Types of Adverbs

Types of Adverbs in English (With Examples)

This post, Types of Adverbs in English with examples, examines the different types of Adverbs that exist in English. Adverbs belong to the Open Class of the English Parts of Speech.

Types of Adverbs

There are three (3) major types of Adverbs which some refer to as classes of adverbs. They include:

  1. Adjunct
  2. Disjunct
  3. Conjunct

Adjunct

An adjunct is an adverb that is integrated into the structure of the sentence; it is usually part and parcel of the sentence. Consider these examples:

  • George ran out of the room quickly.
  • George quickly ran out of the room.
  • Quickly, John ran out of the room.

Note: ‘quickly’ can be placed anywhere in the sentence; it extends the fortune of the verb “ran out”.

Disjunct

A disjunct is an adverb that is not integrated into the structure of the sentence and it normally expresses an attitude or viewpoint of the speaker. Examples:

  • Quickly, he ran out.
  • Frankly speaking, I do not like your views.
  • Fortunately, he wasn’t involved in the accident.
  • To their regret, he didn’t take up the job.
  • Honestly, his presentation was disappointing.

Note: Disjuncts are normally separated by a comma.

Types of Disjuncts

There are two types of disjuncts: Attitudinal Disjunct and Style Disjunct. Let us look closely these two types:

Attitudinal Disjunct

This is a comment that is expressed on the content of the communication; the disjunct is on the meaning of the sentence – content. Let us look at some examples:

  • Obviously, nobody expected them to come today.
  • Understandably, we were all annoyed when they read the letter.
  • To our surprise, he arrived before us.
  • To my chagrin, he locked me out of the house.

Style Disjunct

This conveys the speaker’s comment or the form of what he is saying. It expresses the condition under which he is speaking – his own personal comment. See these examples:

  • Seriously, does he intend to resign? (‘Seriously’ expresses the speaker’s opinion/comment)
  • Personally, I don’t approve of her.
  • Strictly speaking, nobody is allowed in here.
  • To be precise, there are twelve men present.
  • Frankly speaking, I have no expectation from him.

Conjunct

Conjuncts perform connective functions. They join or connect two phrases, clauses or sentences. Two types of conjuncts are listed below:

Types of Conjuncts

Enumerative Conjuncts

These indicate the listing of what is being said. E. g. first, secondly, furthermore, finally, more importantly, etc.

Additive Conjuncts

These indicate additional relationship which can be reinforcing or equative.

Reinforcing

Examples of this include: also, furthermore, moreover, in addition, above all, what is more, etc.

Equative

Examples of this include: equally, likewise, similarly, in the same way, in the same manner, in the same vein, etc. (See Signal Words).

Transitive Conjuncts

These introduce new stage in the sequence of thought. E. g. now, with reference to, with regard to, with respect to, etc.

Summation Conjuncts

These conjuncts sum up what precedes them. E. g. in brief, in all, in conclusion, etc.

Result Conjuncts

These conjuncts express the consequence or result of what was said before. Examples include: so, as a result, etc.

Contrastive Conjuncts

These are also referred to as antithetical conjuncts. They express the contrast or oppositeness between sentences. Examples include: on the other hand, on the contrary, to the contrary, contrariwise, etc.

Concessive Conjuncts

These conjuncts express the unexpected or surprising nature of what is being said in view of what was said before. Examples include: however, still, besides, etc.

Special Adverbs

These Special Adverbs are peculiar in their usage in sentences in which they occur. They include: hardly, barely, scarcely and no sooner. We usually use the first three with “when” while we use the last one with “than” because of the comparative element it contains. See these examples:

  • Scarcely had I left there when the tree fell.
  • Barely had she slept when the noisy children arrived.
  • Hardly had she entered when it began to rain.
  • No sooner had we closed than the thieves came.

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