Adverbs modify adjectives, verbs and other adverbs. Here are instances where the modifications are made:
(a) Modify adjectives:
He is happy now.
(b) Modify verbs:
He smiles happily.
(c) Modify other adverbs:
He smiles happily now.
An adverb answers the questions:
- How often?
- To what extent?
- Wait here (Where? Here). I’ll look for him. He could be anywhere (Where? Anywhere).
- The principal wants to see you now. (When? Now.)
- The speaker spoke softly, so that we couldn’t hear him. (How did he speak? Softly.)
- Siva always goes jogging (How often? Always.); he never plays any games. (How often? Never.)
- The buildings were completely damaged after the earthquake. (To what extent? Completely)
Many adverbs end in -ly. However, the word hard cannot be changed to hardly. The reason is, the word hardly has a completely different meaning although both are adverbs. Observe these sentences:
- Samantha studies hard. = [Samantha studies many hours each day.]
- Samantha hardly studies. = [Samantha doesn’t study at all, or maybe very little.]
- Samantha studies hardly. (X) – no meaning