The adverbs ‘still’ and ‘yet’ are similar in some cases but also very different. For Japanese learners of English they can translate to the same word, and this can cause difficulty. You’re still here? You haven’t given up yet? Read on.
The adverbs ‘absolutely’ and ‘exactly’ can sometimes be used in the same way but they do have different meanings; they are not exactly the same. Read on to find out how to use them.
When you have to say something that needs to be in order you need to sequence your ideas. This can be done with the past, present and future.
There are two main ways to do it: numbering your steps or without numbers.
‘Almost’ is a tough adverb to use. It describes similarity or quantities. However, it is often confused with ‘almost all’ and ‘almost everyone’.
This week’s podcast is about daily routines.
Remember, adverbs of frequency (always, sometimes, usually, never) go before the verb.
I always wake up at half-past six.
Adverbial phrases go at the end of the clause.
I go running three times a week.
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Using the adverbs ‘just’, ‘only’ and ‘only just’ is just one of the troubles you face when using English.
‘Just’ indicates a limit or exclusion. In this case it can be replaced by ‘only’.
“I just invited you, not the others.”
It can indicate an action has taken place in the moment being talked about. This ‘just’ cannot be replaced by ‘only’.
“I just finished my homework before the film started on television.”
‘Only’ indicates a limit or exclusion. In this case it can be replaced by ‘just’.
“I only invited you, not the others.”
It can indicate an action has taken place in the moment being talked about. It cannot be replaced by ‘just’; ‘only’ means that it took a long time and/or a lot of effort, perhaps more than expected.
“I only finished my work at ten o’clock and had to hurry to catch the last bus.”
‘Only just’ tends to be used with past or present perfect tenses and means that an action has taken place in the moment being talked about. It is stronger than ‘just’ or ‘only’ used by themselves.
“Have you been waiting long?”
“No, I only just arrived, too.”
The word very is overused, as I mentioned previously. There are so many other intensifiers (adverbs to make adjectives and verbs stronger) and mitigators (adverbs to make adjectives and verbs weaker) that can make your English sound far more interesting. You are not a boring person in your native language, so don’t sound boring in English.
Alternatives to ‘very’:
Alternatives to ‘not very’:
- not incredibly
- not so
- not terribly
The alternatives to ‘not very’ make a much shorter list because other than those three, everything else sounds a little unnatural or has a lot of exceptional cases making it incredibly difficult to use.
The British Council has an extremely helpful page about this on their website.
I believe music is a very important way to study English. You can remember sentences from simple songs. Here are some adverbs of frequency in songs. Not all the songs are my favourites but they are useful.