|Prepositions and Adverbs|
The adverb is the most puzzling of all word classes because it is so heterogeneous
An adverb modifies- changes, enhances, limits, describes, intensifies, muffles a verb
With adjectives and adverbs an adverb generally premodifies:
(i) An adverb can modify an adjective:
Susan is a very nice girl.
The adverb very modifies the adjective nice.
They were very excited.
The adverb very modifies the adjective excited.
(ii) an adverb can modify an adjective which in turn modifies a noun:
They loved their exceptionally beautiful basset hound.
The President gave a decidedly convincing speech.
In both cases the adverb is within the noun phrase.
(iii) an adverb can premodify another adverb:
he works really hard.
The adverb really modifies the adverb hard.
The girl who came to dinner behaved amazingly politely.
The adverb amazingly modifies the adverb politely.
(iv) an adverb modifies a verb:
Coming back home from the disco at five o’clock in the morning, Mary walked in quietly .
The adverb quietly modifies the verb: walked in. How did Mary walk into the house? quietly
(v) an adverb can premodify an entire sentence
Unfortunately, she was forced to leave early.
The adverb unfortunately premodifies the entire sentence.
The adverb enough can only postmodify:
She was silly enough to believe him.
He was rich enough to travel around the world
However, not all adverbs that modify adjectives modify adverbs too.
Some adverbs may modify phrases like noun phrases and prepositional phrases.
An adverb indicates manner, place, time, cause and answers questions as : where, when, how, to what degree about a verb, an adjective, a phrase, a clause, another adverb.
Adverbs of Manner:
She danced gracefully.
He walked briskly.
Adverbs of Place:
The cat ran on the roof after the mouse.
Tom was waiting there as he usually did.
Adverbs of Time:
He comes home from work before dark.
She left for the airport early.
Adverbs of Frequency:
John often brings his friend home by car.
Every time Jane comes home she makes tea.
Adverbs of Purpose:
In the morning she works for a lawyer to earn some money.
My aunt goes to the supermarket to spend less.
Morphologically we can distinguish three types of adverbs:
Simple adverbs: just, only, well, back, down, near, out, under, etc.
Compound adverbs: somehow, somewhere, therefore, whereupon, herewith, etc.
(i) The majority of these adverbs have the suffix –ly by means of which new adverbs are created from adjectives:
odd- ly peaceful- ly
interesting- ly slow- ly
Rules for forming adverbs in – ly from adjectives:
(a) adjectives ending in consonant + -le form adverbs by replacing – le with –ly:
simple simply double doub ly
ample amply incredible incredib ly
(b) adjectives ending in consonant + -y form adverbs by replacing y with i+ -ly:
happy happi ly dr y dri ly
secondary secondari ly
In some cases –y does not change into i with adverbs in – ly. Unfortunately there is no rule to say when y changes or not as in the case of : spry spr y ly
For example, the y remains in: coy co y ly
But the y changes into i in gay ga i ly
(c) adjectives ending in -ic and –ical form adverbs in –ically :
econom ic econom ically trag ic trag ically
econom ical econom ically trag ical trag ically
Adverb as modifier:
Adverb as modifier of adjective:
The adverb as modifier of an adjective indicates: To what degree?
In other words the modifying adverb acts as an intensifier of the adjective it modifies.
There are two sets of intensifiers: amplifiers
1.Amplifiers are those adverbs that increase, enlarge, expand a gradable adjective:
It was a funny film.
It was a very funny film.
To what degree was the film FUNNY? VERY
I went out with a nice group of friends.
I went out with a really nice group of friends.
To what degree was the group of friends NICE? REALLY
Commonly used amplifiers are:
Downtoners: have generally a a lowering effect on the adjective:
The young lady who stepped out of the car was hardly pretty.
To what degree was the young lady PRETTY? HARDLY
Actually, she was rather ugly!
She was rather late when she came to the appointment .
To what degree was she late? Not too late, but late enough.
Other examples are:
rather dull barely noticeable
pretty boring hardly talkative
almost unbreakable pretty rude
a bit hot quite nice
fairly attentive relatively quiet
quite can be used as an amplifier or as a downtoner:
As an amplifer: She's quite right when she tells you to spend less.
quite right = absolutely right
there's no doubt about it.
As a downtoner: Your drawing is quite good.
quite good: not really good but not too bad.
As we have seen above: fairly
pretty are downtoners
But they can be used as intensifiers:
He is fairly She sings fairly
pretty rich pretty well
But these downtoners present different uses:
Fairly can be used to modify an adjective or an adverb which expresses a desirable quality.
If we say that we find a place quite homely, we can intensify the adjective by using the adverb fairly:
This place is fairly cosy.
If, however, we do not find it comfortable enough, we will use the adverb rather:
This place is rather cosy.
Rather can be used with favourable and unfavourable meaning and differs from fairly and pretty because only rather can be used as an intensifier in:
(i) a comparative construction
rather smaller but we cannot say fairly smaller or pretty smaller
rather quicker but we cannot say fairly quicker or pretty quicker
(ii) a –too construction:
rather too slow but we cannot say fairly too slow or pretty too slow
rather too expensive but we cannot say fairly too expensive or pretty too expensive
(iii) certain noun phrases with adjectival qualities:
rather a pity but we cannot say fairly a pity or pretty a pity
rather a chance but we cannot say fairly a chance or pretty a chance
(iv) certain verbs:
John rather annoys me but we cannot say John fairly annoys me or John pretty annoys me
Laura rather bored me but we cannot say Laura fairly bored me or Laura pretty bored me
(v) with nouns only when preceded by an adjective. Rather intensifies the adjective. Rather has a variable position in relation to the indefinite article. Rather can either precede the indefinite article or precede the adjective without changing the meaning of the sentence:
This is a rather big house.
This is rather a big house.
You have posed a rather important question.
You have posed rather an important question.
Pretty is the strongest of the three adverbs. Like rather it can be used with favourable or unfavourable meaning. We can say:
pretty clean as well as fairly clean
pretty dirty but we cannot say fairly dirty but rather dirty
Kind of, sort of are used as downtoners for adjectives and adverbs:
She behaved kind of haughty with us.
It was sort of strange of them to call us so early in the morning.
Really, awfully, plain, are intensifiers:
My secretary is really helpful when I have lots to do.
He was awfully kind to lend us his car when ours broke down.
You must be plain stupid to say those things in front of everyone.
Some amplifiers are used idiomatically:
dead tired fast asleep
dead drunk wide awake
A little, a bit are downtoners of adjective in the absolute degree with unfavourable meanings and an implication of more than wanted .
The weather is a bit too hot.
The racecourse was a bit too tricky.
There is another class of adjective modifiers called emphasizers.
Emphasizers add force to the adjective but their effect is very similar to that of intensifiers.
You are certainly welcome.
You are very welcome.
Indeed can hold a pre-position or a post position:
The dinner was indeed delicious.
The dinner was delicious indeed
Other intensifiers are:
He was surprisingly quick in doing his homework.
His was an incredibly sound arguement.
Adverb as modifier of adverb:
An adverb can modify another adverb. Similar sets of intensifiers used for adjectives are used for adverbs also:
On hearing about his wife's illness he flew home extremely quickly.
That evening she played the piano surprisingly well.
Adverb as modifier of particle, prepositional adverb, and prepositions:
A few intensifying adverbs as right and well, can premodify particles in phrasal verbs, as well as prepositions and prepositional phrases.
She knocked the thief right out with an iron bar.
His breaks did not work so he went right through the garage door.
Adverb as modifier of noun phrase:
The most common intensifiers of noun phrases are quite and rather. They precede the determiner the moment they modify the noun phrase:
We had quite a time at the party.
They have been here for quite some time.
The police found the room rather a mess.
Adverb as modifier of sentence or phrase;
A sentence adverb is an adverb that introduces a sentence and modifies the entire phrase or sentence:
Monday, CNN will show Saddam Hussein's trial live.
Monday tells us when about the whole sentence.
Other sentence adverbs of this type are:
honestly: Honestly, I could not do much about it.
Honestly modifies the whole sentence because it expresses the speaker's opinion
about what is being said: When I say I couldn't do it , I am speaking honestly.
clearly : Clearly, the doctor couldn't tell her the whole truth.
frankly : Frankly, I wouldn't say anything about it.
unfortunately : Unfortunately, he died at the beginning of his career.
Some sentence adverbs link a sentence with a preceding one:
He promised he would come. However, he did not turn up.
She felt too desperate to continue, accordignly, she was sent home.
He lost his property, consequently, he was homeless.
He refused to work and moreover, he expected to be paid all his debts
He broke his knee going up the stairs, therefore, he could not skii.
I don't care about your problems. Similarly, I don't care about your husband's either.
Postmodifying adverbs are those adverbs that express time, time duration and place:
We stayed with our friends yesterday.
The meeting afterwards was too long and boring.
He had already prepared it the week before.
It was raining so hard that aunt decided to stay overnight.
Prepositions and adverbs:
Prepositions are items which are often identical with and semantically similar to adverbs. Let us compare the following pair of sentences:
She looked ( up the hill)
the hill: prepositional complement
She ( looked up ) the telephone directory
up: adverb particle of phrasal verb
The adverb particle enjoys mobility :
She looked the telephone directory up.
The girl walked across the bridge.
the bridge: prepositional complement
The girl walked across.
When the complement is omitted, across is called a prepositional adverb.
But we cannot say:
She looked the hill up .
Nor can we say :
- She walked the bridge across.
Very often the distinction between a preposition and an adverb is not clear, but we realize it is an adverbial because, if we take for example, about:
(i) it may be omitted :
She is about seventy.
She is seventy.
(ii) it can be substituted by other adverbs:
She is about seventy.
She is roughly seventy.
She is approximately seventy.
To determine whether a word is a preposition or an adverb see whether the word is followed by a noun. In other words: does the word have an object that follows?
Go to the window and look outside .
Outside is not followed by any other word. Outside is, therefore , an adverb.
But if we say:
Go and look outside the window.
outside is a preposition
the window is the prepositional complement.
If you want to see how striking the hall of this mansion is
look down the main staircase.
down the main staircase : noun phrase acting as an object: Therefore, it is a prepositional complement.
There is a basic order in which adverbs will appear when there is more than one adverb in the sentence.
Subject Verb Manner Place Frequency Time Purpose
John works hard in the garden every Sunday early in the morning. to keep it tidy
Jane runs fast in the park every morning before work to keep fit.
The dog snarls menacingly in the kitchen three times a week at 8o’clock to keep the milkman out.
1.Generally shorter adverbial phrases precede longer ones regardless of their function. An adverb of time can precede an adverb of frequency simply because it is shorter.
Dan did his homework late at night, everyday of his school life.
adverb of time adverb of frequency
2. With more adverbial phrases of the same kind, the more specific one comes first:
They lived in a pretty cottage in the country.
adverb of place adverb of place
She lay sick in bed in hospital.
adv.place adverb of place
Because the placement of adverbs is rather flexible, one or two modifiers can move to the beginning of the sentence. In this case the adverbial modifiers are set off from the rest of the sentence by a comma:
Every morning before breakfast, Dug was seen jogging in Hyde Park.
By placing an adverbial modifier at the beginning of the sentence, a special emphasis is placed on that modifier:
Quietly, ever so quietly, she tiptoed up the stairs.
Recently, I heard that the most expensive school in town is closing down.
If misplaced, adverbs can modify words they should not modify:
They reported that Elvis Presley had died on the evening news .
Whoever reads this sentence will understand that Elvis had died on Television during the evening news.
It would be much better to say:
They reported on the evening news that Elvis Presley had died.
Adverbs, however, can move around in a sentence. Adverbs of manner are particularly flexible in this regard.
Gratefully, the old lady accepted a bowl of hot soup.
The old lady gratefully accepted a bowl of hot soup.
The old lady accepted a bowl of hot soup gratefully.
Adverbs of frequency also appear in various parts of the sentence:
1.Between the subject and main verb:
I always go to the cinema over the weekend.
You never stop talking once you start.
They often fly to London when they need to buy clothes.
2.Between the auxiliary and the main verb:
We have always watched the Christmas show.
They have often heard about a ghost in the house next door.
3. Before the verb used to:
I always used to speak to him when I met him along the road.
She never used to go to the hairdresser before going out.
4. Between the Subject and to have:
I have never told her such a story.
but after the verb to be:
You are never satisfied whatever you do