My favorite author, Stephen King, discusses the use of adverbs in his book, ‘On Writing.’ He says, and I quote, ‘Adverbs are not your friends.’
He goes on to say that the use of adverbs is for lazy writers. Too many adverbs will weaken your sentences and have you falling into passive voice. (We will address passive versus active voice in another blog.)
But there are places in your writing for using adverbs, so we will study how and when to use them.
Adverbs are descriptive words used to qualify (mostly) verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.
The frazzled mother screamed loudly (how did she scream?) at her children while they played in the street. (Please note that this adverb isn’t really needed – aren’t most screams loud? So, it causes redundancy.)
Most adverbs usually end in ‘–ly.’ They tell you how something happened. Then there are the other adverbs describing adjectives or other adverbs, or adding information about the place, time, degree, and frequency.
- I don’t want to go there (place). It’s not any fun without my hubby.
- After all, I called her yesterday (time).
- He looks extremely (degree) handsome in it, which is seldom (frequency) the case with most casual clothing.
- I always (frequency) carry my calendar with me.
Nine Types Of Adverbs
|Time||When something happened|
|Place||Where something happened|
|Manner||How something happened|
|Degree||Extent to which something occurs|
|Frequency||How often something occurs|
|Probability||The chance something will occur|
|Duration||How long something lasts|
|Emphasis||Accentuates an action|
Writing Tip: Great writing relies on verbs and nouns, not adverbs, for strength and color. Too many adverbs create clumsy writing and detract from the impact of a good verb.
This covers the basics of adverbs. If you wish to learn more about them, you COULD sign up for one of my courses in writing – see my Class page on my website: https://wordpress.com/page/mustangpatty1029.wordpress.com/1131