An adverb is a word that modifies a verb, an adjective, another adverb, a phrase, or a clause. An adverb indicates manner, time, place, cause, or degree. It answers questions such as “how,” “when,” “where,” and “how much.”
While some adverbs can be identified by their characteristic “ly” suffix, most of them must be identified by untangling the grammatical relationships within the sentence or clause as a whole, Just because a word has an -ly ending is not a guarantee that a word is an adverb. The words lovely, lonely, motherly, friendly, neighborly, for example, are adjectives, not adverbs. Unlike an adjective, an adverb can be found in various places within the sentence.
In the sentences below, each of the highlighted words is an adverb:
The baker quickly made the morning doughnuts.
In the sentence above, the adverb “quickly” modifies the verb “made” and indicates in what manner (or how fast) the doughnuts were produced.
The children waited patiently through the long trip.
In the sentence above, the adverb “patiently” modifies the verb “waited” and describes the manner in which the children waited.
The harshly spoken words would return to haunt the teacher.
In the sentence above, the adverb “harshly” modifies the adjective “spoken.”
We urged him to finish his homework more expeditiously.
Here the adverb “more” modifies the adverb “expeditiously.”
We happily thanked Mrs. Smith for baking us an apple pie.
In the sentence above, the adverb “happily” modifies the verb “thanked.”
Unfortnately, school was not in session today.
In the example above, the adverb “unfortunately” modifies the entire sentence.