Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Have you heard people use adverbs in English?

Have you ever wondered what exactly they add to a sentence?

Adverbs have a very important part in sentences, and you will hear them used frequently in conversation.

Today we are going to talk about some of the most common ones, particularly in a business setting—and then you will see what they add and how to use them.

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Today we have a question about adverbs, and it may be one that you have wondered about too.

Hi ladies,

I love your show and I listen to it all the time! I have an issue that I am wondering about, and I hope you can help me.

I feel like something that makes speaking English more advanced or colorful is adverbs. Could you maybe pick 3-4 of the most common ones? I am hoping to learn about them and figure out how to use them in conversation.

Thank you for your help,


Understanding Adverbs

This question is a good one because it focuses on a very common aspect of English speaking.

So what is an adverb?

An adverb is a word that describes or modifies an adjective, adverb, or verb.

So you can see that this is an important aspect of conversation, and you will likely be using it a lot.

A lot of adverbs end in -ly, but not always in every situation.

You may also use an adjective modifier, such as “He is always nice.”

This is an adverb of frequency, which we discuss in Episode 513 when we say things such as “He is extremely hungry.”

An example of an adverb modifier is “He walked very slowly into the room.”

Then there’s a verb modifier, which would be something like “She spoke quietly. He quickly ate his food.”

Adverbs tend to give you more information which makes them quite useful.

They can also work to make something more intense.

In the example you could have just said “He is nice” , but saying “always” adds more information.

Adverb placement is a whole topic for another day, but you can now see how this works and what value adverbs add to a sentence.

Today we are giving you a basic overview, and then we will give you some unique adverbs that you may specifically use in business.

Five Adverbs To Use In A Business Setting

There are plenty of adverbs to use as you can imagine, because they have such an important place within conversation.

These five adverbs can be used both in and out of business, but the focus today is on using these in a business theme.

The focus is on -ly adverbs, as you will see the used often.

Adverbs are used in so many ways, so we are focusing on the vocabulary of them here.

You may know this vocab, but we are focusing on the adverb forms.

1. Promptly: This means immediately or right at that exact time. You might say “She says the meeting will start promptly at 3pm, so make sure you are on time.”

2. Wholeheartedly: It means with my whole heart or fully in the context it is used. You might hear “I wholeheartedly agree with you, but there are some logistics we need to work out before we move forward.”

3. Brutally: This means harsh or really intense. It is often used in the context of honesty, and this means that the person is honest almost to a fault. You might say something like “My boss can be brutally honest sometimes. It can be intimidating, but it makes me a better worker overall.”

4. Politely: This means using good manners or with a good attitude conveyed. You could say “She politely declined our invitation for a lunch meeting on Thursday, but we will schedule another one for the following week.”

5. Diligently: This means that there is a strong focus or a good attention to detail. You would say something like “I am working diligently to complete the project by the end of the day tomorrow.”

What Do Adverbs Do To A Sentence?

It is helpful to consider what adverbs add to a sentence.

You know that they add some color or intensity, but think of this in the way of examples that you can measure these against.

Let’s look at the examples above and see what the adverbs did for each sentence.

Let’s try taking them away and see what a difference it makes.

1. Instead try “She says the meeting will start at 3pm, so make sure you are on time.” Without using the adverb promptly, it just doesn’t sound as urgent.

2. Instead try “I agree with you, but there are ….. “ When you don’t have wholeheartedly in there, it is just not quite as intense.

3. Instead try “My boss can be honest sometimes…” When you take out brutally, it actually kind of changes the meaning.

4. Instead try “She declined our invitation…” If you get rid of politely it sounds so much more friendly and not quite as important overall.

5. Instead try “I am working to complete…” When you add in diligently it actually adds a degree of how hard you are working and takes it up a notch.

So you can see firsthand just how important and helpful adverbs can be in each of these contexts.


Adverbs are very useful in English for a variety of reasons.

We focused on a few today and gave you some examples of ones that are especially helpful in the business world.

You will find that they show up in these types of conversations quite a bit, and now you can be prepared for them.

Get our business course today so that you can be up to date and prepared for this sort of thing.

This will help you to be successful in business on a whole new level!

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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