Please, Adverb, Tell Us When

The most common types of adverbs are those of frequency, manner, place, purpose, and time. They describe when, how, where, and why an action occurs. Adverbs are sometimes used to intensify an action, or they may describe the circumstances in which an action takes place. Adverbs usually modify verbs. They can also describe adjectives and other adverbs. Adverbs tend to end with the suffix -ly, but not all of them do so.

Adverbs of Frequency

These adverbs answer the question How often? Examples include rarely, sometimes, and occasionally. If someone asks you how often you have trouble doing something and you answer, “I occasionally have trouble,” the adverb of frequency here is occasionally.

Adverbs of Manner

Adverbs of manner describe the conditions under which something happens. They answer the question How? and can be created by adding -ly to an adjective. They’re typically located immediately before the main verb or after the direct object in a sentence.

Adverbs of Place

These adverbs answer the question Where? They can be single words, such as here, there, inside, or outside, or they can be adverbial phrases, such as in my house or on the bus.

Take, for example, the following sentence: “She moved into her mother’s apartment while she looked for a new place.” Here, the adverbial phrase into her mother’s apartment describes where she moved.

Adverbs of Purpose

These adverbs answer the question Why? They’re often phrases that begin with to or because.

Examples include “He left an hour early to beat traffic,” or “He left the party early because he didn’t feel well.” Here, to beat traffic and because he didn’t feel well are adverbial phrases that describe why he left early.

Adverbs of Time

Adverbs of time explain when something happens. They answer the question When? Examples include yesterday, today, never, and always.

Here’s an example from Fangirl: A Novel by Rainbow Rowell: “We met yesterday. I was in the room when you met me.” Here, the adverb yesterday describes when the two people met.