Activities for practicing adverbs

Activities for practicing adverbs

Grammar can sometimes be quite tedious both for teachers and learners. When it comes to adverbs many students lose motivation and interest, since they confuse adverbs with adjectives. However, you would probably agree that the knowledge of adverbs is extremely important, as it helps students to make up longer and more complex sentences. In fact, adverbs can play a crucial role in enriching your students’ vocabulary and help them develop their ideas and stop saying short sentences like “He is running” or “She is dancing”. Today we are going to share some useful ideas on how to teach adverbs to your students and how to help them practice. 

Types of Adverbs and how to practice them

To make the process of teaching adverbs easier, let’s start from four types of adverbs.

Adverbs of manner

  • Ask your students to work in pairs and to write down ten nouns and actions they can do (boy/run, woman/sing, dog/bark, etc). Then ask them to exchange the lists with another pair. Students take the nouns and the verbs on the new list and make up sentences using appropriate adverbs of manner (The boy is running quickly. The woman is singing beautifully. The dog is barking loudly). 
  • No, they don’t.
    This activity is also carried out in pairs. One student makes an untrue sentence using an adverb of manner (The tortoises run quickly.). The second student answers by saying “No, they don’t” and then makes a correct sentence: “The tortoises walk slowly”. 
  • Charades. Get your students to make groups. Distribute flashcards with adverbs to each group and ask them to apply an appropriate verb to each flashcard. The winner is the group who finds verbs for each adverb in a shorter timeAdverbs of degree 
  • How sure are you ? Ask your students to work in pairs. One of the pairs makes some statements that are true or false. The second one responds: “How sure are you?”.  In their response, they should use one of the following adverbs of degree (extremely, pretty, rather, quite, fairly, etc). 
  • How happy are you? How tired are you? Get your students to ask their pairs how they feel. After they get answers, they should ask them questions, like “How happy are you?” “How tired are you?”. The answers must contain adverbs of degree (extremely, especially, particularly, quite, fairly). 

Adverbs of place

  • Here and there. Get pairs of students to point out items in the classroom using a preposition (down, over, under, up, through) plus either here or there (e.g. The book is over there). 

Adverbs of time

  • How long? Get your students to ask each other questions about activities in the past using “How long”. The first person asks a question starting with “how long”. The second person answers the question using “for” plus a length of time. (E.g. How long did you stay in Australia? I stayed there for a week). 
  • Since when? The previous activity can be carried out using ‘since when’., e.g. Since when have you been here? I have been here since yesterday.
  • Adverbs of time with tenses. Combine adverbs of time with tense forms in your current course. If you are studying present simple, ask your students to speak about their daily routines using adverbs of frequency (usually, always, sometimes, often, etc), e.g. I usually walk in the park with my friends. 

Mixed activities

  • No -ly words aloud. Separate your class into groups, and ask each group to write down a list of adverbs that don’t end in -ly in three minutes. This activity will make your students revise different types of adverbs and understand that adverbs are not only about -ly endings.
  • Adjective – adverb swap. To practice the differences between adjectives and adverbs ask your students to make sentences using adverbs ending in -ly, e.g. The girl is singing beautifully. Then ask them to remove -ly and reconstruct the sentences with adjectives, e.g. The beautiful girl is singing. 
  • If you want to check your students knowledge on the topics of adjectives and adverbs, ask them to do these tests:

Adjective or adverb?

Adjectives vs Adverbs

Adjective or adverb? 

Have great lessons!


Вероника Аветисян

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