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Adverbs - Definition, examples, and exceptions


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Examples of adverbs:

quickly, happily, fast, ago, home, downtown, nearby, always, sometimes, never

Adverb rules

What you need to know about adverbs:

  • An adverb is a word that modifies (or describes) a verb, an adjective, another adverb, or even a sentence.
  • Adverbs are OPTIONAL in a sentence--in other words, they are not necessary in the sentence, so we can use none in our sentence, or we can use several adverbs.
  • Many adverbs end in -ly, but many do not (e.g., tomorrow, together, today).

Adverb exceptions

Many nouns can actually functions as adverbs in certain situations. For example, if we look at this sentence:

I went downtown yesterday.

and we try to figure out what part of speech downtown is, we might say that it is a noun, but it is in fact an adverb.

More examples of adverbs functioning as nouns

Here are many nouns that can function as adverbs, depending on the sentence:

today, tomorrow, yesterday, Saturday, Friday, last year, next month, home, downtown

For example:

  • See you tomorrow!
  • See you Friday!
  • I studied hard last year.
  • I'm going home.
  • I live downtown.

In these examples, all the highlighted words are adverbs.

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