Examples of Adverbs Study Guide

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Updated on Sep 20, 2011

Examples of Adverbs

This study guide reviews how easily you can make your writing and speech livelier and more interesting by adding adverbs, those handy words that help verbs communicate better.

As you learned in the previous lesson, verbs are the engines of communication; they describe the action in sentences. Adverbs are words that modify, or add more information about, a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. Here are some examples:

  • shouting angrily
  • carefully shredding papers
  • smiling graciously
  • write easily
  • gratefully count your blessings
  • run quickly

As the examples show, adverbs add flavor and punch to verbs. In fact, adverbs can be thought of as fuel to makes verb engines work better. Using adverbs to dress up and clarify your communications is a great way to increase your word power.

TIP: Learning how adverbs work may seem like just another grammar lesson, but don't be turned off. Knowing adverbs and how they work will help you build word power, which is why you're using this book, right?

Adverbs at Work

Adverbs provide information about how, when, where, and to what extent something is happening in a sentence. Some adverbs function as intensifiers, modifying adjectives or other adverbs to add intensity, or strength, to the words. Here are some examples:

  • We almost won the game.
  • He nearly ate the whole thing.
  • She always arrives promptly.

Many adverbs are formed by adding the suffix -ly to adjectives. So the adjective quick becomes quickly and lazy becomes lazily. Making adverbs this way is an easy way to expand your word power; just think of an adjective, then change it to an adverb to make a verb more specific.

Some Common Adverb Mistakes

There are some adjectives and adverbs that get confused and are often used incorrectly. Memorize their correct use. If you learn them well, and never make an error with them, you'll immediately be perceived as a writer or speaker with both good grammar and word power.

Here are the correct usages:

  • real = always an adjective
  • really = always an adverb

Studying regularly can make a real difference.

Reading really opens students' minds.

  • bad = always an adjective
  • badly = always an adverb  

Lynne has a bad cold.

Jimmy did badly on his vocabulary test.

  • good = always an adjective
  • well = almost always an adverb, except when it describes health  

Jimmy is usually a good student.

He didn't feel well on the day of the test.

The team played well in yesterday's game.

Adverbs to Know and Use Well

This lesson provides 12 very useful adverbs, many of which you may already know and use in their adjective form. They're accompanied by short definitions, in case you don't know the words already, and sample sentences.

Read the list carefully and think of ways you can incorporate (add) the words into your daily vocabulary. Too often we use the same old words over and over, without attempting to make our sentences more lively and decorated.

  1. energetically. To do something with notable energy, dedication, or extra effort. The students attacked the new science project energetically.
  2. enthusiastically. To do something with eagerness or intense feeling. The class approached the lesson in cookie baking enthusiastically.
  3. experimentally. To follow established procedures in order to establish the truth or accuracy of something. Lasers are being used experimentally to monitor sales in the school store.
  4. expertly. To do something with an extraordinary amount of skill and knowledge. Spelling bees demand that students spell expertly and stay calm as well.
  5. extremely. To do something at a level beyond the norm. The teacher was extremely patient with the noisy class.
  6. frantically. To do something in a rush or panic. The fire alarm sent the students running frantically from the building.
  7. sadly. To do something out of unhappiness, distress, or regret. Once the all-safe bell sounded, the students returned sadly to class; they had hoped for a day off from school.
  8. successfully. To do something that achieves a goal; to reach success. The teacher successfully convinced the students that they needed vocabulary help.
  9. suddenly. To do something in a quick, unexpected way. The cookies seemed to be taking a long time to bake, but suddenly they were golden brown and ready to devour.
  10. swiftly. To do something quickly. The time passed swiftly during the movie; the students hardly realized how much time had passed.
  11. thoughtfully. To do something with care, deliberation, and dedicated thought. The teacher thoughtfully excused the students early on Friday, figuring they needed a break after a long hard week.
  12. vigorously. To do something with energy and strength. Despite being ten points behind, the team played vigorously until the end of the game.

Practice exercises for this study guide can be found at:

Examples of Adverbs Practice Exercises

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