Parts of Speech: The Adverb

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.

By Definition:

Adverbs are descriptive words used to qualify (mostly) verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.

Example:

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.

Examples:

  1. I don’t want to go there (place). It’s not any fun without my hubby.
  2. After all, I called her yesterday (time).
  3. He looks extremely (degree) handsome in it, which is seldom (frequency) the case with most casual clothing.
  4. I always (frequency) carry my calendar with me.

Nine Types Of Adverbs

TimeWhen something happened
PlaceWhere something happened
MannerHow something happened
DegreeExtent to which something occurs
FrequencyHow often something occurs
ProbabilityThe chance something will occur
DurationHow long something lasts
EmphasisAccentuates an action
InterrogativeAsks questions

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

Until next time,

~Mustang Patty~

Published by Mustang Patty

I am finally a full-time author, who writes legal thrillers, how-to- books, short stories, flash fiction, a tiny bit of poetry, and Blog posts. My published works include 'Guilty until Proven Innocent,' 'Innocent for the Moment,' and 'Moment by Moment.' This is a trilogy called the Jill Adair Series. Additionally, I've written a collection of short stories about my dogs, Howie and Bernie - with a 2nd Collection coming in late 2021. I'm also coordinating an Anthology of Short Stories called, '2021 Indie Authors Short Story Anthology.' This book will be available on Amazon.com on August 1st of 2021. (The 2020 Indie Authors Short Story Anthology is currently available on Amazon.com - the collection includes 30 stories, written by 18 different Authors from three continents.) I am married to my wonderful hubby of over 37 years, and I have two grown children, named Heather and Gregory. I've been blessed with two beautiful grandbabies, Heather Rose and Logan Ernest.

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