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An adverb refers to any element in a sentence used to modify a verb, adjective, another adverb, or even an entire clause.
Adverbs can be single words, phrases (called adverbial phrases), or entire clauses (called adverbial clauses).
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a part of speech; a class of autonomous words that are uninflected or inflected only for degrees of comparison and are contrasted in this way to other autonomous words. As a rule, adverbs modify an action or quality and are subordinate to a verb or adjective.

In Russian, the adverbial modifier may coincide with case forms (with or without a preposition) of the noun (for example, On primchalsia begom/streloi, “He came running on the double/like an arrow”), to which it is often also genetically related (Russian peshkom, “on foot”; vverkh, “up, upward”; voochiiu, “with one’s own eyes”). Predicative adverbs function as the principal member of a sentence in which a subject and predicate are not expressed separately (stydno, “it is a shame”; nuzhno, “it is necessary”). In a number of languages (for example, Nenets), there is a transitional class of words with an incomplete declension (often called adverbs) between the noun and the adverb (for example, Nenets haqga, “whither,” “where to,” and hangad, “whence,” “wherefrom”).

Adverbs are classed according to whether they modify verbs (Russian, priglagol’nye narechiid) or adjectives (priad”ektivnye narechiia), and according to meaning, as adverbs of place, time, cause, and degree. Depending on the method of formation, adverbs may be grammatical, which are formed regularly (Russian adverbs in -o, -ski; English adverbs in -ly), and nongrammatical, which are morphologically irregular, or nonanalyzable (Russian ochen’, “very”; English “well”).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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