Identifying Adverbs Practice Questions
1. Never underestimate the power of a woman.
2. The New York State motto “Excelsior” is a Latin word meaning “ever upward.”
A. New York State
B. motto and Latin
C. word and meaning
D. ever and upward
3. You are in reverse gear. Do not step on the gas. Shift to drive forward.
B. step on
D. to drive
4. She was so happy because she had finished her test early.
A. so and early
B. so and happy
C. had and finished
D. because and early
5. “I never met a man I didn’t like.” (Will Rogers)
6. “Man was made at the end of the week’s work, when God was tired.” (Mark Twain)
B. at the end
C. of the week
7. I realize today is rainy, but can you do it tomorrow when it will be sunny?
A. today and tomorrow
B. tomorrow and when
C. tomorrow and sunny
D. rainy and sunny
8. The doctor was pleasantly surprised at his patients’ responses to the experimental treatment.
9. “Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits.” (Satchel Paige)
A. sometimes and just
B. sits and thinks
C. just and I
D. and and sits
10. “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father, and refuse thy name….”
Answers – Identifying Adverbs
1. A: “Never” is an adverb indicating when. Adverbs indicate when, where, how, how much, or in what manner. “Underestimate” is a verb. “Power” is a noun. “Woman” is also a noun.
2. D: “Ever” (meaning always) is an adverb indicating when, for how long, and in what manner. “Upward” is also an adverb, indicating where and in what direction. “New York State” is a proper noun indicating a place. “Motto” is a noun. In this sentence, “Latin” is an adjective modifying the noun “word.” In this sentence, “meaning” is a verb (the present participle of to mean) that is also modifying the noun “word.”
3. C: “Forward” is an adverb indicating the direction in which the individual being addressed should drive. In this sentence, “reverse” is an adjective modifying the noun “gear.” “Step on” is composed of the verb “step” and the preposition “on.” “To drive” is composed of the preposition “to” and the verb “drive.”
4. A: “So” is an adverb indicating how much and to what extent. It modifies the adjective “happy.” “Early” is an adverb indicating when, how, and in what manner. Together, “had” and “finished” form the past participle of the verb “to finish.” “Because” is a conjunction.
5. C: “Never” is an adverb indicating when. “Met” is the past tense of the verb “to meet.” “Man” is a singular noun. “Like” is a verb.
6. A: “When” is an adverb indicating the time at or during which something happened. “At the end” also indicates when, but is a prepositional phrase. “At” is a preposition, “the” is an article, and “end” is a noun. “Of the week” in “of the week’s work” is also a prepositional phrase. “Of” is the preposition, “the” is the article, and “week” is the noun. “Tired” is an adjective.
7. B: In this sentence, “tomorrow” is an adverb indicating when. “Today” could also be used in the same way as an adverb, but in this sentence it is used as a noun: “…today is rainy…” “Tomorrow will be sunny” is an example of using “tomorrow” as a noun. “When” is also an adverb indicating under what conditions (“it will be sunny”). “Rainy” and “sunny” are both adjectives.
8. D: “Pleasantly” is an adverb modifying the adjective “surprised” that indicates how or in what manner. “Patients’” is a possessive noun. “Experimental” is an adjective that modifies the noun “treatment.”
9. A: “Sometimes” (in both instances) is an adverb indicating when and under what conditions. “Just” is an adverb modifying the verb “sits” that means only or simply. It indicates how or in what manner. “Thinks” is a verb. “I” is a pronoun. “And” is a conjunction that connects the two verbs. [Note: This famous quotation is ungrammatical in that the correct first person singular present tense would be “I sit and think…I just sit.” Satchel Paige (1906-1982), a great African-American baseball player, used non-standard English expressions. He was also known for his witty quotations, such as “Don’t look back; something may be gaining on you.” However, the purpose of this question is to identify adverbs, so the incorrect verb tenses are not an issue here. They also make the quotation more memorable.]
10. C: “Wherefore” is an adverb indicating for what purpose. It means “why” in the sense of “for what future purpose?” rather than “why” in the sense of “from what past cause?” Since they come from feuding families, Juliet wishes Romeo could deny his family of origin along with his name. “Art” is the Elizabethan form of “are” and is the second person present tense of the verb “to be.” “Thou” is the Elizabethan form of “you” and is a personal pronoun. “Thy” is the Elizabethan form of “your” and is a possessive personal pronoun.