11.3 Classification of Adverbs

1) Simple adverbs and derivative adverbs
¡¡In terms of word formation, adverbs fall into two groups: simple adverbs and derivative adverbs.

a. Simple adverbs
¡¡Simple adverbs are those that consist of only one free morpheme; they are mostly identical in form with corresponding adjectives, e.g. hard, clean, right, slow, etc.

b. Derivative adverbs
¡¡Derivative adverbs are those that are derived from adjectives by adding the suffix -ly, e.g. carefully, slowly, hardly, politely, considerably, constantly, shortly, etc.

¡¡Most adverbs are derivatives.

2) Adverbs of time, place, manner, degree, and mood
Semantically adverbs can be divided into:

a. Adverbs of time
¡¡Adverbs of time answer the question "When¡­", "How long¡­", and "How often¡­?" e.g. once, always, again, often, daily, seldom, frequently, sometimes, occasionally, etc.

b. Adverbs of place
¡¡Adverbs of place answer the question "Where¡­", e.g. here, inside, upstairs, abroad, everywhere, up, down, etc.

c. Adverbs of manner
¡¡Adverbs of manner answer the question "How¡­?" e.g. carefully, slowly, beautifully, undoubtedly, surprisingly, admiringly, etc

d. Adverbs of degree
¡¡Adverbs of degree answer the question "To what degree or extent¡­?"
¢Ù Negative: not, little, scarcely, hardly, etc.
¢Ú Slight degree: a little slightly, somewhat, rather, etc.
¢Û Great degree: much, very, far, greatly, extremely, etc.
¢Ü Excessive degree: exceedingly, too, too much, etc.
¢Ý Completeness: quite, wholly, entirely, thoroughly, etc.
¢Þ Sufficiency: enough, exactly, etc.
¢ß Deficiency: almost, nearly, partly, etc.
¢à Limitation: only, simply, but, etc

¡¡Adverbs of degree are often used to modify comparatives and superlatives, e.g.

  • This is much ( far, somewhat, little, decidedly) better than that.

e. Adverbs of mood (Modal adverbs)
¡¡Modal adverbs are used to show whether an assertion is true, doubtful or not doubtful. Modal adverbs are, in form, like adverbs of manner, but they modify the whole sentence, e.g.

  • Certainly you are in the right.

¡¡¡¡Adverbs expressing certainty include certainly, surely, really, etc. and adverbs expressing doubt: probably, likely, perhaps, maybe, possibly, etc.

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