Module 6, Modifiers: Adjectives and Adverbs, Lesson 5:

Adverbs Modifying Verbs


You know that words that modify nouns (or pronouns) are adjectives. Words that modify verbs, adjectives, or adverbs are adverbs.

An adverb modifies a verb, adjective, or another adverb.

Adverbs answer the questions when, where, how, and to what extent (how much or how long).

  • when: Yesterday we went to school.
  • where: We saw the bird there.
  • how: The car drove fast.
  • how much: We mostly agree with you.

They also confirm that something was or was not done.

  • positive: He certainly does feel that way.
  • negative: You should not be late.
When adverbs modify adjectives or other adverbs, they are usually answering the question to what extent?

Position of Adverbs

Generally, adverbs make sense directly after the verbs they modify, but they can also be moved around the sentence. It can go at the beginning of the sentence, before the verb, or between a helping verb and the main verb.

I walk my dog daily.
Daily I walk my dog.
I daily walk my dog.
I have daily walked my dog.
Do not put an adverb between parts of an infinitive verb. Be careful not to move it to a place where it could be confused with a different meaning.
I like to often read good books. (incorrect - You like it only when you can do it often.)
I like to read often good books. (incorrect - The books aren't often good but sometimes not good.)
I like to read good books often. (correct)

Practice What You've Learned

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Click first on an adverb then the verb it modifies. Repeat for each adverb in the sentence.
Yesterday we ran quickly to the mall.
Near forests, residents must always put their garbage securely in bear-proof trash cans.
Locally, mosquitoes often grow quite large.
Denise usually runs slowly along the river bank.
Lonnie does not usually do his homework on time.
The astronauts normally live together in the space station.
Hurricanes sometimes hit Florida hard and often cause much damage.
Tuesday Jerome will probably drive to his aunt's house.
The cat easily and quickly climbed up the tree.
My dog normally sleeps downstairs.