Adverbs Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:03 Parts of Speech
  • 0:36 What Is an Adverb?
  • 1:14 Adverb or Adjective?
  • 2:12 The Adverb Questions
  • 3:01 Writing with Adverbs
  • 4:16 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

In this lesson you'll learn about adverbs. You'll learn what an adverb is, some of the questions an adverb can answer, and how to use adverbs to make your writing stronger.

Parts of Speech

In English, different types of words do different jobs. The types of words are called parts of speech. There are four parts of speech you need to know to understand this lesson. Nouns name people, places, things, and ideas. Pronouns replace nouns. Pronouns include words like it, they, and we. Action verbs name actions. Adjectives modify or describe nouns or pronouns.

This is a lesson about a fifth part of speech, adverbs.

What Is an Adverb?

An adverb is a word that modifies a verb, adjective, or other adverb. To put it another way, an adverb describes actions, and it describes other descriptive words.

Look at the beginning of this story:

Field day was finally here. George, Naomi, Achilles, and Turiya were so excited to compete together in their favorite events.

In these sentences, the adverb ''together'' describes the verb ''compete,'' the adverb ''finally'' describes the verb ''was,'' and the adverb ''so'' describes the adjective ''excited.''

Adverb or Adjective?

It's easy to confuse the two main types of describing words: adverbs and adjectives. An adjective only has one job: modifying nouns and pronouns. An adverb gets the rest of the modifying work: to modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. So when you look at a describing word, the first questions you should ask are, what word does it describe? And what kind of word is that?

Let's see if we can identify the adjectives and adverbs in this sentence.

  • The sweaty runners waited anxiously for the signal to start the race.

''Sweaty'' is describing ''runners,'' which is a noun. ''Sweaty'' is an adjective.
''Anxiously'' is describing ''waited,'' which is a verb. ''Anxiously'' is an adverb.

Note that an adjective can often be turned into an adverb by adding the ending ''-ly''. Look for adverbs that end in ''-ly'' in the rest of this lesson.

The Adverb Questions

An adverb generally answers one of four questions about the word it modifies. These questions are:

1. When?

  • George ran already. Naomi will run soon.

The adverb ''already'' tells when George ran. The adverb ''soon'' tells when Naomi will run.

2. Where?

  • Achilles put down his trophy after the race.

The adverb ''down'' tells where Achilles put his trophy.

3. In what manner, or how?

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