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Using Adverbs and Adverb Phrases as Adverb Phrase Modifiers

Traditional grammars define adverbs as words that describe verbs, adjectives, other adverbs, and clauses. An adverb phrase consists of an adverb plus any other adverbs functioning as adverb phrase modifiers.

In grammar, an adverb phrase modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that modifies or describes an adverb or adverb phrase. Only adverbs and adverb phrases often function as adverb phrase modifiers to describe other adverbs in English. Examples of adverbs and adverb phrases as adverb phrase modifiers include the following:

  • very nearly
  • more quickly
  • most zanily
  • abnormally awkwardly
  • brutally honestly
  • rather dastardly
  • highly idiotically
  • much too incredibly
  • so not quickly


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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