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Classification of Adverbs



§ 2.According to their meaning, adverbs fall into the follow-
ing groups:

1) adverbs of time:afterwards, already, at once, eventually,
immediately, lately, now, presently, soon, suddenly, then, when,
yesterday, yet,
etc.

e.g. He is coming tomorrow.
He is nowin his office.

2) adverbs of frequency:always, constantly, hardly ever, never,
occasionally, often, seldom, sometimes, three times, twice,
etc.

e.g. He is alwaysin time for meals.
They sometimesstay up all night.

3) adverbs of place or direction:abroad, ashore, backwards, be-
low, downstairs, everywhere, here, inside, outside, seaward(s),
there, to and fro, where,
etc.

e.g. Ilooked for him everywhere.
It was all rather dark within.
A dog began to bark somewhere inside.

The use of somewhere, anywhere and nowhere indifferent
kinds of sentences is similar to the use of the corresponding in-
definite pronouns some, any and no (see "Pronouns", §§ 19-22).

4) adverbs of manner:badly, clearly, deeply, fast, how, quickly,
sideways, sincerely, somehow, well, willingly,
etc.

e.g. He speaks English well.

George played very badlyin the match yesterday.

Adverbs of manner saying how an action is performed can
freely occur with dynamic verbs, but not with stative verbs.

e.g. He looked into the problem carefully.
He walked upstairs quietly.
The boy blushed violently.


5) adverbs of degree or intensifiers:completely, enough, ex-
tremely, highly, muck, nearly, perfectly, pretty, quite, rather, re-
ally, so, somewhat, terribly, too, unusually, very,
etc.

e.g. I quite agree with you.
He is veryclever.
Hedid it quickly enough.

Adverbs of degree or intensifiers may be subdivided into three
semantic groups:

a) emphasizers(emphasizing the truth of the communication):
actually, at all, clearly, definitely, indeed, just, literally, plainly,
really, simply,
etc.

e.g. I reallydon't know what he wants.

They literallytore his arguments to pieces.
I simplydon't believe you.
I justcan't understand it.
You haven't done it well at all.

b) amplifiers(expressing a high degree): absolutely, altogether,
badly, bitterly, completely, deeply, entirely, extremely, (by) far,
fully, greatly, heartily, much, perfectly, quite, terribly, thoroughly,
utterly, very,
etc.

e.g. I thoroughlydisapprove of his methods.
He completely ignored my request.
He needs a warm coat badly.
They are very close friends.
Your work is not altogethersatisfactory.

c) downtoners(lowering the effect): a bit, almost, barely,
enough, hardly, kind of, (a) little, moderately, more or less, near-
ly, partly, quite, rather, scarcely, slightly, somewhat, sort of, suffi-
ciently,
etc.

e.g. I know him slightly.

I partlyagree with you.
I kindof like him.
I don't like his attitude a bit.
I almost believed him.

6) focusing adverbs,which can be of two kinds:


a) restrictive:alone, exactly, just, merely, only, precisely,
purely, simply, especially,
etc.

e.g. I am simplyasking the time.

My father alonecould help me at the time.

b) additive:again, also, either, equally, even, too, etc.

e.g. He didn't answer my letter again.
I, too,am very busy at the moment.

7) viewpoint adverbs:economically, morally, politically, scien-
tifically, weatkerwise,
etc. Such adverbs are understood to mean
'from a moral (political, scientific) point of view*.

e.g. Geographicallyand linguistically,these islands are closer to

the mainland than to the neighbouring islands.
Economically,the project is bound to fail.

8) attitudinal adverbswhich express the speaker's comment
on the content of what he is saying. Such adverbs can be of two
kinds:

a) adverbs expressing a comment on the truth-value of what is
being said, indicating the extent to which the speaker believes
what he is saying is true: admittedly, allegedly, apparently, cer-
tainly, decidedly, definitely, doubtless, maybe, obviously, perhaps,
possibly, presumably, probably, quite likely, supposedly, surely, un-
doubtedly,
etc.

e.g. Perhapsthe public does not have much choice in the matter.
Certainly, he had very little reason to fear anyone.

b) adverbs expressing some attitude towards what is being
said: amazingly, cleverly, (in)correctly, curiously, foolishly,
(un)fortunately, funnily enough, (un)happily, incredibly, ironical-
ly, (un)justly, (un)luckily, oddly, preferably, reasonably, remark-
ably, sensibly, significantly, strangely, tragically, typically, unex-
pectedly,
etc.

e.g. He is wiselystaying at home tonight.

Naturallywe were extremely annoyed when we received the

letter.

9) conjunctive adverbs:above all, accordingly, alternatively,
anyhow, anyway, as a result, at any rate, besides, by the way,


consequently, finally, first(ly), for all that, for example, further,
furthermore, hence, however, incidentally, in other words, in spite
of that, instead, in that case, lastly, likewise, meantime, mean
while, namely, nevertheless, next, on the contrary, on the one (oth-
er) hand, otherwise, rather, secondly, similarly, so, still, that is,
then, therefore, though, thus, too, yet,
etc.

e.g. I'd like you to do two things for me. First, phone the office
and tell them I'll be late. Secondly, order a taxi to be here
in about half an hour.

Incidentally, he left you a message. It is on your desk.

I didn't like the food there. However, I didn't complain
about it.

He has been working very hard. He looks fit, though.

10) formulaic adverbs (markers of courtesy): cordially, kindly,
please,
etc.

e.g. Will you kindly help me with the parcel?
We cordially invite you to our party.
Let me have a look at the picture, please.

§ 3. The adverbs when, where, how and why belonging to dif-
ferent semantic groups mentioned above have one point in com-
mon — they serve to form questions and introduce some kinds of
subordinate clauses. In the former case, owing to their auxiliary
function, they are called interrogative adverbs (a). In the latter
case, also owing to their auxiliary function, they are called con-
junctive adverbs (b). In both cases they perform different adver-
bial functions in the sentence.

e.g. a) When did you see him last? (adverbial modifier of time)
Where are you going? (adverbial modifier of place)
How did you manage it? (adverbial modifier of manner)
Why didn't you tell me about it? (adverbial modifier of

cause)
b) Sunday was the day when he was least busy, (adverbial

modifier of time)
The thing to find out was where he was then, (adverbial

modifier of place)

How it was done remains a mystery to me. (adverbial modi-
fier of manner)


I wanted to know why he had left us so abruptly, (adverbi-
al modifier of cause)

As is seen from the above examples, the conjunctive adverbs
can introduce attributive, predicative, subject and object clauses.

The adverb how, in addition to the above functions, can also
be placed at the head of an exclamatory sentence. In this case it is
often followed by an adjective or an adverb but it may also be
used alone. This how is sometimes called the exclamatory how.

e.g. How unfair grown-ups are!
Oh, how the baby cries!

Forms of Adverbs

§ 4. A considerable number of adverbs are formed from adjec-
tives by adding -ly, e.g. calm, — calmly, slow — slowly, kind
kindly, etc.

Spelling notes:

a) adjectives ending in -y change it to -i, e.g. gay — gaily,
busy — busily, happy — happily,
but: dry — dryly/drily;

b) adjectives ending in -able/ible drop the final e and add -y, e.g.
capable — capably, suitable — suitably, sensible — sensibly etc;

c) adjectives ending in -l double it, e.g. skilful — skilfully, final
finally, beautiful — beautifully.

But adverbs cannot be formed from adjectives already ending
in -ly, such as manly, friendly, silly, lively, fatherly, etc. An ad-
verbial phrase is used in this case instead of an adverb, e.g. in a
silly way, in a friendly manner,
etc.

Some adverbs, however, have the same form as the corre-
sponding adjective.

e.g. He walked very fast.

The road runs straight for miles.

He got up very early.

He didn't try hard enough.

I didn't wait for him long.
He spelled my name wrong.

Some other adverbs have two forms: the adjective form and
the form in -ly. In most cases the two forms differ in meaning.


e.g. He came late.

Ihaven't seen him lately.

The time is drawing nearfor our departure.
I nearlymissed my train.

He works hard.

He hardlyever works.

Itis prettyearly.

She was prettilydressed.

There is also a group of adverbs with which the form without
-ly is mainly found in set phrases where it often undergoes some
change of meaning.

e.g. They travelled cheaply.

He bought (sold, got) the car cheap.

She brushed the floor cleanly.

The bullet went clean(= right) through his shoulder.

He spoke loudly and clearly.

Stand clear of the door.

Keep clearof the painted wall.

He shut the door closely.
He followed close behind.
Keep close to me.

He loved his daughter dearly.
He
sold (bought) it dear.
It
cost him dear.
He paid dear(ly)for it.

He found his way easily.
Take it easy.
Go easyabout it.

They never treated him fairlyat school.
You must play (fight) fair.

They criticized my work freely.

People are admitted to the museum free.

I firmlybelieve that he can be made to see our point.
I shall stand firm.


They thought (spoke) highlyof him.

The plane flew high.

He paid highfor his mistake.

He spoke sharplyto me.
But: Turn sharpto the right.

He will arrive shortly.

It happened shortlybefore the war.

He cut me short.

Isaw him stop shortand then walk back.

The car passed slowly.
Go slow about it.

The books were tightlypacked in the crate.
Hold tight.

They differ widelyin opinions.
He was wideawake.
His eyes were wideopen.

In a few cases both forms can be used with little, if any, dif-
ference in meaning.

e.g. He talked loud/loudly.

He turned the idea down flat/flatly.
He drove the car slow/slowly.
He came back quick/quickly.

Note 1. Care should be taken to remember that after the link-verbs to feel, to
smell, to taste,
etc. only adjectives are used as predicatives.

e.g. He felt happy.

She is feeling bad (well).
The flowers smelled sweet.
The medicine tastes bitter.

Note 2. After certain intransitive verbs we find both adjectives and adverbs,
e.g. The wind blew strong(ly).
The sun shone bright(ly).
They stood motionless(ly).
They sat weary /wearily on the porch.
They lay silent(ly) on the grass.

Note 3. There are a few adjectives and adverbs in English which have the same form
in -ly. They have been derived from nouns, e.g. daily, weekly, monthly, hourly, etc.

e.g. It was his daily duty to water the flowers.
Most newspapers appear daily.


Degrees of Comparison

§ 5. Most adverbs are invariable. But certain adverbs of man-
ner change for degrees of comparison. The degrees of comparison
of adverbs are formed in the same way as those of adjectives.

Monosyllabic adverbs and the adverb early form the com-
parative and the superlative degrees by adding the suffixes -er
and -est.

e.g. hard — harder — hardest
soon — sooner — soonest
early — earlier — earliest

The degrees of comparison of all other adverbs are formed by
placing more and most before them.

e.g. beautifully —- more beautifully — most beautifully
cleverly — more cleverly — most cleverly

A few adverbs have irregular degrees of comparison.

e.g. well — better — best
badly — worse — worst
much — more — most
little — less — least

Note that it is only the comparative degree of adverbs that is
actually found in English.

e.g. He ran faster than the wind.

Little Martha danced even more beautifullythan her sister.

In the combinations most successfully, most wisely and the
like, most is an adverb of degree denoting 'very'. It is only the
superlatives best, most, worst and least that are actually used.

e.g, John's sister Marian was very nice to me, and I liked her

best of them all.
None of us played well, but Tom played worst that day.




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