* The waves came in quickly over the rocks.
* I found the film amazingly dull.
* The meeting went well, and the directors were extremely happy with the outcome.
* Crabs are known for walking sideways.
* I often have eggs for breakfast.An adverb is a
part of speech. It is any word that modifies verbs, adjectives (including numbers),and other adverbs,; modifiers of nouns are primarily determiners and adjectives.
Adverbs typically answer questions such as "how?", "when?", "where?", and "to what extent?"
This function is called the
adverbialfunction, and is realized not just by single words (i.e., adverbs) but by adverbial phrases and adverbial clauses.
An adverb as an adverbial may be a
sentence elementin its own right.
They sometimes end in "ly"
:"They treated her well". (SUBJECT)Alternatively, an adverb may be contained within a sentence element.
:"An extremely attractive woman entered the room." (SUBJECT + ADVERBIAL + OBJECT)
Adverbs in English
In English, adverbs of manner (answering the question "how?") are often formed by adding "-ly" to adjectives. For example, "great" yields "greatly", and "beautiful" yields "beautifully". (Note that some words that end in "-ly", such as "friendly" and "lovely", are not adverbs, but adjectives, in which case the root word is usually a noun. There are also underived adjectives that end in "-ly", such as "holy" and "ugly".) The suffix -"ly" derives from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning "like," and is cognate with the common German adjective ending "-lich".
In some cases, the suffix "-wise" may be used to derive adverbs from nouns. Historically, "-wise" competed with a related form "-ways" and won out against it. In a few words, like "sideways", "-ways" survives; words like "clockwise" show the transition. Again, it is not a foolproof indicator of a word being an adverb. Some adverbs are formed from nouns or adjectives by appending the prefix "a"- (such as "abreast", "astray"). There are a number of other suffixes in English that derive adverbs from other word classes, and there are also many adverbs that are not morphologically indicated at all.
Comparative adverbs include "more", "most", "least", and "less" (in phrases such as "more beautiful", "most easily" etc.).
The usual form pertaining to adjectives or adverbs is called the
positive. Formally, adverbs in English are inflected in terms of comparison, just like adjectives. The comparativeand superlativeforms of some (especially single-syllable) adverbs that do not end in -"ly" are generated by adding "-er" and "-est" ("She ran faster"; "He jumps highest"). Others, especially those ending -"ly", are periphrastically compared by the use of "more" or "most" ("She ran more quickly"). Adverbs also take comparisons with "as ... as", "less", and "least". Not all adverbs are comparable; for example in the sentence "He wore red yesterday" it does not make sense to speak of "more yesterday" or "most yesterday".
Adverbs as a "catch-all" category
Adverbs are considered a part of speech in traditional English grammar and are still included as a part of speech in grammar taught in schools and used in dictionaries. However, modern grammarians recognize that words traditionally grouped together as adverbs serve a number of different functions. Some would go so far as to call adverbs a "catch-all" category that includes all words that don't belong to one of the other parts of speech.
A more logical approach to dividing words into classes relies on recognizing which words can be used in a certain context. For example, a noun is a word that can be inserted in the following template to form a grammatical sentence::The _____ is red. (For example, "The hat is red.")When this approach is taken, it is seen that adverbs fall into a number of different categories. For example, some adverbs canbe used to modify an entire sentence, whereas others cannot. Even when a sentential adverb has other functions, the meaning is often not the same. For example, in the sentences "She gave birth naturally" and "Naturally, she gave birth", the word "naturally" has different meanings (actually the first sentence could be interpreted in the same way as the second, but context makes it clear which is meant). "Naturally" as a sentential adverb means something like "of course" and as a verb-modifying adverb means "in a natural manner". This "naturally" controversy demonstrates that the class of sentential adverbs is a closed class (there is resistance to adding new words to the class), whereas the class of adverbs that modify verbs isn't.
Words like "very" and "particularly" afford another useful example. We can say "Perry is very fast", but not "Perry very won the race". These words can modify adjectives but not verbs. On the other hand, there are words like "here" and "there" that cannot modify adjectives. We can say "The sock looks good there" but not "It is a there beautiful sock". The fact that many adverbs can be used in more than one of these functions can confuse this issue, and it may seem like splitting hairs to say that a single adverb is really two or more words that serve different functions. However, this distinction can be useful, especially considering adverbs like "naturally" that have different meanings in their different functions.
"Not" is an interesting case. Grammarians have a difficult time categorizing it, and it probably belongs in its own class (Haegeman 1995, Cinque 1999).lslgsjlg;sa
Adverbs in other languages
Other languages may form adverbs in different ways, if they are used at all:
*In Dutch and German, adverbs have the basic form of their corresponding
adjectives and are not inflected (except for comparison in which case they are inflected like adjectives, too). Consequently, German primary-school teaching uses a single term, "Eigenschaftswort", to refer to both adjectives and adverbs. However German linguists avoid this term.
*In Scandinavian, adverbs are typically derived from adjectives by adding the suffix '-t', which makes it identical to the adjective's neuter form. Scandinavian adjectives, like English ones, are inflected in terms of comparison by adding '-ere'/'-are' (comparative) or '-est'/'-ast' (superlative). In inflected forms of adjectives the '-t' is absent.
Periphrasticcomparison is also possible.
Romance languagesmany adverbs are formed from adjectives (often the feminine form) by adding '-mente' (Portuguese, Spanish, Italian) or '-ment' (French, Catalan) (from Latin"mens, mentis": mind, intelligence). Other adverbs are single forms which are invariable. In Romanian, the vast majority of adverbs are simply the masculine singular form of the corresponding adjective – one notable exception being "bine" ("well") / "bun" ("good").
Interlinguaalso forms adverbs by adding '-mente' to the adjective. If an adjective ends in "c", the adverbial ending is '-amente'. A few short, invariable adverbs, such as "ben", "well", and "mal", "badly", are available and widely used.
Esperanto, adverbs are not formed from adjectives but are made by adding '-e' directly to the word root. Thus, from "bon" are derived "bone", "well", and 'bona', 'good'.
Modern Standard Arabicforms adverbs by adding the indefinite accusative ending '-an' to the root. For example, "kathiir-", "many", becomes "kathiiran" "much". However, Arabic often avoids adverbs by using a cognate accusativeplus an adjective.
Austronesian languagesappear to form comparativeadverbs by repeating the root (as in WikiWiki), similarly to the plural noun.
*Japanese forms adverbs, depending on the adjective's nature, either by changing the final syllable from い to く or by changing the particle that follows from な to に. Certain adjectives cannot be made into adverbs, among other restrictions on their use.
*In Gaelic, an adverbial form is made by preceding the adjective with the preposition "go" (Irish) or "gu" (
Scottish Gaelic), meaning 'until'.
Modern Greek, an adverb is most commonly made by adding the endings <-α> and/or <-ως> to the root of an adjective. Often, the adverbs formed form a common root using each of these endings have slightly different meanings. So, <τέλειος> ( , meaning "perfect" and "complete") yields <τέλεια> ( , "perfectly") and <τελείως> ( , "completely"). Not all adjectives can be transformed into adverbs by using both endings. <Γρήγορος> ( , "rapid") becomes <γρήγορα> ( , "rapidly"), but not normally *<γρηγόρως> (* ). When the <-ως> ending is used to transform an adjective whose tonal accent is on the third syllable from the end, such as <επίσημος> ( , "official"), the corresponding adjective is accented on the second syllable from the end; compare <επίσημα> ( ) and <επισήμως> ( ), which both mean "officially". There are also other endings with particular and restricted use as <-ί>, <-εί>, <-ιστί>, etc. For example, <ατιμωρητί> ( , "with impunity") and <ασυζητητί> ( , "indisputably"); <αυτολεξεί> ( "word for word") and <αυτοστιγμεί> ( , "in no time"); <αγγλιστί> [ "in English (language)"] and <παπαγαλιστί> ( , "by rote"); etc.
*In Latvian, an adverb is formed from an adjective, by changing the masculine or feminine adjective endings -s and -a to -i. "Labs", meaning "good", becomes "labi" for "well". Latvian adverbs have a particular use in expressions meaning "to speak" or "to understand" a language. Rather than use the noun meaning "Latvian/English/Russian", the adverb formed form these words is used. "Es runāju latviski/angliski/krieviski" means "I speak Latvian/English/Russian", or very literally "I speak Latvianly/Englishly/Russianly". When a noun is required, the expression used means literally "language of the Latvians/English/Russians", "latviešu/angļu/krievu valoda".
*In Ukrainian, an adverb is formed by removing the adjectival suffices "-ий" "-а" or "-е" from an adjective, and replacing them with the adverbial "-о". For example, "швидкий", "гарна", and "добре" (fast, nice, good) become "швидко", "гарно", and "добре" (quickly, nicely, well). As well, note that adverbs are placed before the verbs they modify: "Добрий син гарно співає." (A good son sings niceley/well)
* In Korean, adverbs are formed by replacing 다 of the dictionary form of a verb with 게. So, 쉽다 (easy) becomes 쉽게 (easily).
* In Turkish, the same word usually serves as adjective and adverb: "iyi bir kız" ("a good girl"), "iyi anlamak" ("to understand well").
*Cinque, Guglielmo. 1999. Adverbs and functional heads -- a crosslinguistic perspective. Oxford: Oxford University press.
*Ernst, Thomas. 2002. The syntax of adjuncts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
*Haegeman, Liliane. 1995. The syntax of negation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
*Jackendoff, Ray. 1972. Semantic Interpretation in Generative Grammar. MIT Press,
* [http://www.odlt.org The Online Dictionary of Language Terminology]
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