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LEARN ENGLISH ADVERBS

Adverbs are types of words that we use to define or describe verbs, adjectives and other adverbs in the sentence.

Example

He learns English fast. (Él aprende Inglés rápido)

In this example, "fast" (rápido) describes the way "he" (él) "learns English" (aprende Inglés). If the adverb describes the adjective normally it goes before it.

Example

They are extremely happy. (Son extremadamente felices)

In this example, "extremely" (extremadamente) describes the adjective "happy" (felices). Sometimes they can also modify a whole sentence.

Example

They phoned when they arrived. (Llamaron cuando llegaron)

In this example "when" (cuando) introduces a sentence "they arrived" (llegaron) and at the same time modifies the whole sentence "they phoned" (llamaron).

There are seven main types of adverbs we need to learn:

Adverbs of manner: happily, sadly, slowly

Adverbs of time: now, then, already

Adverbs of place: there, here, nearby

Adverbs of degree: rather, enough, quite

Adverbs of frequency: always, sometimes, never

Relative adverbs: where, when, why

Interrogative adverbs: when.?, where.?, why.?

Just by adding "-ly" to an adjective we form many adverbs in English. They are the equivalent to the Spanish adverbs ending in "-mente".

Example

slow - slowly (lento - lentamente)

At this point we need to mention and you need to learn some GENERAL spelling rules. If the adjective ends in a vowel plus "-l", then we add "-ly".

Example

actual (adjective) - actually (adverb) (actual - actualmente)

If the adjective ends in "-y" normally it will change for "-i" and then we add "-ly"

Example

dry (adjective) - drily (adverb) (seco - secamente)

If the adjective ends in a consonant followed by "-e", it will keep the "-e" and then we add "-ly".

Example

intense (adjective) - intensely (adverb) (intenso - intensamente)

If the adjective ends in "-ic" we need to add "-ally".

We are now going to explain each type of adverb.

ADVERBS OF MANNER. Adverbs of manner are going to tell us the way the action has been performed, so by asking "how" (cómo) we will get the adverb of manner within a sentence.

Example They told us the news happily. (Nos contaron la noticia felizmente) In this example if we ask, "how did they tell us the news?" (¿cómo nos contaron la noticia?) we will get the answer "happily" (felizmente) which is the adverb of manner of the sentence. It is the word that tells us the way of the action of "telling us the news" (nos contaron la noticia) was carried out (by them).

ADVERBS OF TIME. Adverbs of time tell us the time when the action took place. To identify them we can ask a question starting with "when" (cuándo).

Example They told us the news yesterday. (Nos contaron la noticia ayer) In this example if we ask, "when did they tell us the news?" (¿cuándo nos contaron la noticia?) we will get the answer "yesterday" (ayer) which is the adverb of time of the sentence. It is the word that tells us the time when the action of "telling us the news" (nos contaron la noticia) took place.

ADVERBS OF PLACE. Adverbs of place tell us where the action was carried out. To identify them we can ask a question starting with "where" (dónde).

Example They told us the news here. (Nos contaron la noticia aquí) In this example if we ask, "where did they tell us the news?" (¿dónde nos contaron la noticia?) we will get the answer "here" (aquí) which is the adverb of place of the sentence. It is the word that tells us the place where the action of "telling us the news" (nos contaron la noticia) took place.

ADVERBS OF DEGREE. Adverbs of degree are going to modify other adverbs or adjectives. To identify them we can ask a question starting with "how much?" (cuánto).

Example They told us the news quite happily. (Nos contaron la noticia bastante felizmente) In this example "quite" (bastante) tells us "how happy" (cómo de feliz) they told us the news. These adverbs of degree can increase or decrease the meaning of the adverb or adjective they are modifying.

ADVERBS OF FREQUENCY. Adverbs of frequency tell us how often the action of the sentence is carried out. To identify them we can ask a question starting with "how often?" (con cuánta frecuencia)

Example They tell us the news daily. (Nos cuentan las noticias diariamente) In this example if we ask, "how often do they tell us the news?" (¿con cuánta frecuencia nos cuentan las noticias?) we will get the answer "daily" (diariamente) which is the adverb of frequency of the sentence. It is the word that tells us the frequency with which the action of "telling us the news" (contarnos las noticias) is repeated or carried out.

RELATIVE ADVERBS. The relative adverbs "when" (cuando), "where" (donde), "why" (por que) and "how" (como) modifies a noun or a whole sentence, but the noun that they are modifying does not appear in the sentence before them.

Example They will tell us the news when they are ready. (Nos contarán la noticia cuando estén preparados) In this example, "when" (cuando) introduces the sentence "they are ready" (estén preparados) which modifies the main sentence "they will tell us the news" (nos contarán la noticia) in the time, that is, from any moment, to the moment when they are ready. Occasionally in the spoken language, "when (cuando), where (donde) and why (por que)" have the noun they modify before them in the sentence.

Example The day when they told us the news. (El día cuando nos contaron la noticia) In this example, "when" (cuando) is introducing the sentence "they told us the news" (nos contaron la noticia) and modifies the noun "the day" (el día).

INTERROGATIVE ADVERBS. Interrogative adverbs are used at the beginning of questions to help determine the meaning of our question. They are "why (por qué), where (dónde), how (cómo), how much (cuánto), how many (cuántos/cuántas), how often (con cuánta frecuencia) and when (cuándo)".

Example When did they tell us the news? (¿Cuándo nos contaron la noticia?) Why did they tell us the news? (¿Por qué nos contaron la noticia?)

Adverbs, like adjectives, can be used in comparisons . Normally they follow the same rules as adjectives and like them there are a few that are irregular when making their comparisons. These you will have to learn by heart.

Adverb

Comparative

Superlative

Well (bien) better (mejor) the best (el mejor)
Badly (mal) worse (peor) the worst (el peor)
Little (poco) less (menos) the least (el menos)
Much (mucho) more (más) the most (el más)
Far (lejos) farther (más lejos) the farthest (for distance only) (el más lejano)
Far (lejos) further (más lejos) the furthest (distance and other uses) (el más lejano)