Adverb phrases are words or expressions that can be substituted for adverbs. An adverb phrase performs the same function as an adverb does. Examples are: very soon, rather hurriedly, with great pleasure etc.
Read the following sentences:
- Susie drives carefully.
- Susie drives with care.
Carefully is an adverb showing the manner in which Susie drives. With care is a phrase which means the same thing as carefully and does the work of an adverb. Hence it is an adverb phrase which can be substituted for the adverb carefully.
Some adverbs can be changed into an adverb phrase. Similarly some adverb phrases can be changed into adverbs. Not all adverbs can be changed into an adverb phrase. Note that most adverb phrases begin with a preposition. There are, nevertheless, exceptions to this rule.
In the following examples adverb phrases are substituted for adverbs.
- The old man sat alone (adverb).
- The old man sat by himself (adverb phrase).
- He fought courageously (adverb).
- He fought with courage (adverb phrase).
- They searched for him everywhere (adverb).
- They searched for him all over the place (adverb phrase).
- I thanked him wholeheartedly (adverb).
- I thanked him with all my heart (adverb phrase).
- They accepted the offer unconditionally (adverb).
- They accepted the offer without laying down any conditions (adverb phrase).
- Soon (adverb) he returned.
- In a short while (adverb phrase) he returned.