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Adverbs - More Words That Describe

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We’ve learned about verbs. Now let’s study those words or groups of words that describe or modify verbs. We call them adverbs. Sometimes they end in ‑ly, and sometimes they don’t.

Just as adjectives modify nouns, adverbs modify verbs. But they can do more. Adverbs modify adjectives. They modify other adverbs. And they can modify an entire sentence or clause.

When our forbears were getting together to form our early languages, they noticed that the noun Igor could engage in a verb-like activity and run across the field. Having already developed adjectives, the early grammarians were able to describe Igor as quick. “Look at Igor,” they would grunt. “Igor is quick.”

Watching all the verb-like activity around them, they had some important questions they wanted answered about all these verbs.

Where was Igor running? Why was Igor running? How or in what way was Igor running? When was Igor running? Under what circumstances was Igor running?

Then one day, Amber and Miss Hamrick decided not to describe Igor but to remark on his act of running. So, in a moment of brilliant inspiration, they grunted the world’s first adverb:

Igor quickly runs across the field.

 

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