Adverbs dress up verbs, adjectives or other adverbs. Since verbs are such integral parts of our everyday language, their modifiers are also multi-faceted. To start, there are five types of adverbs you should familiarize yourself with: adverbs of degree, frequency, manner, place, and time. With these categories under your belt, you’ll be well-positioned to identify all the different types of adverbs.
Types of Adverbs: The Main Kinds Explained
Adverbs of Manner
Adverbs of manner tell us how, or in what manner, something was carried out. They mostly modify verbs and can often be found at the end of a clause or right before the word they modify. This category comprises the most common adverbs — the ones that end in -ly.
Here are some examples of adverbs of manner:
Example sentences that include these types of adverbs include:
- He trimmed the white roses neatly. (How did he trim them?)
- I combed my dog’s fur carefully because it had lots of tangles. (How did you comb it?)
- Please discuss the topic calmly. (How should I discuss it?)
- An anonymous donor generously gave us enough money for the new stage. (How did they give the money?)
- The little girl skipped happily down the road. (How did she skip?)
Adverbs of Degree
Adverbs of degree tell us more about the intensity of the verb in the sentence. They describe how much, or to what degree, something happened. Adverbs of degree are often placed before the word they modify, although in some cases, they follow the word (such as the adverb "enough").
Popular adverbs of degree include:
Read these sample sentences to see how adverbs of degree provide more information about the words they modify.
- This short essay is hardly sufficient. (How sufficient is it?)
- The dress is simply gorgeous. (How gorgeous is it?)
- I’m so excited to move to Ireland. (How excited are you?)
- Tori lost almost all her savings. (How much of her savings did she lose?)
- The book was interesting enough to keep my attention. (How interesting was it?)
Adverbs of Frequency
Adverbs of frequency let us know how often something occurs. These adverbs tend to appear right before the main verb in the sentence or at the end of the clause. Popular adverbs in this category include:
- every (hour, day, week, year, and so on)
Sentences with these types of adverbs include:
- I always read a book before bed. (How often do you read a book before bed?)
- He normally walks his dog at this time. (How often does he walk his dog at this time?)
- She usually shops at the Korean market in town. (How often does she shop there?)
- We never stay up past ten o'clock. (How often do you stay up that late?)
- I'd love to visit Denmark again. (How often would you like to visit?)
Adverbs of Place
Adverbs of place tell us more about where the verb took place. Many writers confuse them with prepositions, which describe the location of nouns. While some of these words can function as prepositions, they are considered adverbs when they modify verbs. Also, prepositions are followed by objects, while adverbs of place are not.
Common adverbs of place include:
Let’s take a look at them in action:
- In Ireland, there are thatched-roof cottages everywhere. (Where are the cottages?)
- There are more boxes over there. (Where are there more boxes?)
- It's time for lunch, so go inside. (Where should I go?)
- You can park anywhere. (Where can I park?)
- Let's go back before we get lost. (Where should we go?)
Adverbs of Time
Adverbs of time detail when the verb took place. We usually see these kinds of adverbs placed at the beginning or end of a sentence. Although many prepositions can also indicate when something happened, they are always followed by objects, so you can easily tell when a word is an adverb.
Adverbs of time include:
You can use adverbs of time in the following sentences:
- Lately, you’ve been rude to everyone around. (When were you rude?)
- They recently relocated to Santa Fe. (When did they relocate?)
- The morning newspaper arrives earlier. (When does it arrive?)
- We'll take a trip to Yosemite later. (When will we take a trip?)
- I'll finish my project tomorrow. (When will you finish it?)
Types of Adverb Printable
If you'd like a handy reference sheet with each type of adverb, download and print the PDF below. It's a helpful resource for your writing notebook or classroom.
Now that you know the different types of adverbs, feel free to add them to your writing — but do so sparingly. If you see a spot where you can opt for one strong verb in lieu of an adverb and a mediocre verb, opt for the singular verb. Otherwise, your writing can become too bulky and cumbersome. If you're looking for the perfect adverb, see if you can find it with a printable list of 100 adverbs.