Affirmative and Negative Adverbs – Concept, function and examples

We explain what affirmative and negative adverbs are, their function and examples. Also, other types of adverbs and their characteristics.

Affirmative and negative adverbs
Affirmative and negative adverbs express degrees of acceptance and rejection.

What are affirmative and negative adverbs?

It is known as affirmative or affirmative adverbs, and negative or negation adverbs, to two categories of adverb of the English language, that is, of words whose role in the sentence is to modify or qualify the meaning of verbs, adjectives or other adverbs, and sometimes of whole sentences. Its name comes from the Latin word adverbium, made up of the words ad- (“Towards”) and verbum (“verb”).

Adverbs have a more or less fixed form (that is, very little variable) and are endowed with their own lexical meaning, which generally has to do with a certain circumstance of how things happen or how the speaker perceives them.

We refer to the place, the form or the time in which the actions expressed in the sentence occur, or the relationship that the issuer has in front of what has been said, as is the case of affirmative adverbs and negative adverbs, which serve, as its name indicates it, to introduce in the sentence a certain degree of approval or agreement on the part of the issuer.

In other words, these two categories of adverbs allow the issuer or speaker to affirm or deny respectively the situations or referents expressed in the sentence, and to do so, in addition, to a certain degree: totally, partially, and so on.

In addition, together with exclamatory, interrogative and doubt adverbs, they make up the category of so-called epistemic adverbs: those that express a subjective or mental reality of the issuer, rather than an external, objective and concrete reality.

Examples of affirmative and negative adverbs

Are examples of affirmative adverbs the following: yes, always, of course, also, true, certainly, indeed, exact, obvious, also, obviously, clearly, naturally, sure, totally, and so on. In addition, adverbial phrases such as: of course, of course, indeed, among others.

Are examples of negative adverbs the following: no, never, never, hardly, either, and so on. In addition, adverbial phrases such as: in no way, in any way, in no case, among others.

Sentences with affirmative and negative adverbs

The following are some sentences with affirmative adverbs:

  • Always wear a seat belt when driving.
  • Animals too need respect and consideration.
  • We are effectively broke.
  • What if I want to go eat? Obviously!
  • That man is clearly a policeman.

The following are some sentences with negative adverbs:

  • I will never forgive you!
  • We will hardly know who the murderer was.
  • I brought some stuff either.
  • They have never explained to me how to divide fractions.
  • What if I want to go dancing? No way!

Other types of adverb

Just as there are affirmative and negative adverbs, there are other adverbial categories, for example:

  • Adverbs of place. They always introduce a location or a spatial relationship in the content of the sentence, indicating where an event occurs or where something is referred to. Such as: there, here, there, outside, up, down, inside, between, etc.
  • Adverbs of manner. They always express a mode or a manner in which the actions of the prayer take place. Such as: fast, good, bad, better, quick, regularly, etc.
  • Time adverbs. They always introduce a temporal or chronological relationship in the sentence, that is, they indicate when an action occurs. Such as: before, after, later, while, formerly, etc.
  • Adverbs of doubt. They always introduce into the sentence a certain sense of possibility, uncertainty or probability, that is, they express that the issuer has doubts about what was said. Such as: possibly, perhaps, perhaps, probably, etc.
  • Adverbs of order. They always express a relationship of continuity or succession in what is said, that is, they indicate what goes first and what goes after, either in logical order or in importance. Such as: first, second, then, after, etc.
  • Adverbs of degree or quantity. They always express the degree of something, that is, its proportion, or the number of objects or referents that exist. Such as: much, little, more, less, etc.
  • Interrogative and exclamatory adverbs. They always give rise to questions or exclamations, and they should always be emphasized. Such as: where, when, how, what, who, etc.