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When we are talking about someone doing an action, it is very easy to focus on the action itself and not on the manner in which it is being done. The addition of an adverb of manner is an excellent way to add description to the sentence and make it more interesting. Let’s have a look at an example.
- She writes.
- She writes beautifully.
In the second sentence we have added an adverb of manner and it automatically adds some interesting context to the sentence.
We can use an adverb of manner immediately after the verb it is describing. It can also go after a noun. It is also possible to use an adverb of manner before the verb. Let’s take a look at all of these uses in action.
- The rain fell relentlessly.
Here we are using the adverb of manner immediately after the verb “fall” to say that the rain was falling without end. Next one –
- The woman played the piano expertly.
Here we are using the adverb of manner after the noun “piano” to say what she was playing like an expert. And the last one –
- She angrily slammed the door.
Here we are putting the adverb before the verb. It tells us that she was angry when she slammed the door closed
Another thing to remember is that the positioning of the adverb can have a dramatic effect on the meaning of the sentence. For example –
- He quietly asked them to leave the room.
- He asked them to leave the room quietly.
The difference here is that in the first sentence the speaker is being quiet whilst asking the people to leave the room. In the second one the speaker is asking the people to be quiet whilst they are leaving. So, as you can see there is a big difference between the two sentences.
Another example –
- He left the room quickly after answering the question.
- He left the room after answering the question quickly.
Again we have two very similar looking sentences with two different meanings. The first tells us that the person answered the question and then quickly left the room, whereas the second one tells us that he answered the question quickly and then left the room in an unspecified manner.
The positioning of the adverb is therefore very important. The trick is understanding which verb we are trying to describe in the sentence. This may take time and practice but it is quite easy once you get the idea.
Try some examples for yourself or try our example questions. Good luck.
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