November 29 2020 05:48:01 PM

Let’s have a look at adverbials in this blog. Adverbials can be challenging for so many students. If you are an advanced student of English grammar, and you find adverbials frustrating, then keep reading. 

Let’s begin by revising what adverbs are. If we look at the word adverbial, we can see that it contains the word adverb. To understand an adverbial, you need to know what an adverb is. Adverbs have a very specific function in English grammar; it’s one of the nine parts of speech. Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs. 

Common examples of adverbs are words, such as easily, carefully, quickly, readily, beautifully, and other such adjectives where all we need to do is add -ly to the end of the adjective. However, not all adverbs end in -ly. We have words such as soon, tonight, yesterday, too, well, seldom, there, here, and never. There are many adverbs in English grammar. These are just a few examples. These words do not end in -ly, but they are adverbs because they answer the questions, when, where, how, to what extent, and to what degree. Let’s look at some examples.

We already ate dinner. When?

We ate dinner outside. Where?

We quickly ate dinner. How?

We always eat dinner at 6:00pm. To what degree?

You will notice that the verbs in these four sentences are eat, (simple present tense) and ate, (simple past tense). The adverbs in the above sentences that modify these two verbs, eat and ate, are already, outside, quickly, and always. We can see that in each sentence we answer the questions when, where, how, and to what degree. 

So, these four sentences contain adverbials. An adverbial can be one word, or it can be two or more words. The most important thing to remember when learning about adverbials is this: all adverbs are adverbials, but not all adverbials are adverbs. Let’s look at some more examples. 

I’ll call Stephanie later.

I think I’ll go to the gym shortly.

Jamie wants to go outside.

I quickly buttered the toast.

The kids eat too many lollies.

Susan listens carefully.

The adverbs in these sentences are – later, shortly, outside, quickly, too, and carefully. 

Now let’s look at some sentences where we’re using phrases for adverbials that do not contain single word adverbs.

I’ll call Stephanie in one hour. When?

I’ll go to the gym during the day. When?

Jamie’s place near the shed. Where?

I buttered the toast with a knife. How?

The kids didn’t want to give up their lollies in a hurry. To what extent?

Susan listens with great enthusiasm. How?

The adverbials in the above six sentences are the phrases – in one hour, during the day, near the shed, with a knife, and in a hurry. In all of these short phrases, we can see that they start with prepositions. Each one of these phrases is a combination of words containing prepositions, nouns, adjectives, or articles, but no individual adverbs. In essence, each one of these phrases behave like adverbs because they answer the questions, when, where, how, and to what extent. Stay tuned for another blog on adverbials coming up.

Erlkis Team