Admiring Adverbs

We have been working on our Adverb unit for the past two weeks.  We will continue to practice working with adverbs up until winter break.  We will start a new grammar unit on colons and semi-colons after the New Year.  Here are some of the rules we have learned regarding adverbs:

An adverb is a word or set of words that modifies verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.

He talks quietly (modifies the verb talks)
He is particularly bright (modifies the adjective bright)
He shouts way too loudly (modifies the adverb loudly)

An adverb answers how, when, where, or to what extent—how often or how much (e.g., daily, completely).

He talks quietly (answers the question how)
He speaks very quietly (answers the question how quietly)

Adverbs that answer the question how sometimes cause grammatical problems. It can be a challenge to determine if -ly should be attached. Avoid the trap of -ly with linking verbs, such as taste, smell, look, feel, etc., that pertain to the senses. Adverbs are often misplaced in such sentences, which require adjectives instead.

Flowers smell sweet/sweetly.
Do the flowers actively smell with noses? No; in this case, smell is a linking verb—which requires an adjective to modify flowers—so no -ly.

The woman looked careful/carefully at the papers.
Here the woman carefully looked (used her eyes), so the -ly is added.

She feels bad/badly about the news.
She is not feeling with fingers, so no -ly.

The word good is an adjective, whose adverb equivalent is well.

You did a good job.
Good describes the job.

You did the job well.
Well answers how.

The word well can be an adjective, too. When referring to health, we often use well rather than good.

You do not look well today.
I don’t feel well, either.

There are also three degrees of adverbs. In formal usage, do not drop the -ly from an adverb when using the comparative form.

 She spoke more clearly than he did.

Speak more clearly.

All grammar rules from

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