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This is the first of a series of lessons on adverbials. In this lesson we look at why we use adverbials, how they are formed and where they go in a sentence.

Lesson by Tristan, English teacher at EC Malta

Adverbials are used to give more information about a verb. Adverbs can be placed in different groups according to their ‘function’.

Adverbials of manner explain how something happened:
He ran as fast as he could. We worked hard.

Adverbials of place explain where something happened:
This is my first time here.

Adverbials of time explain when something happened:
They went out yesterday.

Adverbials of frequency explain how often something happened:
I usually walk to work.

Adverbials of certainty explain how probable something is:
Perhaps he’s gone home.

Adverbials are:
Adverbs – He left early. We’ll see you later.

Intensifiers can be added to adverbs:
He left really early.’ll see you much later.

A phrase with a preposition can also be an adverbial:
He left really early in the morning. We’ll see you in a few hours.

We usually place adverbials after a verb:
I live here. We left after a few minutes.

Adverbials can go after an object.
She answered the phone quietly. I met my friends yesterday evening.

However adverbials of frequency usually come in front of the main verb:
I often go skiing in the Alps. I’ve never been to America.

Adverbials of time can go in at the beginning of a clause too:
Yesterday was a busy day at work. – I was busy at work yesterday.

Choose the correct sentence form the following:

  • 1) Which is correct?

  • 2) Which is correct?

  • 3) Which is correct?

  • 4) Which is correct?

  • 5) Which is correct?

  • 6) Which is correct?