Top 30 Adverbs in English

The Most Common Adverbs in English

When first learning about adverbs, students are taught that adverbs are words that describe verbs. More specifically, they are taught that adverbs tell us how an action is performed. For example:
  • Rachel ran quickly.
  • (The adverb "quickly" tells us how Rachel ran.)
  • John sang loudly.
  • (The adverb "loudly" tells us how John sang.)
While this is a great way to start teaching adverbs, it only covers a fraction of the role of adverbs. Below is a reminder of the full scope of adverbs, but, for now, let's remember that adverbs tell us not only how but also when, where, how often, to what extent, why, and under what condition. Also, let's not forget that adverbs can modify adjectives, other adverbs, and even whole independent clauses as well as verbs.

Table of Contents

  • Reminder about Adverbs
  • Top 30 Adverbs
  • Example Sentences for Each Adverb
  • Why These 30 Adverbs Are Important
  • Key Point
  • Test Time!
the top 30 adverbs in English

Reminder about Adverbs

Adverbs do more than describe verbs. They are a diverse word category. For example, "here," "too," "quickly," and "very" are all adverbs. To a learner's eye, these words do not look like they come from the same word category.

A Reminder about Adverbs

Adverbs are words that modify or describe verbs, adjectives, or adverbs. They provide more information about how, when, where, in what manner, or to what extent an action is performed. For example, in the sentence "She sings beautifully," the word "beautifully" is an adverb modifying the verb "sings," telling us how she sings.

Adverbs are categorized into different types based on what they express:

  • Adverbs of manner describe how an action is done (e.g., quickly, slowly, carefully).
  • Adverbs of place indicate where an action is done (e.g., here, there, everywhere).
  • Adverbs of time indicate when an action is done (e.g., now, later, yesterday).
  • Adverbs of frequency show how often an action is done (e.g., always, often, seldom).
  • Adverbs of degree indicate the level or intensity of an action, an adjective, or another adverb (e.g., very, quite, almost).
We also have interrogative adverbs, which are used in questions relating to reason, manner, time, or place (e.g., why, how, when, where).

Top 30 Adverbs

Here are the top 30 adverbs for English learners. These have been specifically selected as adverbs that modify verbs. Therefore, most of these adverbs are adverbs of manner (telling us how), adverbs of frequency (telling us how often), or adverbs of time (telling us when).

These adverbs will be immediately useful for language learners because they provide commonly used and essential details about how actions are performed, helping learners to express their thoughts more precisely. Also, learning such adverbs follows logically after learning verbs, which are among the first word types taught.

Adverbs of Manner

There are 14 adverbs of manner in the top-30 list. Remember that these tell us how an action is performed.
  • well, quickly, slowly, happily, sadly, badly, easily, honestly, successfully, loudly, confidently, carefully, angrily, accidentally

Adverbs of Frequency

There are 9 adverbs of frequency in the top-30 list. Remember that these tell us how often an action is performed.
  • always, never, often, daily, weekly, monthly, annually, sometimes, rarely

Adverbs of Time

There are 7 adverbs of time in the top-30 list. Remember that these tell us when an action is performed.
  • now, today, yesterday, tomorrow, in the morning, in the afternoon, at night

Example Sentences for Each Adverb

Below are three example sentences for each of the top 30 adverbs. Each entry includes translations in German, Spanish, French, Russian, and Arabic. These have been included to help explain the meaning of each adverb to non-English students.

(1) well

  • She sings well.
  • He played well.
  • The day went well.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
well gut bien bien хорошо جيدا

(2) quickly

  • She finished her work quickly.
  • The dog ran quickly after the ball.
  • The news spread quickly through the town.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
quickly schnell rápidamente vite быстро بسرعة

(3) slowly

  • The tortoise crossed the road slowly.
  • She spoke slowly to ensure we understood.
  • The sun fell slowly below the horizon.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
slowly langsam lentamente lentement медленно ببطء

(4) happily

  • The children played happily in the park.
  • She skipped home happily.
  • They happily accepted the invitation.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
happily glücklich felizmente heureusement счастливо بسعادة

(5) sadly

  • He walked home sadly.
  • She looked at her old photos sadly.
  • The news was received sadly by everyone.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
sadly traurig tristemente tristement грустно بحزن

(6) badly

  • He rode the horse badly.
  • He injured his leg badly.
  • The cake was badly burnt.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
badly schlecht mal mal плохо بشكل سيء

(7) easily

  • She easily solved the puzzle.
  • He climbed the mountain easily.
  • He easily convinced them to join his team.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
easily leicht fácilmente facilement легко بسهولة

(8) honestly

  • He spoke honestly.
  • She spoke to the policeman honestly.
  • The child answered honestly.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
honestly ehrlich honestamente honnêtement честно بصدق

(9) successfully

  • The team completed the project successfully.
  • She successfully negotiated a better deal.
  • The mission was successfully accomplished.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
successfully erfolgreich con éxito avec succès успешно بنجاح

(10) loudly

  • The children played loudly in the garden.
  • The football fans cheered loudly.
  • Our music will be played loudly.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
loudly laut fuerte fort громко بصوت عال

(11) confidently

  • He walked into the room confidently.
  • She confidently presented her ideas to the group.
  • The athlete approached the starting line confidently.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
confidently selbstbewusst con confianza avec confiance уверенно بثقة

(12) carefully

  • He carefully arranged the flowers in the vase.
  • She read the contract carefully before signing.
  • The soldier moved the wires carefully.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
carefully sorgfältig con cuidado soigneusement осторожно بعناية

(13) angrily

  • He angrily slammed the door.
  • The customer complained angrily about the service.
  • She angrily denied the accusations.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
angrily wütend enfadado avec colère сердито بغضب

(14) accidentally

  • She accidentally spilled coffee on the table.
  • The email was accidentally sent to the wrong person.
  • He accidentally broke the vase while cleaning.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
accidentally aus Versehen accidental-
mente
accidentelle-
ment
случайно عن طريق الخطأ

(15) always

  • She always smiles when I see her.
  • He always jogs in the morning.
  • The store is always busy on weekends.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
always immer siempre toujours всегда دائما

(16) never

  • I never wear white socks.
  • She never forgets her friends' birthdays.
  • He never eats fast food.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
never nie nunca jamais никогда أبدا

(17) often

  • He often works late.
  • They often go walking in the mountains.
  • She often visits her grandmother on weekends.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
often oft a menudo souvent часто غالبا

(18) daily

  • He exercises daily.
  • She reads the newspaper daily.
  • The gardener waters the plants daily.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
daily täglich diariamente quotidiennement ежедневно يوميا

(19) weekly

  • She cleans her house weekly.
  • The team holds meetings weekly to discuss progress.
  • He reviews his expenses weekly.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
weekly wöchentlich semanal-
mente
hebdomadaire-
ment
еженедельно أسبوعيا

(20) monthly

  • He pays his bills monthly.
  • She updates her website monthly.
  • We phone each other monthly.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
monthly monatlich mensual-
mente
mensuelle-
ment
ежемесячно شهريا

(21) annually

  • She visits her parents annually.
  • The festival occurs annually in spring.
  • Our drivers are tested annually.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
annually jährlich anualmente annuellement ежегодно سنويا

(22) sometimes

  • Sometimes I ride my bicycle to work.
  • Sometimes I go for a walk in the park to clear my mind.
  • She sometimes prefers tea over coffee in the mornings.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
sometimes manchmal a veces parfois иногда أحيانًا

(23) rarely

  • She rarely eats out.
  • I rarely watch television.
  • Rarely do they miss an opportunity to travel.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
rarely selten raramente rarement редко نادراً

(24) now

  • They are now starting last lap of the race.
  • She now understands the importance of the studying.
  • He is now ready to present his ideas.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
now jetzt ahora maintenant сейчас الآن

(25) today

  • She has a meeting today.
  • He is starting his new job today.
  • The festival begins today.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
today heute hoy aujourd'hui сегодня اليوم

(26) yesterday

  • We visited the museum yesterday.
  • He completed the project yesterday.
  • The weather was sunny yesterday.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
yesterday gestern ayer hier вчера أمس

(27) tomorrow

  • They will go walking tomorrow.
  • She will receive her exam results tomorrow.
  • He has a dentist appointment tomorrow.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
tomorrow morgen mañana demain завтра غدا

(28) in the morning

  • She jogs in the morning.
  • In the morning, the city is quiet.
  • He reads the newspaper in the morning.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
in the morning am Morgen por la mañana le matin утром في الصباح

(29) in the afternoon

  • She often sleeps in the afternoon.
  • The streets are busier in the afternoon.
  • It is too hot to go outside in the afternoon.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
in the afternoon am Nachmittag por la tarde dans l'après-midi после полудня في العصر

(30) at night

  • The city is amazing at night.
  • He prefers to study at night.
  • At night, the temperature drops significantly.
English German Spanish French Russian Arabic
at night in der Nacht por la noche la nuit ночью في الليل
The adverbs in this lesson are all commonly used in everyday conversation. They express important – often essential – information about how actions are performed. If you're an English tutor, you should strive to teach all 30 of these adverbs to your students as mastering them will provide a strong boost to their conversational skills, helping with:
  • Clarity and Precision. Adding an adverb like "quickly" or "slowly" makes a significant difference to the meaning of a sentence.
  • Time Relationships. Adding an adverb like "now" or "weekly" is an efficient and accurate way to express when an action occurred or how often.
Some adverbs can be omitted from a sentence without any significant loss of meaning. However, these adverbs express such fundamental ideas, they are often the key information in their sentence.
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This page was written by Craig Shrives.