How To Identify Adverbs

The word is probably an adverb if it ends in –ly. Examples are: cleverly, carefully, sweetly, pleasantly, eagerly etc.

Another common property of adverbs is that you can change their position and the sentence will still make sense. This is usually not possible in the case of other parts of speech.

Study the following examples.

  • I still call them occasionally.
  • Occasionally I still call them.
  • It sometimes gets very windy here.
  • Sometimes it gets very windy here.
  • The birds flew up.
  • Up flew the birds.

As you can see from the above examples, the meanings of the sentences don’t change with a change in the position of adverbs.

Words denoting frequency, time and place are also adverbs. Examples are: always, never, ever, often, frequently, occasionally, sometimes, now, soon, then, today, tomorrow, here, there, upstairs etc.


Identify the adverbs in the following sentences.

1. He is always late for work.

2. Vimala combed her hair neatly.

3. The teacher asked the boy to write legibly.

4. Put it there.

5. The pain will soon pass off.

6. There is clearly something wrong.

7. He probably thinks that he is the best.

8. She has never said ‘Sorry’ in her life.


Always, neatly, legibly, there, soon, clearly, probably, never

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