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Writing Style

Adverbs (ADV)

An adverb can be a single word, phrase, or clause that modifies or gives more information about verbs, adjectives, other adverbs, or clauses.
The students carefully reads her text books. (verb)
Our clinical was really interesting. (adjective)
The students quite often study together for exams. (other adverb)
Clearly, the students studied hard for their final exams. (clause)

An adverb will answer one of four questions.
How? The patient slept peacefully at night.
When? Fatima always studies for her exams.
Where? The nurse asked the patient to sit down.
Why? The nurse asked the patient to sit because she was taking a blood sample.

Watch this introductory lesson on adverbs in our LC elearning modules class in D2L.


Most adverbs are formed by adding “-ly” to the end of an adjective. However, many adverbs do not end in “-ly.”
For example,
with –ly
quick = adjective      quickly = adverb
careful = adjective     carefully = adverb

without –ly

**The form of an adverb can also change to make it comparative or superlative. Please click on the tab to the left for more information on comparative and superlative adverbs.


The position of an adverb within a sentence can depend on what the adverb is modifying and what kind of adverb is being used. 
The nurse spoke softly to the patient.
She finished her assignment remarkably quickly.
Their very thorough education prepared them to be effective nurses. 


Remember that academic writing is meant to be clear and concise
With adverbs, this means that you should not overuse adverbs in your writing. If you can say the same thing with one word instead of two words including an adverb, you should!
For example, you could say “Their comprehensive education prepared them to be effective nurses” instead of “Their very thorough education” as in the example above.



Watch this 17-minute video about using adverbs.

Oxford Online English. (2018, June 23). Adverbs in English -- Learn all about English adverbs [Video]. YouTube.


More Information

The Difference Between Adjectives and Adverbs,” Purdue Online Writing Lab 
The Adverb,” R. L. Simmons 
Adverbs,” Towson University 
Avoiding Common Errors,” Purdue Online Writing Lab                                                                                                                                                                “Prepositions vs. Adverbs,” The Tongue Untied