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For Class 4 to Class 12

Adverb Rules English Grammar

Students should refer to the following Adverb Rules of English Grammar. These rules have been designed by expert English teachers to help students appearing in English Exams in schools or competitive examinations. You should remember the following Adverb Rules so that you can use them correctly and score good marks in examinations. You should refer to all Rules of English Grammar provided by us to strengthen your understanding.

Adverb Rules

Rule 1- To modify a Verb, an Adjective or another Adverb, we use an Adverb.
Incorrect- She writes very careful.
Correct- She writes very carefully.

Careful is an Adjective which cannot modify the Adverb very, therefore
carefully (Adverb) must be used in place of Adjective careful.

Rule 2- ‘Too’ means more than required and we used that with Unpleasant Adjective.
So, we cannot use too glad, too happy, too pleasant, too healthy.
For example,
Incorrect- I am too glad to meet you.
Correct- I am very glad to meet you.

Correct Usage -It’s too cold to swim in
Correct Usage – I can’t sleep .It’s too hot

Rule 3 – ‘Much too’ is followed by an Unpleasant Adjective, whereas ‘too much’ is followed by Noun.
For example,
Incorrect- His failure is too much painful for her mother.
Correct- His failure is much too painful for her mother.

Incorrect- His wife’s rude behavior gives him much too pain.
Correct- His wife’s rude behavior gives him too much pain

Rule 4 – A sentence which contains ”Too …. To” format, we cannot replace ,to’ with so that. If we replace ‘to’ with so that, ‘too’ also must be replaced with ‘cannot’.
For example
Sentence – He is too weak to walk. (Correct)
Incorrect- He is too weak so that he cannot walk.
Correct- He is so weak that he cannot walk

Rule 5 – ‘Quite’ and ‘all’ are never used together.
For example,
Incorrect- She is quite all right.
Correct- She is quite right. Or She is all right

Rule 6 – Usage of the format -> A/An + Fairly + Adjective + Noun or Rather + A + Adjective
For example,
(i) a fairly good Novel
(ii) Rather a difficult situation.

But we cannot use Pleasant Adjective with rather and Unpleasant Adjective with fairly.
For example,
Incorrect- It was a rather good trip.
Correct- It was a fairly good trip.

Rule 7- ‘Enough’, when used as an Adverb, is preceded by a positive degree Adjective or Adverb.
For example,
Incorrect- He is greater enough to forgive you.
Correct- He is great enough to forgive you

Rule 8 – ‘At present’ means ‘at the present time’, ‘presently’ means ‘shortly’.
These should not be confused and must be dealt cautiously.
1. Incorrect- Nothing more can be done presently.
    Correct- Nothing more can be done at present.

2. Incorrect- He will return your book at present.
    Correct- He will return your book presently.

Rule 9 – Two negatives cancel each other. Hence two negatives should not be used in the same sentence unless we make an affirmation.

Incorrect-I have not got none.
Correct- I have not got any

Rule 10 – ‘Hard’ means ‘diligently’, ‘judiciously’, strenuously’ while ‘Hardly’ means ‘Barely’, ‘Rarely’ ‘scarcely at all’. These two Adverbial forms of ‘hard’ must not be confused.
1. Incorrect- He tried hardly to get the selection.
   Correct- He tried hard to get the selection.

2. Incorrect- Ram has eaten hard anything today.
   Correct- Ram has eaten hardly anything today.

Rule 11- ‘Much’ is used before past participles and Adjectives or Adverbs of comparative degree. ‘Very’ is used before the present participles and Adjectives and Adverbs of positive degree. For e.g.-
1. Incorrect- The news is much surprising.
   Correct- The news is very surprising.

2. Incorrect-She was very surprised at hearing about his selection.
   Correct- She was much surprised at hearing about his selection.

Rule 12 – Ago is always used with Past Indefinite Tense. So, if ago is used in a sentence, that sentence must be in the Past Indefinite Tense.
For example,
Incorrect- She has done this a month ago.
Correct- She did this a month ago.

Rule 13 – ‘At present’ means at this moment and it is used with Present Tense, whereas ‘presently’ and ‘shortly’ are used for future’ action and generally’ used with Future Indefinite Tense.
For example,
Incorrect- Presently she is in the kitchen.
Correct- At present she is in the kitchen.
He will be here shortly

Rule 14 – ‘Early’ means “just after the beginning of anything” and ‘soon’ means ‘just after a point of time’.
For example,
Roses blossomed early this spring.
She sold the house soon after her husband died

Rule 15- The sentence which starts with seldom, never, hardly , rarely or scarcely takes an inverse structure, Le., Verb + Subject – Structure.
For example,
Incorrect- Seldom I had seen such a beautiful sight.
Correct- Seldom had I seen such a beautiful sight

Rule 16- Inversion is also used in a sentence which starts with here/there/ away/out/up/indoor or outdoor and Main Verb, or Aux + Main Verb is used before the Subject.
For example,
Incorrect- Away Sita went
Correct- Away went Sita.

Adverb Rules English Grammar

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