Exclamatory and Interrogative Adverbs – Concept and Examples

We explain what exclamatory adverbs and interrogatives are, their function and examples. Also, other types of adverbs.

exclamatory and interrogative adverbs
The exclamatory and interrogative adverbs allow us to express an inner reality.

What are exclamatory adverbs and interrogatives?

The exclamatory or exclamation adverbs, and interrogative or interrogation adverbs, are two types of adverb existing in the English language, that is, two types of modifying words, which normally change or qualify the meaning of verbs, adjectives or other adverbs , and sometimes even whole sentences. Its name comes from the Latin word adverbium, made up of the words ad- (“Towards”) and verbum (“verb”).

Adverbs have a very little variable form and their own lexical meaning, which usually has to do with the way in which the things that the sentence expresses happen, or the way in which the issuer perceives them. This can mean: the place, the way or the time in which things happen, or the way in which they are appreciated.

In the case of exclamatory adverbs and interrogative adverbs, They deal with making explicit a psychic or subjective position of the issuer, that is, to allow him to make exclamations or questions: expressions of his inner reality or questions intended for someone.

For this reason, together with affirmative, negative and doubtful adverbs, these adverbs make up the category of epistemic adverbs: those that do not express an external, objective and concrete reality, but rather subjective, interior, linguistic.

The exclamatory and interrogative adverbs are always accentuated; in this they are distinguished from relative pronouns.

Examples of exclamatory and interrogative adverbs

The list of exclamatory and interrogative adverbs is finite, and although it applies to both cases, they are written exactly the same, since what distinguishes one from the other is their intonation and their belonging to an exclamation or a question, respectively. These adverbs are:

  • Interrogatives: what, who, who, how, where, when, how much, why, which and which.
  • Exclamatory: what, how, how much.

Sentences with exclamatory or interrogative adverbs

The following are examples of sentences with interrogative adverbs:

  • Do you know where is the ceramics store?
  • Who gave you permission to take my things?
  • How many pairs of shoes did you buy?
  • How much more to wait?
  • Who did they go with in the bus?
  • How are we going to solve our problem?
  • Which is the ideal recipe for cake?
  • Who knows where those two must have gotten into it.

The following are examples of sentences with exclamatory adverbs:

  • That so ghastly accident!
  • How many suffering is in the world!
  • How good kitchens!
  • Who knows!
  • That is a beautiful picture you painted!
  • How politicians deceive us, my God!
  • How much patience you need to have!

Other types of adverb

Apart from exclamatory and interrogative adverbs, we can talk about other adverbial categories, such as:

  • Adverbs of place. They 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 express a way or a way in which the actions of the sentence take place. Such as: fast, good, bad, better, quick, regularly, etc.
  • Time adverbs. They 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 introduce into the sentence a certain sense of possibility, uncertainty or probability, that is, they express that the issuer has doubts about what has been said. Such as: possibly, perhaps, perhaps, probably, etc.
  • Adverbs of order. They express a relationship of continuity or succession in what has been 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 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.
  • Affirmative and negative adverbs. They allow the issuer to affirm or deny something of what has been said, either totally or partially, thus expressing its degree of conformity with what has been said. Such as: where, when, how, what, who, etc.