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Enhancing with Adverbs

 

Techniques > Use of language > Parts of speech > Using adverbs > Enhancing with Adverbs

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Method

Use adverbs to modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs, enhancing meaning, adding depth and emotion to the sentence.

You can also use adverbs to amplify and exaggerate, intensifying the current meaning.

Example

I never smoke in the street. (modifying verb)

What a very interesting person. (modifying adjective)

I drive really quickly. (modifying adverb)

When you tell him slowly, he will easily understand.

She is really very pretty.

I seldom go there now.

Discussion

Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs. A common ending of adverbs is '-ly', although this is not always true (fast, very, never, often, still).

Four main categories of adverb are:

  • Adverbs of time: quickly, yesterday, tonight, etc.
  • Adverbs of place: outside, nearby, aloft, etc.
  • Adverbs of frequency: never, sometimes, usually, etc.
  • Adverbs of manner: carefully, angrily, haughtily, etc.

Modification of words is interesting when seeking to change minds, as you can provide an acceptable word and then change it. Like the angler who provides an acceptable worm and then reels in the fish, the adverb acts more subtly than the word it changes.

Adverbs can be used to exaggerate in some way, stretching the meaning of the word they are describing, either amplifying its meaning or (less often) attenuating it in some way. Adverbs used together increase this effect further.

Adverbs and adjectives have a lot in common, as they both act to modify. They can be used together or as alternatives, as appropriate.

See also

Enhancing with adjectives

 

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