Contributor: Kristen Gardiner. Lesson ID: 10287

How quickly can you identify adverbs? How accurately can you use them? Sometimes, it is hard to know if you are absolutely correct! Learn how to properly identify and use these descriptive words!



English / Language Arts
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Before the big race, Spencer's friends made this banner and hung it on her front door:

Go Spencer!

You Can Do It!

Win! Win! Win!








Spencer was so surprised and grateful for this inspiring acrostic poem! Take a look at the words her friends used to describe her running ability using each letter of her name.

  • What do you notice about each word?

Action words (verbs) add action to our speech and writing.

You can add other words (adverbs) to add additional attributes to action words that make your speech and writing more interesting and descriptive!

How do you do what you do?

By now, we all know that verbs are the part of speech that expresses action. They tell what the subject, or other noun in a sentence, does. But what if you want to explain how a noun is performing an action?

For example, what if you go to the grocery store and get in a check-out line, and you feel like you have to wait in that line forever? How would you describe how that line was moving?

You could say that the line was moving slowly. "Slowly" describes the verb "moving."

Let's take another look at Spencer

If you take another look at Spencer's poem, you will notice that most of the words end in "ly." Some adverbs, but not all, end in "ly."

You will also notice that you can put the short sentence, "She runs . . . ," in front of each of the words and it makes sense, giving you a sentence telling you about how she does what she does.

Here's another example of using an adverb to show how: She ran quickly. How did she run? Adverb = "quickly"

Adjectives are words that describe nouns and pronouns. Often, an adjective can be made into an adverb by adding an –ly ending (see chart below):














Do you always do what you do the way you do what you do?

In the same way adjectives give more information about nouns and pronouns, adverbs give more information about verbs. Adverbs give information about time, frequency, and manner. Adverbs tell how something is done as well as how often or when it is done.

There are adverbs of time and adverbs of frequency. As you can probably guess, adverbs of time tell when something happens, and adverbs of frequency tell how often something happens.

These adverbs do not always end in -ly, and sometimes they are considered another part of speech; it depends on how they are used in the sentence.

When used to answer the question of when or how often in a sentence, they are adverbs:

Adverbs of Time

Adverbs of Frequency












An example of using an adverb to show how often (frequency): She runs daily. How often does she run? Adverb =

An example of using an adverb to show when (time): I am going to the park today. When are you going to the park? Adverb = "today"

Not just for verbs

Another thing you need to know about adverbs is that they can also modify, or be used to describe, other adverbs and adjectives, too! Although their main job is working with verbs, they are considered to be the super modifiers of the English language because they can make the most powerful adjective even more effective!

Here is an example of an adverb modifying another adverb: She ran very quickly.

In the sentence above, very is modifying quickly, giving it the extra little kick it needs when saying "She ran quickly" just isn't enough. Both "very" and "quickly" are adverbs describing how she ran.

Here is an example of an adverb modifying an adjective. Did you ever have one of those days that was just so good it was beyond words, but someone asked how your day was, so you had to put it into words? Chances are, you used an adverb-adjective combination similar to the one below:

I had an amazingly fantastic day today!

Take a quick look at that sentence: The adverb "amazingly" modifies the adjective "fantastic," which describes the day you had (when?) today.

Using adverbs to compare

Adverbs are also great words to use when comparing nouns against other nouns.

For example: Your grandma bakes delicious apple pies, but my grandma's blueberry pies are more delicious.

Here we are comparing which pies are better. Both pies are delicious, but by adding the adverb "more," we are stating that my grandma's blueberry pies are better by comparison.

Look at another: Of all the arguments I heard on the issue, I feel that Mike's team presented the most compelling.

In this sentence, we are comparing all the arguments. In this case, it turns out that Mike's team presented the most compelling argument of all. The adverb, "most," is used to compare just how compelling the team's argument was when compared to the other arguments on that particular topic.

Wow! That's a lot of adverbs. As you can see, they are everywhere, and I'm sure you have been using them with expertise for a while without even noticing!

Get your adverbs!

Here's a short video that's full of fun and adverbs (not to mention the catchy tune) that will review all of the information you learned. I'm sure your parent or teacher will even start singing along!

As you watch Lolly Lolly Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here - Schoolhouse Rock (below) with your teacher, write down as many uses for adverbs as you can. When the video is over, discuss with your teacher what you have written:

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Now that you have that song running through your head, move on to the Got It? section to practice what you have so diligently learned!

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