Classification of adverbs according to their meaning

According to their meaning, Morokhovskaya divides adverbs into the following groups:

1) adverbs of time: now, then, yesterday, lately, already, soon, yet, afterwards, presently, immediately, eventually, sud­denly, at once, when, etc.

E.g. He is coming tomorrow.

Adverbs of time may be subdivided as follows:

Of time present: now, yet, to-day, nowadays, presently, instantly, immediately, straightway, directly, forthwith.

Of time past: already, just now, lately, recently, yesterday, formerly, anciently, once, heretofore, hitherto, since, till now, long ago.

Of time to come: to-morrow, hereafter, henceforth, henceforward, by-and-by, soon, shortly.

Of time relative: when, then, first, just, before, after, while, whilst, meanwhile, as, till, until, seasonably, betimes, early, late, whenever, afterward, afterwards, otherwhile, otherwhiles.

Of time absolute: always, ever, never, aye, eternally, forever, perpetually, continually, incessantly, endlessly, evermore, everlastingly.

Of time repeated: often, oft, again, occasionally, frequently, sometimes, seldom, rarely, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, annually, once, twice, thrice, or three times. Above this, we use only the phrases four times, five times, six times. Whether these ought to be reckoned adverbs, or not, is questionable: times, for repetitions, or instances, may be supposed a noun; but such phrases often appear to be used adverbially.

2) adverbs of frequency: often, seldom, sometimes, always, hardly ever, never, constantly, occasionally, twice, three times, etc.

E.g. He is always in time for meals.

They sometimes stay up all night.

3) adverbs of place or direction: here, there, everywhere, downstairs, below, ashore, abroad, inside, outside, seaward(s), to and fro, backwards, where, etc.

E.g. I looked for him everywhere.

It was all rather dark within.

A dog began to bark somewhere inside.

The use of somewhere, anywhere and nowhere in different kinds of sentences is similar to the use of the corresponding indefinite pronouns some, any and no.

4) adverbs of manner: well, badly, fast, quickly, clearly, deeply, sincerely, willingly, sideways, somehow, how, etc.

E.g. He speaks English well.

George played very badly in the match yesterday.

Adverbs of manner saying how an action is performed can freely occur with dynamic verbs, but not with stative verbs.

E.g. He looked into the problem carefully.

He walked upstairs quietly.

The boy blushed violently.

5) adverbs of degree or intensifiers: very, quite, extremely, somewhat, really, enough, too, pretty, so, rather, unusually, terribly, highly, perfectly, much, completely, nearly, etc.

E.g. I quite agree with you.

He is very clever.

He did it quickly enough.

Adverbs of degree or intensifiers may be subdivided into three semantic groups:

a) emphasizers (emphasizing the truth of the communica­tion): really, actually, clearly, definitely, indeed, plainly, simply, literally, fust, at all,

E.g. I really don’t know what he wants.

I just can’t understand it.

You haven’t done it well at all.

b) amplifiers (expressing a high degree): absolutely, al­together, completely, entirely, extremely, fully, perfectly, quite, thoroughly, utterly, very, much, badly, bitterly, deeply, (by) far, greatly, heartily, terribly, a great deal, E.g. I thoroughly disapprove of his methods.

He completely ignored my request.

He needs a warm coat badly.

c) downtoners (lowering the effect): quite, rather, enough, sufficiently, more or less, moderately, partly, slightly, some­what, (a) little, a bit, barely, hardly, scarcely, almost, nearly, kind of, sort of,

E.g. I know him slightly.

I partly agree with you.

I almost believed him.

6) focusing adverbs which can be of two kinds:

a) restrictive: alone, exactly, just, merely, only, precisely,

purely, simply, especially, etc.

E.g. I am simply asking the time.

My father alone could help me at the time.

b) additive: again, also, either, equally, even, too,

E.g. He didn’t answer my letter again.

I, too, am very busy at the moment.

7) viewpoint adverbs: morally, politically, scientifically, economically, weatherwise, program-wise, etc. Such adverbs are understood to mean ‘from a moral (political, scientific) point of view’.

E.g. Geographically and linguistically, these islands are clos­er to the mainland than to the neighbouring islands. Economically, the project is bound to fail.

8) attitudinal adverbs which express the speaker’s com­ment on the content of what he is saying. Such adverbs can be of two kinds:

a) adverbs expressing a comment on the truth-value of what is being said, indicating the extent to which the speak­er believes what he is saying is true: admittedly, certainly, decidedly, definitely, surely, undoubtedly, allegedly, doubtless, quite likely, maybe, perhaps, possibly, probably, presumably, supposedly, obviously, apparently,

E.g. Perhaps the public does not have much choice in the mat­ter.

Certainly, he had very little reason to fear anyone.

b) adverbs expressing some attitude towards what is be­ing said: amazingly, curiously, funnily enough, incredibly, ironically, oddly, remarkably, strangely, unexpectedly, typi­cally, (un)fortunately, (un)happlly, (un)luckily, preferably, tragically, significantly, (in)correctly, (un)justly, cleverly, foolishly, reasonably, sensibly,

E.g. He is wisely staying at home tonight.

Naturally we were extremely annoyed when we received the letter.

9) conjunctive adverbs: flrst(ly), secondly, next, then, fi­nally, lastly, further, furthermore, too, above all, likewise, similarly, incidentally, by the way, thus, therefore, namely, for example, that is, accordingly, consequently, hence, so, as a re­sult, otherwise, in other words, in that case, rather, alternative­ly, on the one (other) hand, instead, on the contrary, anyhow, anyway, besides, however, nevertheless, still, though, yet, at any rale, for all that, in spite of that, meantime, meanwhile, etc.

E.g. I’d like you to do two things for me. First, phone the of­fice and tell them I’ll be late. Secondly, order a taxi to be here in about half an hour.

I didn’t like the food there. However, I didn’t complain about it.

10) formulaic adverbs (markers of courtesy): kindly, cordially, please, etc.

E.g. Will you kindly help me with the parcel?

We cordially invite you to our party.

Let me have a look at the picture, please.

The adverbs when, where, how and why belonging to different semantic groups mentioned above have one point in common—they serve to form questions and introduce some kinds of subordinate clauses. In the former case, owing to their auxiliary function, they are called interrogative ad­verbs (a). In the latter case, also owing to their auxiliary func­tion, they are called conjunctive adverbs (b). In both cases they perform different adverbial functions in the sentence.

E.g. a) When did you see him last? (adverbial modifier of time)

Where are you going? (adverbial modifier of place)

How did you manage it? (adverbial modifier of manner)

Why didn’t you tell me about it? (adverbial modifier of cause)

E.g. b) Sunday was the day when he was least busy, (adver­bial modifier of lime)

The thing to find out was where he was then, (adver­bial modifier of place)

How it was done remains a mystery to me, (adver­bial modifier of manner)

 I wanted to know why he had left us so abruptly. (adverbial modifier of cause)

As is seen from the above examples, the conjunctive ad­verbs can introduce attributive, predicative, subject and ob­ject clauses. [11, 346]

The adverb how, in addition to the above functions, can also be placed at the head of an exclamatory sentence. In this case it is often followed by an adjective or an adverb but it may also be used alone. This how is sometimes called the exclamatory how.

E.g. How unfair grown-ups are! Oh, how the baby cries!

There is one more classification of adverbs according to their meaning.

Adverbs are commonly divided into qualitative, quantitative and circumstantial.

By qualitative such adverbs are meant as express imme­diate, inherently non-graded qualities of actions and other qualities. The typical adverbs of this kind are qualitative adverbs in -ly.

E.g. The little boy was crying bitterly over his broken toy.

The plainly embarrassed Department of Industry confirmed the fact of the controversial deal.

The adverbs interpreted as “quantitative” include words of degree. These are specific lexical units of semi-functional nature expressing quality measure, or gradational evalua­tion of qualities. They may be subdivided into several very clearly pronounced sets.

The first set is formed by adverbs of high degree. These adverbs are sometimes classed as “intensifiers”: very, quite, en­tirely, utterly, highly, greatly, perfectly, absolutely, strong­ly, considerably, pretty, much. The second set includes adverbs of excessive degree (direct and reverse) also belong­ing to the broader subclass of intensifiers: too, awfully, tremendously, dreadfully, terrifically. The third set is made up of adverbs of unexpected degree: surprisingly, astonish­ingly, amazingly. The fourth set is formed by adverbs of moderate degree: fairly, comparatively, relatively, moder­ately, rather. The fifth set includes adverbs of low degree: slightly, a little, a bit. The sixth set is constituted by adverbs of approximate degree: almost, nearly. The seventh set in­cludes adverbs of optimal degree: enough, sufficiently, ade­quately. The eighth set is formed by adverbs of inadequate degree: insufficiently, intolerably, unbearably, ridiculoulsy. The ninth set is made up of adverbs of under-degree: hardly, scarcely.

As we see, the degree adverbs, though usually described under the heading of “quantitative”, in reality constitute a specific variety of qualitative words, or rather some sort of intermediate qualitative-quantitative words, in so far as they are used as quality evaluators. In this function they are distinctly different from genuine quantitative adverbs which are directly related to numerals and thereby form sets of words of pronominal order. Such are numerical-pronominal adverbs like twice, thrice, four times, etc.; twofold, threefold, manyfold, etc.

Thus, we will agree that the first general subclass of ad­verbs is formed by qualitative adverbs which are subdivided into qualitative adverbs of lull notional value and degree adverbs — specific functional words.

Circumstantial adverbs are also divided into notional and functional.

The functional circumstantial adverbs are words of pro­nominal nature. Besides quantitative (numerical) adverbs mentioned above, they include adverbs of time, place, man­ner, cause, consequence. Many of these words are used as syn­tactic connectives and question-forming functionals. Here belong such words as now, here, when, where, so, thus, how, why, etc.

As for circumstantial adverbs of more self-dependent na­ture, they include two basic sets: first, adverbs of time; sec­ond, adverbs of place: today, tomorrow, already, ever, nev­er, shortly, recently, seldom, early, late; homeward, east­ward, near, far, outside, ashore, etc. The two varieties express a general idea of temporal and spatial orientation and essen­tially perform deictic (indicative) functions in the broader sense. Bearing this in mind, we may unite them under the general heading of “orientative” adverbs, reserving the term “circumstantial” to syntactic analysis of utterances.

Thus, the whole class of adverbs will be divided, first, into nominal and pronominal, and the nominal adverbs will be subdivided into qualitative and orientative, the for­mer including genuine qualitative adverbs and degree ad­verbs, the latter falling into temporal and local adverbs, with further possible subdivisions of more detailed specifi­cations.