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18 กุมภาพันธ์ 2555

Adverbs

Adverbs



Adverbs

 

An adverb is a word that’s used to give informationabouta verb,adjective, or otheradverb.
When used witha verb,adverbs can give informationabout:
  • how something happens oris done:
She stretched lazily.
He walked slowly.
The townis easilyaccessible by road.
  • where something happens:
I live here.
She’s travelling abroad.
The children tiptoed upstairs.
  • when something happens:
They visited us yesterday.
I have to leave soon.
He still lives in London.
Adverbs can make the meaning ofa verb,adjective, or otheradverb stronger or weaker:
  • witha verb:
I almost fellasleep.
He really means it.
  • withan adjective:
These schemesare very clever.
This is a slightly better result.
  • withanotheradverb:
They nearlyalways get home late.
Theanswer to both questionsis really rather simple.
Adverbs normally come between the subjectand its verb:
She carefullyavoided my eye.
Theyalso come betweenan auxiliary verb (suchas be or have)anda main verb:
The concert was suddenly cancelled.
 
Sentenceadverbs
 
Someadverbs refer toa whole statementand not justa part of it. Theyare called 'sentenceadverbs'and theyactasa sort of comment, showing theattitude or opinion of the speaker or writer toa particular situation.
Sentenceadverbs often standat the beginning of the sentence. Hereare some examples
Clearly, there have been unacceptable delays.
(= Itis clear that there have been unacceptable delays)
Sadly, the forestsare now under threat.
(= Itis sad that the forestsare now under threat)
Curiously, he never visitedAmerica.
(= It's curious that he never vistedAmerica)
The sentenceadverbs are used to convey the writer or speaker's opinion that itis clear/sad/curious that something happened oris the case. If you compare the way clearly, sadly,and curiously are used in the next three sentences, you can easily see the difference between the meaning of the sentenceadverbs and the 'ordinary'adverbs:
He spoke clearlyand with conviction.
(= He spoke ina clear wayand with conviction)
She smiled sadly. [adverb]
(= She smiled ina sad way)
He lookedat her curiously.
(= He lookedat her ina curious/inquisitive way)
 
Hopefullyand thankfullyas sentenceadverbs
 
Sentenceadverbs are well established in English, but thereare two – hopefully and thankfully – which have causeda lot of controversy. Hereare two sentences in which hopefully and thankfully are being usedas sentenceadverbs:
Hopefully, the work will be finished within the next two or three weeks.
Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait long.
Many peopleare convinced that it’s wrong to use hopefully or thankfully in this way. What’s the problem? It lies in the fact that you can't rewrite this type of sentence using the wording 'itis hopeful that' or 'itis thankful that'. If you wanted to rewrite the two previous sentences, you couldn’t say:
X Itis hopeful that the work will be finished within the next two or three weeks.
X Itis thankful that we didn’t have to wait long.
You’d need to choosea different wording, for example:
Itis to be hoped that the work will be finished within the next two or three weeks.
As luck would have it, we didn’t have to wait long.
This leads people to the conclusion that hopefully and thankfully should not be usedas sentenceadverbs. In fact, thereare no very strong grammatical grounds for criticizing the use of hopefullyand thankfullyas sentenceadverbs: therearen'tany rules that ban this sort of development of meaning.And thereare otheradverbs which behave in the same way but which haven’tattracted the same level of condemnation, e.g. frankly or briefly:
Frankly, I was pleased to leave.
(i.e. to be frank, I was pleased to leave)
Briefly, the plotis as follows.
(i.e. to be brief, the plotis as follows)
Nevertheless, you should beaware that some people strongly object to the use of hopefully and thankfullyas sentenceadverbs. In view of this, it’sa good idea to be cautiousabout using them in formal writing suchas jobapplications just in case your reader happens to be one of those people.


Adverbsare used to modifya verb,anadjective, oranotheradverb:
      [1] Mary sings beautifully
      [2] Davidis extremely clever
      [3] This car goes incrediblyfast
In [1], theadverb beautifullytells us how Mary sings. In [2], extremelytells us the degree to which Davidis clever. Finally, in [3], theadverb incrediblytells us how fast the car goes. Before discussing the meaning ofadverbs, however, we will identify some of their formal characteristics.


Formal Characteristics of Adverbs

 

From our examplesabove, you can see that manyadverbs end in -ly. More precisely, theyare formed byadding -lytoanadjective:

Adjective slow quick soft sudden gradual
Adverb slowly quickly softly suddenly gradually
 
 
Because of their distinctive endings, theseadverbsare knownas -LYADVERBS. However, by no meansalladverbs end in -ly. Notealso that someadjectivesalso end in -ly, including costly, deadly, friendly, kindly, likely, lively, manly,and timely.
Likeadjectives, manyadverbsare GRADABLE, thatis, we can modify them using very or extremely:
softly very softly
suddenly very suddenly
slowly extremely slowly
 
 
The modifying words very and extremely are themselvesadverbs. Theyare called DEGREEADVERBS because they specify the degree to whichanadjective oranotheradverbapplies. Degreeadverbs include almost, barely, entirely, highly, quite, slightly, totally,and utterly. Degreeadverbsare not gradable (*extremely very).
Likeadjectives, too, someadverbs can take COMPARATIVEand SUPERLATIVE forms, with -erand -est:

      John works hard-- Mary works harder -- I work hardest
However, the majority ofadverbs do not take these endings. Instead, they form the comparative using more and the superlative using most:
Adverb
Comparative
Superlative
recently more recently most recently
effectively more effectively most effectively
frequently more frequently most frequently
 
 
In the formation of comparativesand superlatives, someadverbsare irregular:
Adverb
Comparative
Superlative
well better best
badly worse worst
little less least
much more most


 

AdverbsandAdjectives

 
Adverbsandadjectives have important characteristics in common -- in particular their gradability,and the fact that they have comparativeand superlative forms. However,an important distinguishing featureis thatadverbs do not modifynouns, eitherattributively or predicatively:
Adjective
Adverb
Davidis a happy child *Davidis a happily child
Davidis happy *Davidis happily
 
 
The following words, together with their comparativeand superlative forms, can be bothadverbsandadjectives:
early, far, fast, hard, late
The following sentences illustrate the two uses of early:
Adjective
Adverb
I'll catch the early train Iawoke earlythis morning
 
 
The comparative better and the superlative best,as wellas some words denoting time intervals (daily, weekly, monthly), canalso beadverbs oradjectives, depending on how theyare used.
We have incorporated some of these words into the following exercise. See if you can distinguish between theadverbsand theadjectives.

 
In each of the following pairs, indicate whether the highlighted wordis anadverb oranadjective:


1a. My trainarrived late,as usual 1b. I'm watching the late film Adverb
Adjective


Adverb
Adjective
2a. My brother loves fastcars


2b. He drives too fast
Adverb
Adjective


Adverb
Adjective
3a. This exerciseis harderthan I thought


3b. I hope you'll try harder in future
Adverb
Adjective


Adverb
Adjective
4a. The Timesis published daily


4b. The Timesis a dailynewspaper
Adverb
Adjective


Adverb
Adjective
5a. You've just ruined my best shirt


5b. Computers work best if you kick them
Adverb
Adjective


Adverb
Adjective









Although endings, gradabilityand comparisonallow us to identify manyadverbs, there still remainsa very large number of them which cannot be identified in this way. In fact, takenasa whole, theadverb classis the most diverse ofall the word classes,and its members exhibita very wide range of formsand functions. Many semantic classifications ofadverbs have been made, but here we will concentrate on just three of the most distinctive classes, known collectivelyas circumstantialadverbs.


Circumstantial Adverbs

 

Manyadverbs convey informationabout the manner, time, or place ofan event oraction. MANNERadverbs tell us how anactionis or should be performed:
      She sang loudly in the bath
      The sky quickly grew dark
      They whispered softly
      I had to run fast to catch the bus
TIMEadverbs denote not only specific times butalso frequency:
      I'll be checking out tomorrow
      Give it back, now!
      John rarelyringsany more
      I watch television sometimes
And finally, PLACEadverbs indicate where:
      Put the box there, on the table
      I've left my gloves somewhere
These threeadverb types -- manner, time,and place --are collectively knownas CIRCUMSTANTIALADVERBS. They express one of the circumstances relating toan event oraction - howit happened (manner), whenit happened (time), or whereit happened (place).



In each of the following sentences, indicate whether the highlighted wordis anadverb of manner, time, or place.
 
1. The thief crept silentlyacross the rooftops Manner
Time
Place
2. I'm not feeling well today Manner
Time
Place
3. The teacher smiled enigmatically Manner
Time
Place
4. We'll meet hereafter the match Manner
Time
Place
5. Myaunt nevercomes to visit Manner
Time
Place

Additives, Exclusives,and Particularizers

 
 
Additives "add" two or more items together, emphasizing that theyareall to be considered equal:
      [1] Lynn's prewar success had beenasa light historical novelist; he employed similar fanciful ideas in his war novels [...] Joseph Hocking's war novelsare also dominated by romanceandadventure [W2A-009-40ff]

      [2] German firms havean existingadvantageasa greater number of their managers have technical or engineering degrees. Japanese managers, too, have technical qualifications ofa high order. [W2A-011-51ff]
In [1], theadverb alsopoints to the similarities between the war novels of Lynnand those of Hocking. In [2], theadverb too functions ina similar way, emphasizing the fact that the qualifications of Japanese managersare similar to those of German managers.
In contrast withadditives, EXCLUSIVEadverbs focusattention onwhat follows them, to the exclusion ofall other possibilities:
      [3] It's justa question of how we organise it [S1B-075-68]

      [4] The federal convention [...] comes together solely for the purpose of electing the president [S2B-021-99]
In [3], justexcludesall other potential questions from consideration, while in [4], solelypoints out the fact that the federal convention has no other functionapart from electing the president. Other exclusives include alone, exactly, merely,and simply.
PARTICULARIZERSalso focusattention onwhat follows them, but they do not exclude other possibilities:
      [5] The pastoralistsare particularlyfound inAfrica [S2A-047-3]

      [6] Now this bookis mostlyaboutwhat they call modulation [S1A-045-167]
In [5], itis implied thatAfricais not the only place where pastoralists live. While most of them live there, some of them live elsewhere. Sentence [6] implies that most of the bookis about modulation, though it deals with other, unspecified topicsas well.
Other particularizers includelargely, mainly, primarily,and predominantly.



Anadverb has been highlighted in each of the following sentences. Indicate whether itis additive, exclusive, ora particularizer.




1. I was especiallypleased to readabout youraward Additive
Exclusive
Particularizer
2. We're only trying to help, you know Additive
Exclusive
Particularizer
3. The rise in sea levelis largelydue to global warming Additive
Exclusive
Particularizer
4. Roberts was botha cowardanda thief Additive
Exclusive
Particularizer
5. Realismis preciselywhat I'm looking for Additive
Exclusive
Particularizer

Wh-Adverbs

 
A special subclass ofadverbs includesa set of words beginning with wh-. The most commonare when, where,and why, though the setalso includes whence, whereby, wherein,and whereupon. To this set weadd the word how,and we refer to the whole setas WH-ADVERBS. Some members of the set can introducean interrogative sentence:
      Whenare you going to New York?
      Wheredid you leave the car?
      Why did he resign?
      Howdid you become interested in theatre?
They canalso introduce various types of clause:
      This is the town whereShakespeare was born
      I've no idea how it works


Sentence Adverbs

 

We conclude by lookingata set ofadverbs which qualifya whole sentence,and not justa part of it. Consider the following:
      Honestly, it doesn't matter
Here the sentenceadverb honestlymodifies the whole sentence,and it expresses the speaker's opinionaboutwhat is being said (When I say it doesn't matter, Iam speaking honestly). Hereare some more examples:
      Clearly, he has no excuse for such behaviour
      Frankly, I don't careabout your problems
      Unfortunately, no refunds can be given
Some sentenceadverbs linka sentence witha preceding one:
      England played well in the first half. However, in the second half their weaknesses were revealed.
    Other sentenceadverbs of this typeare accordingly, consequently, hence, moreover, similarly,and therefore.

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