A Quick Guide to Adverbs (Part 3)
So far in this series, we’ve looked at five different adverbial groups – those relating to frequency, place, time, degree, and probability. Here are two more varieties that regularly appear in our everyday conversations.
6. Adverbs of manner
Manner adverbs tell us how something happens or the way someone does something. As seen in the example sentences below, adverbs of manner are commonly formed by adding –ly to adjectives (carefully, beautifully, calmly). Based on phonological structure, some words take on a slightly different spelling, as in the case of hungrily.
Shawn unboxed the present carefully.
Annie’s brother dances beautifully.
He calmly said that he was quitting.
The kids ate the ice cream hungrily.
Mind you, there also exist manner adverbs that have the same form as adjectives, so don’t always go by appearance. For instance, the words hard, late, and fast have the same adjectival and adverbial form. In such cases, it’s the context which tells us which form the word is in. Here’s a comparison to help you understand better:
He drives a fast car.
(Here ‘fast’ describes the car’s ability to move quickly, so it is acting as an adjective)
He drives his car fast.
(Here ‘fast’ describes the manner in which someone drives, so it is acting as an adverb)
7. Sentence adverbs
Unlike other adverbial types, a sentence adverb refers to an entire sentence and not just a part of it. Also, it does not focus on an action in particular. Instead, it shows us the opinion of the speaker or writer. As they act as a comment, such adverbs are typically placed at the beginning and separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma. Another thing that makes them easy to spot is that they almost always end in –ly.
Interestingly, he decided to stay away from the award ceremony.
Unfortunately, the match had to be abandoned due to heavy rains.
Luckily, we got a lift to the airport and reached there just in time.
Clearly, he seems to have lost his magical touch.
Sentence adverbs can be used to convey various attitudes and feelings to situations, such as curiosity (interestingly), disappointment (unfortunately), relief (luckily), or clarity (clearly).
So, the next time you come across an adverb, think about what type it is and what it is trying to tell you.