Basically, there are two kinds:
- Phrase adverbs that modify phrases, which in turn can be split into:
- sentence adverbs, which indicate the attitude of the speaker and refer to the whole clause. Sentence adverbs include admittedly, amazingly, curiously, fortunately, frankly, happily, honestly, perhaps, seriously and supposedly.
What they modify
Adverbs are sometimes thought to be a little difficult to classify. In a simplistic sense one could argue that they modify verbs or "add" something to verbs; but this is clearly not their only use. In fact, they can modify many other parts of language, including adjectives, numbers, sentences, clauses and other adverbs. However, they are unable to modify nouns (except gerunds), which are modified by determiners and adjectives.
Adverbs can go in different places in a sentence; see adverb position.
Sentence adverbs, such as frankly, sadly, clearly and curiously, are often used at the beginning of the sentence, and transmit the attitude or opinion of the speaker or writer and refer to a whole sentence rather than the verb or whatever other words they might normally modify.
Word formation of adverbs (which could be called adverbification), generally involves adding -ly to adjective forms. Some adjective forms however have zero derivation and are flat adverbs. There are also a very few irregular adverbs.
Adverbs of certainty
See main article Adverb of certainty
- perhaps, maybe, probably;
Adverbs of manner
See main article Adverb of manner
- well, badly, softly;
Adverbs of place
See main article Adverb of place
- around, here;
Adverbs of time/frequency
See main article Adverb of frequency
- today, already, still;