So far we’ve covered Nouns, Verbs, and Adjectives. This brings us to the lowly Adverb.
The adverb tells you how something is done and may also tell you when or where something happened. Like adjectives, adverbs perform descriptive and limiting functions. They have a myriad of uses in a sentence.
Adverbs can modify a verb:
The drunk was driving erratically on the crowded freeway.
The adverb erratically describes or modifies the verb was driving. In this type of construction, a adverb often answers the question how.
Adverbs can modify an adjective:
She is quite beautiful, don’t you agree?
Quite modifies the adjective beautiful. It states a degree of beauty.
Adverbs can modify another adverb:
The chef took his one-star review very badly.
Very modifies the adverb badly, which modifies the verb took. Again, these adverbs answer the question how.
Adverbs can introduce a sentence:
Why do fools fall in love?
Why is an interrogative adverb. It modifies the verb fall.
Adverbs can connect two clauses:
The jury agreed that the plaintiff was defamed; however, it awarded only a dollar in damages.
Because it link two clauses that could stand alone, however is called a conjunctive adverb.
In addition to selecting the most appropriate and descriptive of adverbs for a sentence, writers should also be concerned about the proper positioning of an adverb. Although an adverb can be moved around to provide a change in emphasis, it’s a good rule of thumb to position the adverb as closely as possible to the word it is supposed to modify. Be sure that your meaning is clear.