An adverb is a part of speech that provides greater description to a verb, adjective, or another adverb. They're noted for their -ly ending, although they don't have to end in -ly. Anxiously is an adverb, but so is something like above. We're at the start of an alphabetical list of adverbs, beginning with adverbs that start with A. Without further ado, let's step right in.
Below, you'll find 50 A-adverbs in common use today. Beside them is a short and sweet definition, as well as a sampling of synonyms:
higher in position
over, atop, beyond
in a foreign country
overseas, elsewhere, internationally
happening quickly or unexpectedly
suddenly, unexpectedly, precipitously
certainly, definitely, unequivocally
in a scholarly manner
scholastically, educationally, intellectually
something that happens by mistake or without intent
inadvertently, unintentionally, unwittingly
in an appropriate, suitable way
consequently, correspondingly, subsequently
in a precise manner
exactly, meticulously, correctly
in an acting or moving manner
vigorously, ardently, currently
something truthful, legitimate, or correct
certainly, clearly, obviously
as an extra factor or circumstance
also, furthermore, plus
something that was completed in a satisfactory way
sufficiently, appropriately, suitably
by admission or acknowledgement
absolutely, honestly, legitimately
two things working against one another
negatively, unfavorably, skeptically
from or to a great distance away
far off, remote, a great distance
starting over again
again, anew, once more
at a later time; subsequently
eventually, following, later
returning to a place; performing an action an additional time
additionally, besides, moreover
in a bold or assertive manner
forcefully, belligerently, antagonistically
in the past or before
back, before, since
in a pleasant manner
willingly, affably, pleasantly
in front of
above, afore, early
in a similar manner
identically, concordantly, congruently
apparently, but without proof
purportedly, supposedly, avowedly
slightly short of; not quite
apparently, approximately, practically
apart, companionless, solo
something spoken that can be heard
audibly, clearly, distinctly
something that happened before a specific time
formerly, previously, earlier
okay or satisfactory
adequately, appropriately, contentedly
in addition to
again, too, furthermore
having or choosing another option
as a whole
collectively, completely, unconditionally
constantly, continually, perpetually
in a wonderful way
wonderfully, admirably, magnificently
once every year
each year, every year, per annum
no matter what else may be true
anyway, nevertheless, regardless
any longer; at the present
any longer, today, at the moment
something done without regard to what happens
anyhow, nevertheless, regardless
at any place
people or things that are separated by time or distance
alone, asunder, separately
allegedly, ostensibly, supposedly
in an appropriate or suitable manner
suitably, accordingly, judiciously
imprecise, but close in quantity or amount
generally, practically, relatively
as can be supported by sound, logical deduction
supposedly, evidently, apparently
away from; to the side
afar, alone, away
not being on the right route
abroad, adrift, aside
moving or starting independently
naturally, undoubtedly, unquestionably
at another location
abroad, along, apart
to do something for a short time
briefly, momentarily, temporarily
If you're still hungry for more, check out this List of 100 Adverbs!
"Exactly," you say? There we have a nice E-adverb. Notice how "exactly" is adding emphasis to the linking verb "is." "What is an adverb?" would be a perfectly acceptable statement, too, but adverbs are around to add a little "oomph" or detail where possible.
Adverbs don't just stand alongside verbs. They can also modify adjectives and other adverbs. A great way to spot adverbs is to look for words that end in -ly. Examples from the above list include "abruptly" and "actively."
We can get a little more specific than simply saying adverbs add intensity or emphasis to other words. Let's take a closer look at what, exactly, they aim to do:
- Adverbs Tell How It Happened: Adverbs like "abruptly" describe how something was done.
- Adverbs Tell Where It Happened: Adverbs like "afar" describe the location of where something happened.
- Adverbs Tell When It Happened: Adverbs like "annually" describe when something took place.
- Adverbs Tell The Extent of an Action: Adverbs like "almost" describe the extent to which something did or did not happen.
For more on how adverbs work to intensify the meaning behind other words, check out these Examples of Adverbs.
If you've been wondering how some of the above adverbs look in sentence form, wonder no longer! Here are ten of them in action:
- She reached above for one of the dishes.
- Let's travel abroad together.
- He abruptly left the workshop.
- She accidentally tore her shirt.
- He became additionally interested in this type of literature.
- I am adequately prepared to leave for Kenya tomorrow.
- We will visit Nairobi annually.
- We can get lost anywhere together.
- Don't automatically rule out Boston as a place to live.
- Let's wait awhile before calling.
If you're interested in a deeper dive into the categories of adverbs, check out our article on Types of Adverbs. It explores further categories such as adverbs of degree (e.g., "almost") and adverbs of time (e.g., "daily").
Finally, note that, although adverbs are enticing intensifiers, it's best to use them with caution. Too many -ly words in a span of writing can make things seem clunky. Whenever you can go with a strong verb in lieu of a bland verb and an adverb, opt for the strong verb.