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Grammatik auf Englisch - -ly Adverbien: Glutamat für die Sprache

Schlagwörter: Grammatik auf Englisch, Englisch Grammatik, Englische Grammatik, Englisch Grammar, Gramatik auf Englisch, Englisch Gramatik, Englische Gramatik, Englisch Grammar, Adverbien Englisch

Adverbs help us express how someone does something or how something occurs. Because they can be used to qualify verbs, adjectives and even other adverbs, they are an easy way to spice up what you\'re saying for the reader.

Sometimes confusing

One of the difficulties many English learners have is being able to determine if a word is an adjective or an adverb. To understand the difference, consider the following example:

Jane is a careful speaker.

Here, careful qualifies the noun speaker, which means it is an adjective. In German, you would decline vorsichtig to agree with the noun: vorsichtiger.

In this example, however:

Jane speaks carefully.

carefully qualifies the verb speak. It indicates how Jane speaks. In German, you would use vorsichtig without declining it. This might seem easy, but it can get more and more difficult depending on what is being said. For example:

We purchased the more carefully crafted product.

Here, carefully is an adverb modifying the I adjective crafted. It has nothing to do with the verb purchase. Nevertheless, it still answers the question how?- and in German you would use vorsichtig wlthout declining it.

How to form adverbs

To form an adverb out of any adjective, add -ly.

Some adjectives, however, already end in -ly:

friendly, silly, lonely, ugly

These cannot be converted into adverbs by adding -ly, but can still be used to express how?:

He responded in a friendly way.

These common exceptions to the rule are also important to know:

good - well
fast - fast (not fastly)
hard - hard (not hardly]


I don\'t have a good feeling about assigning Samson to this customer. He speaks so confusingly.

Martin participated eagerly in the inter-cultural sensitivity workshop.

Our invoices are generated automatically by the accounting system at the end of every month.

Mrs Bon Jovi always speaks so excitedly about her son\'s accomplishments.

Boon and bane

The problem with adverbs is that they tend to be overused because they are so easy to create. Writers and speakers seeking to make their content pithy have a tendency to add more and more adverbs to spice things up. Use one or two here and there and the result is pleasing. Throw in a handful and the effect is like a platter of King Chou\'s Sixteen Delicacies at a bad Chinese restaurant: you don\'t know what was in what you just ate and you go home with a headache.

It starts so innocently, usually in school:

Socrates explained his position to Crito.

Socrates convincingly explained his position to Crito.

The technique seems so powerful and easy, you decide to run with it in a creative writing class:

Frowning, she ran towards him, saying \"You bastard.\"

Frowning angrily, she ran towards him quickly, saying very sharply \"You bastard.\"

And before you know it you\'re having a love affair with adverbs and begin using them freely in your writing and speaking, even in business:

We successfully obtained the funding we desperately needed to efficiently launch our new product this year.

I\'ve been trying frantically to get this printer working properly, and I\'m nearly ready to throw it wildly out the window.

It\'s a bad habit

The analogy between adverbs and MSG (MonoSodium Glutamate) isn\'t so farfetched. Not only is it easy to get hooked on \"sentence enhancers\", but they\'re bad for you. In other words, as prevalent as they are, they\'re considered poor writing style when used with verbs.

Why? Because verbs are the muscle behind strong communication. They add strength, impact, precision and life to what you\'re saying. Adverbs allow you to choose weak, simple action verbs and dress them up. No simple verb, however, can compete with the right verb - no matter how much MSG you use:

Scowling, she stalked toward him. \"You bastard.\"

Compare the feeling of this sentence with the last version. In retrospect, the last one should feel silly.

The moral of the story is not that you need to go out and start learning a long list of unusual verbs, but rather that it\'s worth investing time in developing the number of verbs you have in your active vocabulary. Doing so will help you speak and write with increased power.

Get it right

If someone ran quickly just how fast did he run? Has the adverb really added anything? Usually not, and this is the problem. Despite what grammarians say, adverbs applied to action verbs add little value. Instead, they add meaningless clutter that makes your communication less clear, and are better used to indicate where your sentences need to be rephrased for more effect. Knowing how they are formed thus helps you get rid of them.

The next time you write anything, include these steps in your final review:

  • Use your authoring tool\'s search
    facility to look for \"ly\".

  • For each adverb you find that modifies
    I an action verb, remove the adverb.
    I This will yield instant improvement.

  • If you feel like an important mean
    ing or impact has been lost, examine
    \" the verb it qualified. Try to think of a
    verb that would have more power or
    precision, or re-phrase your sentence.
    Use your authoring tool\'s thesaurus if
    necessary. Right-click in Word!

Schlagwörter: Grammatik auf Englisch, Englisch Grammatik, Englische Grammatik, Englisch Grammar, Gramatik auf Englisch, Englisch Gramatik, Englische Gramatik, Englisch Grammar, Adverbien Englisch

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