English Grammar - Verbs and Adverbs

Learn correct usage of Verbs and Adverbs for making correct sentences and developing your English writing skills.

In English Grammar, Verbs and Adverbs are the most important words in a sentence.


In a sentence the most important word, is the verb. A verb expresses action or a state of being.

e.g. "Jack the ball "- here we have a subject "Jack" and an object 'ball'. But only after adding a verb, such as "caught", we have action and the sentence - "Jack caught the ball".

Sometimes the action is mental rather than physical. e.g. "He believed the story".

All verbs do not express action. Those that do not may be either linking verb. Linking verbs join the subject of the sentence to another word, in order to make a statement.
Meera felt ill. The verb 'felt' links the subject Meera with the word 'ill', to make a statement about Meera's health.

Some linking verbs regularly used are: appear, be, grow, look, remain, seem, smell, stay, taste.

Auxiliary verbs are used with other verbs to form a verb tense, voice or mood.
'I studied 'becomes "I have studied" with the addition of he helping, or auxiliary verb 'have'. Other auxiliary verbs are – be, do, may, will.

Verbs may be either transitive or intransitive.
- A transitive verb takes an object. e.g. 'He lifted the hammer'.
- An intransitive verb does not take an object. e.g. 'They ran fast'.

Many verbs are transitive in some sentences and intransitive in others.
e.g . She sang the song (Transitive) "She could not sing" (Intransitive).


Adverbs give a more exact meaning to other words like adjectives.
But adjectives modify only nouns, and words acting as nouns.

Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, other adverbs, entire sentences, or clauses.

e.g. The coat was absolutely waterproof (Adverb modifying adjective)
The radio worked unusually well (Adverb modifying adverb)
I went to school yesterday (Adverb modifying sentence)

An adverb usually answers questions. How, When, Where or ' to what extent'.

e.g. She ran quickly down the road. (How)
She went to school today. (When)
He dropped the ball there. (Where)
Peter sang loudly . (To what extent)

Interrogative adverbs ask questions .
e.g. Where did he go?
Why did he go?

Other interrogative adverbs are: when and how.

Conjunctive adverbs appear between clauses and serve the double function of connecting two clauses and modifying one.

e.g. You signed a contract; therefore, we demand payment.

Other conjunctive verbs are: however, moreover, nevertheless, otherwise, still.

Words commonly used as adverbs are: almost, fast, very, and most words ending in -ly, e.g. badly, sorely.

Hope, by understanding these simple guidelines, you can learn to use the appropriate verbs and adverbs in making correct sentences and improve your English writing skill.

Reference: The World Book Dictionary

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