily, hopefully, thankfully, unhappily) refer to a whole statement, and form a comment associated more closely with the speaker or writer than with what is said. This can be seen by comparing the use of unhappily as an ordinary adverb of manner (She went unhappily to bed) with its use as a sentence adverb (She was, unhappily, too ill to leave the house). In this use, the adverb often stands at the beginning of the sentence: Clearly, we will have to think again.
Use of sentence adverbs is well established in English, and the only one that has given rise to controversy is hopefully, which has developed this role in the mid-20c (see hopefully).
5. adverbial use of nouns of time.
The adverbial use of days of the week (singular and plural) and similar words, familiar in AmE and some other varieties, is not common in current BrE:

• From now on gentlemen, Tuesdays and Thursdays you're going to learn to think like white men —V. O'Sullivan, 1985

(New Zealand)

• Tuesday night, the board approved the addition of a new subsection —Chicago Tribune, 1987

• I was to be offered an option of taking her with me summers —Saul Bellow, AmE 1987.

6. comparison of adverbs.
See -er and -est.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • adverb — ADVÉRB, adverbe, s.n. Parte de vorbire, în general neflexibilă, care determină sensul unui verb, al unui adjectiv sau al altui adverb, arătând locul, timpul, modul, cauza sau scopul. – Din fr. adverbe, lat. adverbium. Trimis de ana zecheru, 14.08 …   Dicționar Român

  • Adverb — Sn nähere Bestimmung des Verbs, Umstandswort erw. fach. (16. Jh., Form 18. Jh.) Entlehnung. Zunächst in lateinischer Form entlehnt aus l. (nomen) adverbium (eigentlich das zum Verb gehörende Wort ), zu l. verbum Wort, Zeitwort und l. ad hinzu ,… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • adverb — (n.) late 14c., from L.L. adverbium adverb, lit. that which is added to a verb, from ad to (see AD (Cf. ad )) + verbum verb, word (see VERB (Cf. verb)). Coined by Flavius Sosipater Charisius as a translation of Gk. epirrhema adverb, from …   Etymology dictionary

  • Adverb — Ad verb, n. [L. adverbium; ad + verbum word, verb: cf. F. adverbe.] (Gram.) A word used to modify the sense of a verb, participle, adjective, or other adverb, and usually placed near it; as, he writes well; paper extremely white. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Adverb — [Wichtig (Rating 3200 5600)] Auch: • Umstandswort Bsp.: • Bitte benutze ein Adverb in diesem Satz …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • adverb — ► NOUN Grammar ▪ a word or phrase that modifies the meaning of an adjective, verb, or other adverb, or of a sentence (e.g gently, very, fortunately). ORIGIN Latin adverbium, from ad to + verbum word, verb …   English terms dictionary

  • adverb — [ad′vʉrb΄] n. [ME adverbe < L adverbium < ad , to + verbum, a word] any of a class of words used generally to modify a verb, an adjective, another adverb, a phrase, or a clause, by expressing time, place, manner, degree, cause, etc.:… …   English World dictionary

  • Adverb — (Adverbium, zum Verbum gehöriges Wort) inflexibler Redetheil, der das Prädicat näher bestimmt, indem es Ort, Zeit, Art u.s.w., Bejahung und Verneinung angibt …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • àdverb — m gram., {{c=1}}v. {{ref}}prílog2{{/ref}} ✧ {{001f}}lat …   Veliki rječnik hrvatskoga jezika

  • adverb — àdverb m <G mn ērbā> DEFINICIJA gram., v. prilog ETIMOLOGIJA lat. adverbium ≃ ad + verb (um): riječ, glagol …   Hrvatski jezični portal