FunctionsThe English word ''adverb'' derives (through French) from Latin ''adverbium'', from ''ad-'' ("to"), ''verbum'' ("word", "verb"), and the nominal suffix ''-ium''. The term implies that the principal function of adverbs is to act as modifiers of s or s.Rodney D. Huddleston, Geoffrey K. Pullum, ''A Student's Introduction to English Grammar'', CUP 2005, p. 122ff. An adverb used in this way may provide information about the manner, place, time, frequency, certainty, or other circumstances of the activity denoted by the verb or verb phrase. Some examples: *She sang loudly (''loudly'' modifies the verb ''sang'', indicating the manner of singing) *We left it here (''here'' modifies the verb phrase ''left it'', indicating place) *I worked yesterday (''yesterday'' modifies the verb ''worked'', indicating time) *You often make mistakes (''often'' modifies the verb phrase ''make mistakes'', indicating frequency) *He undoubtedly did it (''undoubtedly'' modifies the verb phrase ''did it'', indicating certainty) Adverbs can also be used as modifiers of s, and of other adverbs, often to indicate degree. Examples: * You are quite right (the adverb ''quite'' modifies the adjective ''right'') * She sang very loudly (the adverb ''very'' modifies another adverb – ''loudly'') They can also modify determiners, s, or whole s or sentences, as in the following examples: * I bought practically the only fruit (''practically'' modifies the determiner ''the '' in the , "the only fruit" wherein "only" is an ) * She drove us almost to the station (''almost'' modifies the prepositional phrase ''to the station'') * Certainly we need to act (''certainly'' modifies the sentence as a whole) Adverbs thus perform a wide range of modifying functions. The major exception is the function of modifier of s, which is performed instead by adjectives (compare ''she sang loudly'' with ''her loud singing disturbed me''; here the verb ''sang'' is modified by the adverb ''loudly'', whereas the noun ''singing'' is modified by the adjective ''loud''). However, because some adverbs and adjectives are homonyms, their respective functions are sometimes conflated: *Even numbers are divisible by two *The camel even drank. The word "even" in the first sentence is an adjective, since it is a prepositive modifier that modifies the noun "numbers". The word "even" in the second sentence is a prepositive adverb that modifies the verb "drank." Although it is possible for an adverb to precede or to follow a noun or a noun phrase, the adverb nonetheless does ''not'' modify either in such cases, as in: *Internationally there is a shortage of protein for animal feeds *There is a shortage internationally of protein for animal feeds *There is an international shortage of protein for animal feeds In the first sentence, "Internationally" is a prepositive adverb that modifies the clause, "there is ..." In the second sentence, "internationally" is a postpositive adverb that modifies the clause, "There is ..." By contrast, the third sentence contains "international" as a prepositive adjective that modifies the noun, "shortage." Adverbs can sometimes be used as predicative expressions; in English, this applies especially to adverbs of location: *Your seat is there. *Here is my boarding pass (wherein "boarding pass" is the subject and "here" is the predicate in a syntax that entails a Subject–verb inversion in English, subject-verb inversion). When the function of an adverb is performed by an expression consisting of more than one word, it is called an adverbial phrase or adverbial clause, or simply an .
Formation and comparisonIn English language, English, adverbs of manner (answering the question ''how?'') are often formed by adding ''-ly'' to adjectives, but flat adverbs (such as in ''drive fast'', ''drive slow'', and ''drive friendly'') have the same form as the corresponding adjective. Other languages often have similar methods for deriving adverbs from adjectives (French language, French, for example, uses the suffix ''-ment''), or else use the same form for both adjectives and adverbs, as in German and Dutch, where for example ''schnell'' or ''snel'', respectively, mean either "quick" or "quickly" depending on the context. Many other adverbs, however, are not related to adjectives in this way; they may be derived from other words or phrases, or may be single morphemes. Examples of such adverbs in English include ''here, there, together, yesterday, aboard, very, almost'', etc. Where the meaning permits, adverbs may undergo comparison (grammar), comparison, taking comparative and superlative forms. In English this is usually done by adding ''more'' and ''most'' before the adverb (''more slowly, most slowly''), although there are a few adverbs that take inflection, inflected forms, such as ''well'', for which ''better'' and ''best'' are used. For more information about the formation and use of adverbs in English, see . For other languages, see below, and the articles on individual languages and their grammars.
Adverbs as a "catch-all" categoryAdverbs are considered a part of speech in traditional English grammar, and are still included as a part of speech in grammar taught in schools and used in dictionaries. However, modern grammarians recognize that words traditionally grouped together as adverbs serve a number of different functions. Some describe adverbs as a "catch-all" category that includes all words that do not belong to one of the other parts of speech. A logical approach to dividing words into classes relies on recognizing which words can be used in a certain context. For example, the only type of word that can be inserted in the following template to form a grammatical sentence is a : :The _____ is red. (For example, "The hat is red".) When this approach is taken, it is seen that adverbs fall into a number of different categories. For example, some adverbs can be used to modify an entire sentence, whereas others cannot. Even when a sentential adverb has other functions, the meaning is often not the same. For example, in the sentences ''She gave birth naturally'' and ''Naturally, she gave birth'', the word ''naturally'' has different meanings: in the first sentence, as a verb-modifying adverb, it means "in a natural manner", while in the second sentence, as a sentential adverb, it means something like "of course". Words like ''very'' afford another example. We can say ''Perry is very fast'', but not ''Perry very won the race''. These words can modify adjectives but not verbs. On the other hand, there are words like ''here'' and ''there'' that cannot modify adjectives. We can say ''The sock looks good there'' but not ''It is a there beautiful sock''. The fact that many adverbs can be used in more than one of these functions can confuse the issue, and it may seem like splitting hairs to say that a single adverb is really two or more words that serve different functions. However, this distinction can be useful, especially when considering adverbs like ''naturally'' that have different meanings in their different functions. Rodney Huddleston distinguishes between a ''word'' and a ''lexicogrammatical-word''. Grammarians find difficulty categorizing Affirmative and negative, negating words, such as the English ''not''. Although traditionally listed as an adverb, this word does not behave grammatically like any other, and it probably should be placed in a class of its own.Haegeman, Liliane. 1995. ''The syntax of negation''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
In specific languages* In Dutch language, Dutch adverbs have the basic form of their corresponding s and are not inflected (though they sometimes can be Comparison (grammar), compared). * In German language, German the term ''Adverb'' is differently defined than in the English language. German adverbs form a group of noninflectable words (though a few can be Comparison (grammar), compared). An English ''adverb'' which is derived from an adjective is arranged in German under the adjectives with ''adverbial use'' in the sentence. The others are also called adverbs in the German language. * In Scandinavian languages, adverbs are typically derived from adjectives by adding the suffix '-t', which makes it identical to the adjective's neuter form. Scandinavian adjectives, like English ones, are inflected in terms of comparison by adding '-ere'/'-are' (comparative) or '-est'/'-ast' (superlative). In inflected forms of adjectives, the '-t' is absent. Periphrastic comparison is also possible. * In Romance languages, many adverbs are formed from adjectives (often the feminine form) by adding '-mente' (Portuguese language, Portuguese, Spanish language, Spanish, Galician language, Galician, Italian language, Italian) or '-ment' (French language, French, Catalan language, Catalan) (from Latin ''mens, mentis'': mind, intelligence, or suffix ''-mentum'', result or way of action). Other adverbs are single forms which are invariable. * In Romanian language, Romanian, almost all adverbs are simply the masculine singular form of the corresponding adjective, one notable exception being ''bine'' ("well") / ''bun'' ("good"). However, there are some Romanian adverbs built from certain masculine singular nouns using the suffix ''"-ește"'', such as the following ones: ''băieț-ește'' (boyishly), ''tiner-ește'' (youthfully), ''bărbăt-ește'' (manly), ''frăț-ește'' (brotherly), etc. * Interlingua also forms adverbs by adding '-mente' to the adjective. If an adjective ends in ''c'', the adverbial ending is '-amente'. A few short, invariable adverbs, such as ''ben'', "well", and ''mal'', "badly", are available and widely used. * In Esperanto, adverbs are not formed from adjectives but are made by adding '-e' directly to the word root. Thus, from ''bon'' are derived ''bone'', "well", and ''bona'', "good". See also: special Esperanto adverbs. * In Hungarian language, Hungarian adverbs are formed from adjectives of any degree through the suffixes ''-ul/ül'' and ''-an/en'' depending on the adjective: ''szép'' (beautiful) → ''szépen'' (beautifully) or the comparative ''szebb'' (more beautiful) → ''szebben'' (more beautifully) * Modern Standard Arabic forms adverbs by adding the indefinite accusative ending '-an' to the root: ''kathiir-'', "many", becomes ''kathiiran'' "much". However, Arabic often avoids adverbs by using a cognate accusative followed by an adjective. * Austronesian languages generally form comparative adverbs by repeating the root (as in Wiki, WikiWiki) like the plural noun. * Japanese language, Japanese forms adverbs from verbal adjectives by adding /ku/ (く) to the stem (haya- "rapid" hayai "quick/early", hayakatta "was quick", hayaku "quickly") and from nominal (linguistics), nominal adjectives by placing /ni/ (に) after the adjective instead of the copula /na/ (な) or /no/ (の) (rippa "splendid", rippa ni "splendidly"). The derivations are quite productive, but from a few adjectives, adverbs may not be derived. * In the Celtic languages, an adverbial form is often made by preceding the adjective with a preposition: ''go'' in Irish language, Irish or ''gu'' in Scottish Gaelic, meaning 'until'. In Cornish language, Cornish, ''yn'' is used, meaning 'in'. * In Modern Greek, an adverb is most commonly made by adding the endings <-α> or <-ως> to the root of an adjective. Often, the adverbs formed from a common root using each of these endings have slightly different meanings. So, <τέλειος> (
See also* Flat adverb (as in ''drive fast'', ''drive slow'', ''drive friendly'') * :Adverbs by type * Prepositional adverb * Pronominal adverb * Grammatical conjunction
Bibliography*Ernst, Thomas. 2002. ''The syntax of adjuncts''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. *Jackendoff, Ray. 1972. ''Semantic Interpretation in Generative Grammar''. MIT Press,