Although everybody learns basics of English grammar at school level, yet most students engaged in SSC and Banking exam preparation face difficulty when a sentence error or sentence improvement question involves dealing with adverbs. In fact, many students are unaware of how to use adverbs in sentence construction. This becomes a source of trouble which ultimately leads to loss of some precious marks.
To prevent this from happening, the institute offering Best Bank Exams Coaching in Delhi has explained below all the concepts related to adverbs.
What are Adverbs?
Adverbs are the words that modify (qualify) verbs, adjectives and other adverbs. Through adverbs, we get more detail regarding:
- Verbs – She swims gracefully. (‘Gracefully’ is the adverb modifying the verb ‘swims’)
- Adjectives – The actor is very (‘Very’ is the adverb modifying the adjective ‘handsome’)
- Other Adverbs – Alice crosses the road really (‘Really’ is the adverb modifying another adverb ‘carefully’)
Function of Adverbs
Generally speaking, adverbs help us answer questions such as:
- How? – Alex is an extremely naughty kid. (How naughty? – Extremely)
- When? – He came late. (When did he come? – Late)
- Where? – His friends are coming here to celebrate Christmas. (Where are they coming to? – Here)
Types of Adverbs
Adverbs can be categorized as:
(I) Adverbs of Manner
Jason drove carelessly and spoke wildly.
The opera singer sang beautifully.
(II) Adverbs of Place
He has lived in the country all his life.
She stays home all day long.
(III) Adverbs of Frequency
Ram goes to school every day.
He seldom makes a mistake.
(IV) Adverbs of Time
I will try to return before evening.
You should leave now.
(V) Adverbs of Purpose
Cricketers practice every day to develop stamina and speed.
He waits for the festive season to get the best deals on purchase of electronic items.
Where to Put the Adverbs?
Rule I – An adverb must not be placed between the verb and its object.
- Correct: He often plays football.
- Incorrect: He plays often football.
- Correct: They seldom eat fruits and vegetables.
- Incorrect: They eat seldom fruits and vegetables.
Rule II – Indefinite adverbs of time may be placed either before the verb or between the helping verb & the main verb.
- The judge finally decided to announce the verdict. (Finally is placed before the verb)
- The company has recently launched a new product. (Recently is placed between ‘has’ and ‘launched’)
Rule III – Adverbs of frequency (which show how often something happens) generally precede the main verb.
- Teenagers often argue with their parents. (Often is placed before the verb ‘argue’)
- Sam rarely makes a silly mistake. (Rarely is placed before the verb ‘makes’)
Rule IV – The following adverbs are generally placed towards the end of a sentence:
(A) Adverbs of Definite Frequency & Time (e.g. last year, every week, two months ago)
- I went to Nainital last year.
- My maternal uncle visits us every week.
- The old man died two months ago.
(B) Adverbs of Manner, when the focus is on how something gets done (e.g. patiently, easily, well, slowly)
- A shopkeeper must deal with his customers patiently.
- The thief was able to get away easily.
- Any team would expect its batsmen to bat well.
- He does not believe in driving slowly.
(C) Adverbs of Place (e.g. at the church, in the city)
- Don’t forget to meet me at the church.
- The old lady is tired of living in the city.
Rule V – If an adverb qualifies an adjective or another adverb, it is generally placed in front of that word.
- Rock climbing is a highly dangerous activity. (Highly is placed before ‘dangerous’)
- People quite often forget their own mistakes. (Quite is placed before ‘often’)
However, notable exceptions to this rule are the adverbs ‘enough’ & ‘not enough’. They come after the adjectives or adverbs they modify.
- He is smart enough to know that this mistake is going to cost him dearly.
- These clothes are not comfortable enough to be worn by children.
Rule VI – The order of preference given to different types of adverbs appearing in a sentence is as follows: (I) Manner (II) Place (III) Frequency (IV) Time (V) Purpose
- The singer enters passionately into the recording studio every morning after breakfast to practice along with his band members.
Sequence: 1st – passionately (manner), 2nd – into the recording studio (place), 3rd – every morning (frequency), 4th – after breakfast (time) and 5th – to practice along with his band members (purpose).
- The youngsters roamed around joyfully in the village the whole morning.
Sequence: 1st – joyfully (manner), 2nd – in the village (place) and 3rd – whole morning (time).
Please note that the above mentioned rules should be seen as basic guidelines governing the position of adverbs in a sentence. But, there are many exceptions to these guidelines. To understand these exceptions, it is suggested that you attempt practice questions given in the study material provided by any of the Top Bank Coaching Institutes in the country.
This article on the usage of adverbs has been contributed by English Faculty members at Vidya Guru Branch offering the Best Bank PO Coaching in South Delhi. Adequate care has been taken to keep the discussion of concepts lucid and easily comprehensible. However, pls. feel free to get your doubts and queries resolved by writing into firstname.lastname@example.org.