Adverbs describe verbs, adjectives and other adverbs. Knowing how to properly use these words may help you improve your writing skills, and may also help you avoid overuse, giving clarity to your writing style.
Adverbs can describe an action. For instance, if you want to explain how someone walked, you may say she walked quickly. The word “quickly” is the adverb. You can also use adverbs when writing dialogue such as “’Don’t move,’ she said threateningly.” This tells the reader the tone the speaker used.
You can also use adverbs as modifiers to intensify. Common examples of modifiers include the words “really” and “very.” When used sparingly, these words can help build meaning, but some writers overuse modifiers. For instance, if a writer says “She was really very upset,” those modifiers do not add to the power of the sentence and you can remove them without changing the meaning. You can replace them with concrete details, such as showing the character crying.
- Towson University: Adverbs
- A Writer’s Workshop; Bob Brannan
Kate Beck started writing for online publications in 2005. She worked as a certified ophthalmic technician for 10 years before returning to school to earn a Masters of Fine Arts degree in writing. Beck is currently putting the finishing touches on a novel.