Adverbs are words that modify (1) verbs, (2) adjectives, and (3) other adverbs. They tell how (manner), when (time), where (place), how much (degree), and why (cause). Why is a common one-word adverb that tells why. Adverbs that tell us how, when, where, and why always modify the verb. These adverbs can shift location in the sentence without changing meaning or what they modify. Adverbs that tell us how much modify adjectives or other adverbs. Adverbs that tell how much will come just before the adjectives or adverbs that they modify. These adverbs are also called qualifiers because they strengthen or weaken the words they modify. Examples: He kicked the ball solidly (how). He kicked the ball immediately (when). He kicked the ball forward (where). He kicked the ball too hard (how much).
Not and its contraction n't are adverbs. They really modify the entire sentence, but we will have them modify the verb as it is the most important word in the sentence. This is a common practice in grammar books.
Instructions: Find the adverbs in the following sentences and tell what word they modify.
1. The completely exhausted boater was quickly pulled aboard.
2. The manager has called me once or twice about policy.
3. Usually these antibiotics work rather slowly.
4. The Christmas decorations surely weren't very expensive.
5. Harry greedily had too much candy.
--For answers scroll down.
1. completely modifies the adjective exhausted telling how much, quickly modifies the verb was pulled telling how, aboard modifies the verb was pulled telling where
2. once/twice modify the verb has called telling when
3. usually/slowly modify the verb work telling how, rather modifies the adverb slowly telling how much
4. surely/n't modify the verb were telling how, very modifies the predicate adjective expensive telling how much
5. greedily modifies the verb had telling how, too modifies the adjective much telling how much