ESL Adverbs: Activities & Exercises

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

Adverbs are an important part of English grammar, so it's vital that ESL students have a strong understanding of how to use them correctly. This lesson equips ESL teachers with classroom activities related to proper adverb use.

Adverbs for ESL

A big part of learning English is figuring out the various parts of speech. Adverbs are a vital part of speech and one that English as a second language (ESL) students should feel comfortable using. Before employing the activities in this lesson, it can be helpful to review a few key points about adverbs.

Adverbs are often used to describe how, when, where, why and the frequency at which something happens. Most adverbs end in -ly. This makes them fairly easy to identify in a sentence.

Basically, an adverb modifies a:

  • Verb (The dog ran quickly down the street.)
  • Adjective (My sister is nearly ready for college.)
  • Other adverb (When Lisa was making the cake, she tried very carefully to make it perfect.)

The placement of an adverb in a sentence can change the meaning of that sentence.

  • I quickly decided to write my essay.
  • I decided to write my essay quickly.

In the first sentence, I quickly made a decision. In the second sentence, I quickly wrote the essay.

Change the Meaning

This activity will challenge your students to insert the appropriate adverbs into sentences that you provide.

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