An adverb modifies a verb. That is, it tells us how a verb does it work.

  • The woman walk slowly across the field.
  • Gbolahan rain


  • She listened attentively


Functions Of Adverbs and Adverbials

The basic function of adverb and adverbials is that of modification. They modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs. In the following examples illustrates adverbials.

  • As modifiers the verb.
  • He ate hurriedly.(modifies “ate”)
  • Victoria will be visiting us today (modifies will be visiting).
  • They were playing in the garden (modifies were playing “)
  • As modifies of adjectives.
  • We watched a very funny film ( modifies funny )
  • That girl has a really beautiful face (modifies beautiful).

(C)As modifiers of prepositional phrases.

(i) The motorist stopped right in the middle of the road ( in the middle of the road).

(ii) Jide was left well behind in the race (  modifies in the race )


  1. As modifiers of noun phrase.

(i)   He told such a funny story that everybody laughed hilariously ( modifies a funny story )

(ii)  I’ve never experienced such kindness in my life ( modifies kindness )

  • The meeting yesterday was a big success (modifies “the meeting”)


  1. Many adverbs are formed from adjectives and these end in suffix – ly as in quick – quickly, honest – honesty; glad – gladly; happy – happily; gentle – gently etc.
  2. A few adverbs end in – ‘wards’ such adverb indicate direction e.g backward; forwards, northwards, earthwards.
  3. Some adverbs of manner end in ‘-wise, e.g clock wise; school – wise, money wise; cross wise etc.
  4. Some adverbs do not have any special ending e.g always, often, here , these, fast, late early, quite, if, when, how, very, soon etc.
  5. Some phrases function in the same way as single word adverbs, e.g in the morning , at the market, in here, in there, to the library, at midnight, during lunch, before supper, at breakfast.


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