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Adverbs of time answer the question When? How long? or How often?

Once, twice, thrice, denote time. First, secondly, thirdly, etc., denote either place or time. (Firstly should not be used.)

The nouns to-day, to-morrow, to-night, and yesterday are generally called adverbs of time.

4. Adverbs of degree; as, much, less, too, as, so, fully, quite, how, infinitely, all, etc.

Adverbs of degree answer the question, In what degree? or How much? They generally modify adjectives or adverbs.

5. Adverbs of cause; as, why, therefore, accordingly, hence, consequently, etc.

Adverbs of cause answer the question Why?

6. Adverbs of affirmation and negation; as, verily, certainly, truly, not, no, etc.

7. Adverbs of doubt; as, perhaps, perchance, probably, etc. 8. Adverbs of addition ; as, besides, still, etc.

9. Adverbs of emphasis; as, only, too, but, even, also, both, either, neither, etc. (204.)

Adverbs of emphasis are used to render other words more emphatic. They may modify nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, verbals, phrases, clauses, or sentences. In “I, too, am sick,” 7 is emphasized, and hence modified. In “I am sick, too,” sick is made emphatic. In “I am too sick,” too is an adverb of degree. In “Both winds and waves sweep it,” both modifies winds and waves. Neither modifies just and kind in “ It was neither just nor kind.” Both and neither in such constructions are usually called conjunctions. (966, note 2.)

10. The adverb of position, there ; as, There was no one here.” (206.)

Phrases and clauses used as adverbs may express manner, place, time, degree, cause, etc. The idea expressed by a phrase or a clause is generally indicated by the word that introduces it. (916, note 2; 820, 2; 955.)

820. To the foregoing classes may be added —

1. Interrogative adverbs, or adverbs used to ask questions. The words that may be thus used are how, where, whither, whence, when, and why; as, How can I go?” Whence come the clouds ?”

2. Conjunctive adverbs, or adverbs used to introduce clauses, and join them to the words that the clauses modify. The words that may be thus used are how, where, whither, whence, when, why, as, before, after, till, until, however, wherever, whenever, while, since, ere, and the (p. 324); as, "I saw how a pencil is made." O'er the grave where our hero we buried. Wolfe. “ The tree lies where it fell.” (248.)

See “ Conjunctive adverbs,” p. 317.

The words directly and immediately are frequently used as conjunctive adverbs in England, but rarely in America; as, The work was suppressed directly it appeared. Buckle. Do not imitate this construction.

EXERCISE 821. Mention five adverbs of manner not given above ; five of place ; five of time ; three of degree ; two of cause. Mention five adverbs expressing quality. To what class do these adverbs belong? Mention three adverbs expressing direction; three expressing affirmation.

Compound and Derivative Adverbs


822. The principal class of compound adverbs is the following:

An adverb combined with a preposition; as, indeed, beforehand, perhaps.

823. The adverbs here, there, and where are combined with a number of prepositions; as, herein, hereof, thereby, therein, wherewith, whereby, etc.

Other words are sometimes combined to form compound adverbs ; as, sometimes, almost, midway.


824. The principal classes of derivative adverbs are the following:

1. Adverbs formed by the use of prefixes from nouns and adjectives; as, ahead, along, beside.

2. Adverbs formed by the use of suffixes (1) from adjectives; as, slowly, ably; (2) from other adverbs; as, downward.

EXERCISE 825. Form adverbs from the following words :

Adjectives: right, new, hasty, wise, quick, beautiful, respectable, frantic, perfect, former, broad, far, possible, second, fourth.

Nouns: thirst, loft, times, day, way, deed.
Adverbs: after, back, up, down, in.

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Albert will come soon. George will come sooner. Early, earlier, earliest. Wisely, more wisely, less wisely; most wisely, least wisely.

827. Comparison is a property of adverbs as well as of adjectives. (767.)

Not so many adverbs as adjectives can be compared.

828. Adverbs are regularly compared above the positive by the use of er and est, or more and most. More and most are generally used; as, soon, sooner, soonest; often, oftener, oftenest; beautifully, more beautifully, most beautifully. (780, etc.)

The comparison with more and most is as old with adverbs as with adjectives. - Metzner,

829. Adverbs are regularly compared below the positive by the use of less and least; as, wisely, less wisely, least wisely; foolishly, less foolishly, least foolishly. (785.) 830. A few adverbs are irregularly compared : Comparative Superlative

Comparative Superlative Badly or ill worse worst


most Far farther 1 farthest

Well better best Forth further 1 furthest

rather Little

less least



1. Farther is applied to space; further, to quantity. (787, n. 2.)


831. Compare the following adverbs :

Often, industriously, freely, late, ill, long, frequently, fast, neatly, easily.

Position of Adverbs

832. Adverbs should be so placed in a sentence as to show clearly what words they modify.

For the placing of adverbs, no definite general rule can be given, yet there is no other part of speech so liable to be misplaced. — Goold Brown.

833. When a verb or a verbal consists of but one word, the adverb modifying it generally follows it. When it is transitive, the adverb generally follows its direct object.

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When it consists of more than one word, the adverb generally follows the auxiliary or the principal word.

EXAMPLES. “Come again.“ Take her up tenderly.” “We shall never see her again."

Adverbs are frequently placed at the beginning of sentences; as, Thus they provoked him.”

834. There, when used as an adverb of position, generally precedes the subject and predicate; as, There is a reaper whose name is Death. -- Longfellow.

835. An adverb should never be placed between to and the rest of the verb or verbal.

836. Adverbs modifying adjectives and adverbs are generally placed before them. Illustrate.

The adverb enough is placed after the adjective that it modifies, and the adjective generally follows the substantive; as, “A building large enough."

837. Adverbs of emphasis are generally placed before the words, phrases, or clauses that they modify; as, Only a boy.” a boy.” Even from out thy slime.”

Even as a miser counts his gold,” etc.

838. Great care must be taken to place adverbs of emphasis properly, and especially the adverb only.

The word requiring most attention is only. According to the position of only, the very same words may be made to express several very different meanings. (1.) " He only lived for their sakes." Here only must be held as qualifying lived for their sakes,” the emphasis being on lived, the word immediately adjoining. The meaning, then, is, “ he lived," but did not work, did not die, did not do any other thing for their sakes. (2.) “He lived only for their sakes.” Only now qualifies "for their sakes," and the sentence means he lived for their sakes, and not for any other reason. (3.) “He lived for their sakes only." The force of the word when placed at the end is peculiar. It has then a diminutive or disparaging signification. “ He lived for their sakes,” and not for any more worthy reason. “He gave sixpence only,” is an insinuation that more was expected. — Bain.

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