Writing Help Simplified

Your all-in-one writing tool to check for grammar mistakes, accidental plagiarism, and adding citations.

Try our smart proofreader

Don't worry, your writing won't be searchable publicly.

or, upload your paper

It's on my computer
The papers you upload will be added to our plagiarism database and will be used internally to improve plagiarism results.

Adverbs: Learning the Describing Words

What is an adverb? These words, as you'll soon discover, perform many different functions in the English language. But sometimes they are difficult to identify, as there isn’t a set rule on where describing words go in a sentence. After reading this article, you'll understand how to creatively express yourself using describing words. You’ll also know how to identify when someone uses a describing word in writing or speaking. After reading this guide, check out this informative reference.

What is an adverb?

An adverb is a word that describes or modifies verbs, adjectives, clauses, and other adverbs. We use it to give additional information about other words.

She drives fast.

In this sentence the word fast describes the verb drives.

The dog is very small.

In this sentence the word very describes the adjective small.

The students always talk loudly in the library.

In this sentence the word loudly describes the verb talk.

Notice that each example describes the sentence verb and not the noun; adjectives help describe nouns, not adverbs.

Want a different adverb definition? Click this site to learn more.

Adverb definition

There are three things to remember while using describing words. First, they usually give background information by telling the reader where, when, why, or how something happens.

Second, there are different types of describing words which perform their own functions.

Third, you can place describing words anywhere in a sentence. Finally, some describing words are easy to recognize because many end in -ly.

Quick tip: Use this resource to learn about citing sources using MLA format.

Different Types of Describing Words

These different types of describing words have their own unique functions. Let's look at a few of them.

Words describing place tell you where an action happens. Examples are down, there, up, and inside.

Johnny swims here.

Time words tell you when an action takes place. Examples are today, tomorrow, later, and now.

He played soccer yesterday.

Words about manner tell you how an action happens. Examples include the word sometimes, usually, always, and never.

My mother calls me daily.

Quick tip: Discover who should use APA format while citing work and why it’s important to know.

What is an interrogative adverb?

Interrogatives are words at the beginning of a sentence that ask questions. Examples include: Where, when, why, how much, and how often.

Where did she go?

When did she get there?

Why did she go there?

How much time did it take for her to get there?

How often does she go there?

If you were wondering about “who,” it is considered an interrogative pronoun. Also, what, which, and whose could each be considered an interrogative determiner.

Additional Adverb Examples

Words that modify verbs often describe the way an action happens.

My mail ordinarily comes late.

She speaks English fluently.

That woman dances gracefully.

Words that modify adjectives often describe the degree of intensity.

Your book is more interesting than mine.

The model was wearing a dark blue coat.

Gee, why are you singing so softly?

Fun fact: “Gee” is an interjection.

Words that modify another adverb go directly before the first one and intensifies it.

My teacher speaks incredibly loud.

Our Internet is ridiculously slow.

The fruits of Peru are strangely delicious.

As you can see, describing words really help clarify how things happen in your writing and speaking. Use them to add variety to your papers and homework assignments. Now go forth and use describing words freely, creatively, and with confidence. Show your teachers and the world that you know how to write colorfully!

Yearning to expand your grammar knowledge? We also have guides on using a preposition and what is a conjunction.

Are you working on and doing research on your next school paper? Save some time during the writing process by using the BibMe Plus plagiarism checker. It could save you (and your teacher) a lot of time and hassle. BibMe Plus also comes with tools that can create citations in APA format, MLA format, and more styles of citing within minutes. Check it out!