Adverbs

Adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs.

  • a verb eg She walked slowly. (How did she walk?)
  • an adjective eg He drove a very fast car. (How fast was his car?)
  • another adverb eg It moved quite slowly down the mountainside. (How slowly did it move?)

Adverbs often tell when, where, why, or under what conditions something happens or happened. Adverbs usually end in -ly; however, many words and phrases not ending in -ly serve an adverbial function and an -ly ending is not a guarantee that a word is an adverb.

Comparative and superlative forms of adverbs

Most adverbs form the comparative using more and the superlative using most:

AdverbComparativeSuperlative
interestingly more interestingly most interestingly
mysteriously more mysteriously most mysteriously
gracefully more gracefully most gracefully

some adverbs are irregular in the formation of comparatives and superlatives:

AdverbComparativeSuperlative
far

farther (place)

further (place + time)

farthest

furthest

early (adverbs ending with y) earlier earliest
good better best
badly worse worst
little less least
much more most

Activities to support the strategy

Note: All activities are differentiated and can be adapted to suit the needs of students from Stage 1 through to Stage 5. Adjust outcomes to suit student needs.

Activity 1: adverb act out and charades

Ask students to take one of the basic sentences. Students then form a complete descriptive sentence by adding an adverb. Use simple sentences such as, “She walked into the room _______ .” Student then acts it out. slowly, sadly, joyously, excitedly, solemnly etc. They get up and walk into the room in a manner that shows the adverb.

This could become an extension activity developing as a game of charades.

This could be tied in with inferences and character development to demonstrate how the person is feeling based on the adverbs that are used to describe their actions.

Activity 2: does that make sense?

Everyone gets the same sentences with blanks and a different explanation of the characters feelings. For example:

“Joey woke up _______ on Monday morning. He _______ got out of bed. He went downstairs ______ and greeted his mum _______.

One group gets another card with “Joey is excited about his first cricket game” on it. This group may fill in the blanks with “excitedly” adverbs. Another group could get “Joey is dreading his first day of school in his new town.” so they would fill in the blanks with “slowly, quietly” etc.

Online resources

English zone: www.english-zone.com/grammar/pos-adv

References

Australian curriculum

ACELA1523: Understand how ideas can be expanded and sharpened through careful choice of verbs, elaborated tenses and a range of adverb groups/phrases

NSW syllabus

EN3-6B: Uses knowledge of sentence structure, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary to respond to and compose clear and cohesive texts in different media and te

NSW literacy continuum

WRIC12M3: Aspects of writing, Cluster 12, Marker 3: Creates well planned, extended texts that include more complex and detailed subject matter and language features such as nominalisation.

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