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Adverbs and Adverbial Phrases


Adverbs. So adverbs are wonderful words. Adverbs can modify a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. So they're quite flexible. Adverbs answer the questions how, why, where, when, in what manner. In fact, those top four, how, why, where, when, those would be interrogative adverbs, adverbs that ask a question.

So, examples of adverbs. The girl sang cheerfully, tells us how she sang. The monster advanced menacingly, tells us how the monster advanced. Today he was unusually happy, both the green words are adverbs there. He visits New Jersey quite frequently, quite modifies the adject, the adverb frequently.

So, that's one adverb modifying another. Notice that many of these, many of these adverbs end in ly, but not all of them. Here are some common adverbs that do not end in ly. So in fact, there's quite a few of them. I'll just point out that the suffixes ward and wise are two endings that you can attach to nouns to make adverbs, or lengthwise or homeward.

All of these are adverbs. Notice incidentally that if we have modifier one, modifier two and noun, that doesn't necessarily mean that the first modifier has to be an adverb. It's also possible to have two adjectives in the series. For example, a big hearty breakfast, the little red schoolhouse, a clean, well-lighted place.

Here, all the purple words, it's a series of two adjectives in a row. This is an idea that we'll explore a little more in the module on logical predication. The role of an adverb may be played by a group of words, a phrase or a clause. This is called an adverbial phrase or an adverbial clause. These are sometimes called verb modifiers or clause modifiers.

All of these are words that mean the same thing. Examples of adverbial phrases, so these are mostly prepositional phrases. All quiet on the Western Front, blowing in the wind, unhappy in its own way, as wide as the sky, came to town riding on a pony, walked into the room dripping in gold, all of these are adverbial phrases. They answer fundamental adverb questions.

These are some examples of adverb clauses. Like all clauses, there's a full noun and verb inside the clause. So happy that nobody spotted his mistake, so we could say that this explains either why the person is happy or it explains how happy the person is. It depends on our interpretation. Because the wind is high, it blows my mind, it gives a reason that is the role of an adverb also.

Here is a very plain sentence, the price of a stock option increases. With an adverbial clause this makes more sense, the price of a stock option increases when the stock is in a period of volatility. Adverbial phrases and clauses often add logically necessary information to the sentence. In this video, we simply reviewed the idea of adverbs and explored a little the idea of adverbial phrases and clauses, i.e., verb modifiers.

Now that you understand these basics, we can talk in depth about how these are tested on the GMAT in the module on Logical Predication.

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