Writing Tip: Adverbs

 

Writing Tip: Adverbs

If you’re taking part in Blogging U’s Writing 101 challenge at the moment, or you’ve taken part in the past, you should be aware of how many adverbs you use when you write. One of the more recent posts asked bloggers to write a description of something or someone they had seen without using any adverbs. Many people, including myself, found it an enlightening exercise that revealed how often we rely on adverbs.

Adverbs are words that add further description to a verb, adjective or other adverb. They give further information, such as to explain how an action is performed. Most of them end in -ly, such as quickly, slowly and carelessly. Though they can provide us with extra information, they are not powerful words. You do not need to remove them from everything you write, but it’s good to be aware of how often you use them.

Let’s take a look at some examples of adverbs and alternative sentences without adverbs:

1. He sat lazily in the armchair.
He slouched in the armchair.

2. They shouted loudly at the passing car.
They roared at the passing car.

3. The book was balanced carefully on the edge of the shelf.
The book was perched on the edge of the shelf.

In each of these examples, the adverb has been removed and the verb (sat, shouted, balanced) has been replaced by a stronger word that emphasizes the action. Have a look at the adverbs you use in your own writing and see if you can do the same thing.

Written By: Laura Marie Clark

Laura Clark Picture

About the Author

Laura is a 23 year old English woman with a history degree residing in the UK. She has been writing for many years and enjoys writing horror/fantasy stories, as well as poetry. You can view  more of her work at: https://inspiredstoriesandpoems.wordpress.com/

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Categories: Writing Tips

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4 replies

  1. “(Basil) Bunting’s grammar alone could merit a book. Virtuoso of the verb and grand-master of the preposition, he rarely wastes time on an adverb, but is more liberal with exact and sensuous adjectives.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2015/apr/20/poem-of-the-week-from-briggflatts-by-basil-bunting

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