Wednesday, 18 April 2018

How To Use Adverbs

Using adverbs can make our writing more interesting to read.
They provide detail by describing other elements in the sentence.
But what do they describe?

·        Verbs (action or doing words)
He quickly ate his sandwich.
·        Adjectives (words that describe a noun)
Tammy’s dress was really beautiful.
·        Other adverbs
Ben always played outside
·        A whole sentence
Glen went to the beach yesterday.
So, adverbs are very busy – with so many things to describe.

Adverbs are busy bees!          

Adverbs often give us information that answers a question like:
·        How?
·        How often? or How much?
·        When?
·        Where?
This chart gives you an idea of some of the adverbs that can be used to answer these questions:

Can you think about some adverbs that you could add to each list?

They can also refer to our opinions:
 Personally, I don’t like chocolate…
 And link information  however I detest sweets.

So, understanding what adverbs are will help you to check whether you are using them in our work.
If you are, your writing will be more detailed thus more interesting to read.
Consider these sentences. See how including adverbs makes them better. We can form a clearer picture in our mind of what has been recorded.
Tommy ate a sandwich.
Tommy never ate a sandwich slowly.

Lucy answered the question.
Lucy nearly answered the question correctly.    

Jane sang.
Yesterday, Jane sang beautifully.
Today, Jane sang terribly!

The dog sat.
The dog sat there patiently.  

Sometimes, it can be tricky to decide where to position an adverb in the sentence. There are some basic rules we can apply.
·        When the adverb is describing a verb it can go before or after the verb – choose the one that sounds better.
John sings loudly.       John loudly sings.
However, if the verb is directly linked to an object then place the adverb before the verb:
Joe carefully put the candles on the cake.
·        When describing an adjective, place the adverb before the adjective.
Lucy is extremely happy.
·        When referring to the whole sentence, the adverb generally comes at the beginning or the end of the sentence:
Yesterday, I went to the beach.
I go on holiday every year.
·        When describing another adverb, they can follow one another:
He walked into the room very loudly.
Or, they can be split:
Jack never ate quietly.

Try to pack extra information into your sentence so that your reader can easily understand what you are trying to say.
Remember, adverbs make your work more interesting to read.
There are lots of links on the internet that will help you to use adverbs in your writing.
Why not play some of these games, and make your teachers very happy when they see adverbs in your work!

Word Invasion – untick all options other than nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs
Verb Explorer – to help you to identify verbs that you might want to describe
Creepy verbs and adverbs

This post was written by Karen Crichton, one of our English tutors at Blackhen Education.