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What are adverbs?

What is an adverb?
Use our quick guide to adverbs to help your child understand this descriptive part of speech.

What are adverbs?

Adverbs are one of the eight parts of speech. They explain a bit more about the activity being described.

So, in the sentence, ‘I walked to school’, you could insert an adverb to say ‘I walked carefully to school’ or ‘I walked happily to school’. The adverb is modifying the verb to describe the action.

If you add to that sentence to say ‘I walked very happily to school’, you’ll be modifying the adverb ‘happily’ with another adverb, ‘very’.

Also, in the sentence, ‘I’m sleepy,’ you can include an adverb to describe how sleepy – ‘I’m extremely sleepy’ or ‘I’m moderately sleepy’. The adverb is modifying the adjective here.

When will my child learn about adverbs in school?

Adverbs are part of the Key Stage 2 curriculum, but you can easily (note the adverb!) prepare your child by highlighting adverbs when they’re working on creative writing exercises.

My child is having trouble understanding adverbs – what’s the best way to explain them?

There are lots of words that can be turned into adverbs by adding (i)ly at the end. For example: proud becomes proudly, slow becomes slowly, pretty becomes prettily. Ask your child to think up more words that fall into this category, make a list and create sentences with them.

Because adverbs describe more about what’s happening, they’re a way to embellish everyday phrases and conversation to say a little more about how we feel. Ask your child to explain things they do during the day, but to include adverbs that give their descriptions a more personal touch.

Help your child get to grips with using adverbs by giving them one of our worksheets about adverbs to try. Then, for fun, play our adverbs game!

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