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Describing language
Describing language

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1 Adverbs

An adverb, as you can probably guess, has something to do with verbs. Adverbs work with verbs in a similar way to how adjectives work with nouns. They make the verb more precise, or add detail to what the verb tells us. For example, he talks fast, I ran slowly, or the cat miaowed loudly.

In English, you can often make an adverb by adding the morpheme -ly to the end of an adjective.

Table 1
Adjective Adverb
quick quickly
slow slowly
nice nicely
easy easily
sudden suddenly
thoughtful thoughtfully
close closely
distant distantly

Not every adverb ends in -ly, though (for example, fast or hard). The ones that do are mostly adverbs that tell us about how something was done or how something happened. But a few others, like too and also, can do this job as well.

Some adverbs tell us where and when the action of the verb took place: here, there, everywhere, always, never, still, yesterday, today, tomorrow are all adverbs.