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Grammatical Forms of English Adverb Phrases

An adverb phrase is a phrase in which an adverb functions as the head of the phrase plus any modifiers. The only grammatical form that appears within the internal structure of English adverb phrases is the adverb phrase.

Adverbs

An adverb phrase can firstly consist of a single adverb. Notational grammars define adverbs as “words that describes verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.” For example, the following adverbs form adverb phrases:

  • often
  • frequently
  • merrily
  • angrily
  • therefore
  • not
  • too
  • also

Adverb Phrases

Adverb phrases are the only grammatical form that appear within adverb phrases in the English language. An adverb phrase is a phrase in which an adverb functions as the head plus any other adverbs functioning as adverb phrase modifiers. Adverb phrases perform the grammatical function of adverb phrase modifier within adverb phrases. For example, the following italicized adverb phrases function as adverb phrase modifiers within adverb phrases:

  • very sleepily
  • somewhat grumpily
  • rather annoyingly
  • quite shockingly
  • much too loudly
  • all too often

Adverb phrases always precede the adverb within an adverb phrase.

Adverb phrases consist of an adverb functioning as the phrase head plus any other adverbs functioning as adverb phrase modifiers. The only grammatical form that can appear within an adverb phrase is another adverb phrase.

References

Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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