An adverb is a word that’s used to give information about a verb, adjective, or other adverb.


When used with a verb, adverbs can give information about:

how something happens or is done:

She stretched lazily.

He walked slowly.

The town is easily accessible by road.

where something happens:

I live here.

She’s traveling abroad.

The children tiptoed upstairs.

when something happens:

They visited us yesterday.

I have to leave soon.

He still lives in London.

Adverbs can make the meaning of a verb, adjective, or other adverb stronger or weaker:

with a verb:

I almost fell asleep.

He really means it.

with an adjective:

These schemes are very clever.

This is a slightly better result.

with another adverb:

They nearly always get home late.

The answer to both questions is really rather simple.


Adverbs are often found between the subject and its verb:

She carefully avoided my eye.

They can also come between an auxiliary verb (such as be or have) and a main verb:

The concert was suddenly canceled.

He had quickly eaten his dinner.

You can read more rules and guidelines about using adverbs on the OxfordWords blog.


Back to word classes (or parts of speech).


You may also be interested in:

Sentence adverbs

Adverbials and adjuncts

Split infinitives


Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Grammar and usage