Questions tagged [adverbs]

An adverb is a word that modifies an adjective, adverb, preposition, phrase, or sentence, expressing some relation of place, time, circumstance, causality, manner, or degree.

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73
votes
6answers
1.1m views

Is it “Yours faithfully” or “Yours sincerely”?

When should one sign a letter with "Yours faithfully" or "Yours sincerely"?
52
votes
4answers
314k views

Difference between “publicly” and “publically”

I know publically appears as an incorrect spelling in most dictionaries (in fact as I type this up on my Safari browser it keeps trying to correct the spelling to publicly). However I have seen the ...
52
votes
10answers
10k views

Is “rather” shifting to become a verb?

In colloquial English, I constantly run across sentences of the form: I rather my [noun] [verb] A quick Google search returns tons of examples: I rather my opponents don't find out. I ...
49
votes
8answers
7k views

What exactly is an “adverb”?

From comments to “Weekdays” used as an adverb", I learn that The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary says "open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.", shows the word weekdays is an adverb. It seems to me ...
45
votes
8answers
10k views

Is the word 'Hitherto' outdated? [closed]

I am wondering if you would consider the word hitherto to be outdated. I prefer it over its definition, "until now" and know of no equal alternative. I have been marked down (on papers) for using this ...
44
votes
3answers
8k views

Why is “elsewhen” not a proper word?

Elsewhere is an amazing word, as you can refer to other places very easily. What about elsewhen? Does such an equivalent of elsewhere for time exist? For example: "Fertility might have fallen ...
43
votes
11answers
19k views

Is the usage of 'personally' in 'I personally don't like something' redundant?

What is the difference between the following? I personally don't like wax museums. I don't like wax museums. The adverb personally does not seem to emphasize anything here. Is it redundant?...
43
votes
3answers
137k views

Is it 'what it looks like' or 'how it looks like'?

I live in a country where English is not the native language. Oftentimes I hear my coworkers say they want to know or determine "how it looks like". This is grammatically closer to our native ...
42
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3answers
23k views

Weekly, Daily, Hourly — Minutely…?

What is the correct word for "happening every minute"? How do you pronounce it?
41
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5answers
354k views

Get hold of, get ahold of, get a hold of

Under what circumstances would you prefer one of the following over the other two? Get hold of Get ahold of Get a hold of
39
votes
9answers
364k views

Is “fastly” a correct word?

Slow has the adverb slowly. I tend to use fastly as the adverb for fast. However, it is underlined in most spell checkers I use, which makes me wonder about the existence of this word. Is fastly a ...
39
votes
5answers
8k views

When should “farther” and “further” be used?

I know I learned the difference between the usage of farther and further in school, but I can never remember where each one should be used. Can someone help me out here?
39
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5answers
42k views

Correct position of “only”

Which is grammatically correct? I can only do so much in this time. or I can do only so much in this time.
37
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4answers
8k views

Is this toilet sign correct usage of the English language?

Our company has signs at the toilet that read Please leave the toilet properly Is that correct? My intuition would be that "properly" as an adverb would reference the action "leave" and not the ...
34
votes
19answers
9k views

What is the “thirsty” equivalent of “ravenously”?

When you eat something very hungrily, you can use the adverb "ravenously" to describe it. But when you drink something very fast in a similar way to quench your thirst, what adverb can you use to ...
33
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2answers
44k views

What is the difference between “maybe” and “may be”?

What is the difference in meaning and usage between maybe and may be? Are they synonymous?
33
votes
5answers
24k views

“Specially” vs “especially”

When should each of them be used?
31
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5answers
3k views

What are the historical processes of preposition coining in English?

RegDwight's excellent answer showing the historical usage of despite got me thinking about the processes by which new prepositions are coined. Prepositions are generally considered a closed class, and ...
30
votes
8answers
9k views

How common is “thrice”?

Our proofreader, a native speaker of American English, just won't let me use this word. Every single time I try to sneak it onto one of our sites, she replaces it with three times. Now, I do realize ...
30
votes
3answers
14k views

Why has the word “thrice” fallen out of common usage?

I'm an American living in America, but my workplace has a lot of immigrants from India here. They all use "thrice" very commonly, which is wonderful to my ears! Thrice is such a delightful word. ...
29
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5answers
67k views

“Eventually” vs. “finally”

What is the difference between finally and eventually? He eventually escaped and made his way back to England. He finally escaped and made his way back to England.
29
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6answers
26k views

Explanation of “must needs”

Recently I ran across the sentence: "Just why the law prescribed thirty-nine lashes instead of forty or forty-one and so on, must needs remain unanswered." How did a plural verb like "needs" wind ...
27
votes
6answers
4k views

Are the rules regarding absolute modifiers too absolute?

A common grammar lesson that was taught to me in the US and that I've had to teach abroad in EFL classrooms is that we're not to use adverbs of emphasis with absolute modifiers, just as we're not ...
27
votes
1answer
66k views

Forward vs Forwards [closed]

As an adverb, what is the difference between forward and forwards?
26
votes
7answers
18k views

“Firstly” or “first”?

Which is more correct? How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. First, thy eyes gaze deep into my soul. Second,... or There are four reasons why all should hail the Hypno-Toad. Firstly, his ...
25
votes
7answers
11k views

How do you say “in all directions” in a single word?

Consider the following example sentence: Sound is a form of energy that travels in all directions. How to do you say "in all directions" (which is shown as bold in example sentence) in a single ...
25
votes
3answers
90k views

Correct usage of “parallel” versus “in parallel” versus “parallelly”

I wish to know if any of the following sentences are incorrect: Using A and B parallel. Using A and B in parallel. Using A and B parallelly. Now I suspect most people are going to simply ...
25
votes
4answers
159k views

“A bit” vs. “a little bit” vs. “a little”

Is there a difference between a bit, a little bit and a little in the following context? He is a little bit angry. He is a little angry. He is a bit angry. Or do these sentences mean the same ...
24
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5answers
21k views

Is there any other way you can “wax” as you do when you “wax philosophical”?

The wax in the phrase "wax philosophical" is a pretty strange bird. Its wax is obviously not the ordinary definition of wax, which my dictionary summarizes as an "oily, water-resistant substance", a ...
24
votes
7answers
87k views

“Like something more” or “like something better”

When people like something more than something else, it's common for me to hear them say they like it better than something else. Is this proper English? I've always thought the word more fits better, ...
24
votes
4answers
111k views

How do I properly hyphenate “well thought out”?

Is it spelled well thought-out, or well-thought out, or well thought out?
24
votes
3answers
55k views

“Can easily be” vs. “can be easily” — what's the difference?

I'm wondering what the difference is between: It can easily be obtained. It can be easily obtained. Also, what's the preferred way to write it? If there is any... I googled for both ...
23
votes
20answers
6k views

An adverb for when you're not exaggerating

I want to say, Your situation is, without exaggerating, more severe than mine. However, I want to replace "without exaggerating" with an adverb. Something like "undoubtedly". Now I know the ...
23
votes
4answers
175k views

Should there be a comma before “though” when it occurs at the end of a sentence?

Consider I don't know how outdated it is though. Should there be a comma before though, as in the following? I don't know how outdated it is, though.
23
votes
8answers
58k views

“Maybe” versus “perhaps”

Was there ever a real distinction between the two? I always have the urge to use maybe for discussing state and perhaps for actions. I know this is only because perhaps (by hap) and happen (befall by ...
23
votes
5answers
188k views

Should an adverb go before or after a verb?

For example: The word rarely turns up outside of those contexts. The word turns up rarely outside of those contexts. Which one is correct and why?
22
votes
4answers
68k views

Using “seldomly”

I'm not a native English speaker. If at all possible I try to use spell checkers while writing anything on the web hence using one in Firefox as well. Whenever I try to write "seldomly" it highlights ...
22
votes
4answers
412k views

“I'm home” or “I'm at home”

The second form looks more correct to me, but the first expression is present in several titles of movies and songs. Which form is preferable?
22
votes
2answers
28k views

Difference between “partly” and “partially”

What is the difference between partly and partially? An example of usage for each word would be great.
21
votes
8answers
5k views

What is the antonym of likewise?

I want to connect the following sentences with an appropriate word. Violation of rights triggers war. Prevention of violation of rights prevents war. Is the antonym of likewise suitable for this?
21
votes
2answers
52k views

Difference between “less” and “lesser”? [closed]

These two seem very similar. What are the major differences between the two? For example, in the following sentence, Substitute the lesser punishment for the greater one. Can one use "less" ...
21
votes
3answers
291k views

Use of a semicolon before and comma after “however”

Several years ago, a previous boss told me to use a semicolon and comma with the word "however". I've always questioned this and would like to know if the following random sentences are using the ...
21
votes
5answers
104k views

“Can hardly wait” versus “can't hardly wait”

This has been bothering me for a while and I'm finally at a forum where I feel like I might get an answer. I have heard people say "I can hardly wait for summer to get here" and I've also heard "I can'...
21
votes
6answers
62k views

Why do you say “so do I”?

Why is the order of the words in "so do I" or "nor do I" different from the normal order?
21
votes
9answers
6k views

Referring to past times with “hence”

From Tor.com, an interesting use of the word hence: Minutes ago, J.K. Rowling finally announced her plans behind Pottermore, the mysterious website that appeared a week hence with only a “Coming ...
21
votes
2answers
390k views

What does “duly” mean in the phrase “duly noted”?

The phrase "duly noted" is very common, but I have never used the word "duly" outside of this context. What is the meaning of the word "duly", and what does it add to the word "noted"? I would ...
21
votes
3answers
11k views

“Backward” versus “backwards” — is there any difference?

The dictionaries I've looked in don't distinguish between these two words, backward and backwards (at least when used as adverbs). Is there some real historical, grammatical or regional difference ...
21
votes
5answers
2k views

How did the adjective “just” come to take on so many adverbial meanings?

Just is a pretty useful adverb. It can carry several different meanings: very recently: I just finished the novel. exactly: That’s just what he meant. by a narrow margin: He just missed me ...
20
votes
6answers
307k views

Difference between “supposedly” and “supposably”

What is the difference between supposedly and supposably? Both are real words but seem to have confusingly similar definitions. Supposably: Capable of being supposed : conceivable Supposedly:...
19
votes
7answers
218k views

Is it ok to start a sentence with “also”?

Is it ok to start a sentence with also? Also, I had given him the file you sent me.

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