Adverbs – formation and meaning.
We normally use adverbs to modify a verb, adjective, another adverb or even an entire sentence. Most of them are built by adding ‘-ly’ to the adjective.
- The opera singer is a beautiful lady.
- She also sings beautifully.
Comparison of adverbs
Adverbs can also be compared by putting ‘more’ and ‘most’ before them.
- He tried to walk more quietly as the baby was sleeping.
- Paul won the race because he ran most quickly.
Analyse the sentence:
I could hardly stand.
Is the word hardly an adjective or an adverb? How is it formed?
- Adverbs are normally formed by adding -ly to the corresponding adjective; e.g. easy – easily, quiet – quietly, successful – successfully
- A few adverbs have the same form as the corresponding adjectives: e.g. fast, late, near, hard, high, early, etc.
- The forms lately, nearly, hardly, deeply, highly also exist, but have a narrower meaning than their corresponding adjectives:
lately = recently
deeply = profoundly
nearly = almost
hardly = scarcely, almost not, with difficulty
Fill in the missing adverb and explain the difference in meaning between the adjective and the adverb.
- John is a hard worker, but Mary ________ ever does any work in the house.
- He is a near relative of mine. I think about him ________ all the time.
- It’s a very simple dish. I ________ can’t believe that you can’t make it.
- He touched it with his bare hands. He _________ noticed the difference.
- Potatoes are scarce. You can ________ find them anywhere.
- This is the first real letter I’ve received from you. I ________ enjoyed reading it.
(Answers: 1. hardly, 2. nearly, 3. simply, 4. barely, 5. scarcely, 6. really)
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