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From Teflpedia
Disambiguation: adverbial is also an adjective that means "relating to an adverb.”

An adverbial (/ædvɜ:(r)bɪəl/) or adverbial phrase (/ædvɜ:(r)bɪəl freɪz/) is a phrase that syntactically functions as an adverb; its syntactic function is to modify other expressions, including verbs, adjectives, other adverbials (including adverbs), and sentences — i.e. it says when, where or how something happens.[1]

Meaning[edit | edit source]

Circumstances[edit | edit source]

The following non-exhaustive table show typically circumstances which are expressed using adverbials:

Circumstance Subcircumstance Wh- word/phrase Example(s)
Time Time point when? I got up at six o'clock.
Time Duration how long? I ran for thirty minutes.
Place Location where? I did it at home.
Place Direction what way? I went out.
Place Distance how far? We cycled 12 miles.
Frequency Absolute frequency how many times? We did it twice.

We did it three times.

Frequency Indefinite temporal frequency how often? We won sometimes.
Frequency Definite temporal frequency how often? I run every day.

I get paid monthly.

Frequency Relative temporal frequency how often? I run twice as often as you.
Manner how? She played chess well.
They danced with gusto.
Degree how much He drank a lot.
Reason why? I don’t teach because of the money.

Semantic roles[edit | edit source]

In addition, a wide variety of semantic roles can be expressed using adverbials, including:

Semantic role Example(s) Notes
Agency She went to the café with her husband.
She was given flowers by her husband.
Recipiency He gave some flowers to his wife.
Beneficiary He booked the hotel for his boss.
Instrument Merci cut the cake with a knife.
Semantic goal They walked to the park.
Patient She listened to music. Only with obligatorily intransitive verbs.


Form[edit | edit source]

Position[edit | edit source]

The usual position for an adverbial is within the verb phrase, after the main verb and any direct objects.

An adverbial can be in front position (a fronted adverbial)

Constituents[edit | edit source]


References[edit | edit source]

Compare adjectival.