Adverbs of Order – Concept, function and examples in sentences

We explain what adverbs of order are, their function, examples and their use in sentences. Also, other types of adverbs.

order adverb
Order adverbs can indicate chronology or importance.

What is an adverb of order?

The adverbs of order are one of the categories of adverbs that the English language has – that is, a type of words that modify other specific words: verbs, adjectives or other adverbs, or even sentences whole. Its name comes from the Latin word adverbium, made up of the words ad- (“Towards”) and verbum (“verb”).

Adverbs are words whose form does not usually vary and that have their own lexical meaning, always referring to a certain circumstance of how the actions expressed in the sentence occur. This may mean that they indicate the place, the way or the time in which things happen or, as in the case at hand, that they indicate the order in which things happen. The adverbs of order take care of the latter.

As the name implies, these adverbs tell us they allow to express in the sentence what happened first and what happened later, or indicate the subjective importance that we give to the content of the sentence, or even indicate to the receiver which things he should pay attention to first and which ones later.

In this sense, adverbs of order are epistemic adverbs, referring to a mental reality, rather than a tangible one, as are affirmative and negative, exclamatory and interrogative adverbs.

Examples of adverbs of order

Examples of adverbs of order are the following: first, second, then, later, first, lately, finally; as well as the following adverbial speeches: first, last, first of all, first, and so on.

Sentences with adverbs of order

As an example of use, the following are sentences that contain adverbs of order:

  • First you wash your hands, and later you sit at the table.
  • Thieves finally turned themselves in to the police.
  • Mike arrived third in the obstacle course.
  • You are very susceptible lately.
  • First, we demand respect from you, ma’am.
  • AND, finally, we want to wish you a Merry Christmas.

Other types of adverb

Apart from adverbs of order, there are other categories of adverbs, such as:

  • Adverbs of place. They are those that express a spatial relationship with respect to what has been said, that is, they indicate where something happens or something is found. For example: there, here, there, outside, up, down, inside, between, etc.
  • Adverbs of manner. They are those that express a specific way of doing something or in which things happen. For example: fast, good, bad, better, quick, regularly, etc.
  • Time adverbs. They are those that express a chronological or temporal relationship, that is, they say when an action is carried out. For example: before, after, later, while, formerly, etc.
  • Adverbs of quantity. They are those that describe the proportion or degree in which some action is carried out. For example: little, a lot, a lot, more, less, etc.
  • Adverbs of doubt. They are those that express a relationship of possibility or uncertainty regarding the facts, that is, of doubt or uncertainty. For example: maybe, maybe, probably, possibly, etc.
  • Affirmative and negative adverbs. As its name says, they affirm or deny facts or situations, thus expressing the degree of conformity of the issuer with respect to what is said in the sentence. For example: yes, no, certainly, exact, never, never, etc.
  • Interrogative and exclamatory adverbs. They are those that introduce interrogative or exclamatory sentences, easily recognizable because they are always stressed. For example: where, when, how, what, who, etc.