Focus Adverb : English Glossary

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Focus Adverb : English Glossary

A viewpoint adverb generally comes after a noun and is related to an adjective that precedes that noun:

  • A successful athletic team is often a good team scholastically.
  • Investing all our money in snowmobiles was probably not a sound idea financially.

You will sometimes hear a phrase like "scholastically speaking" or "financially speaking" in these circumstances, but the word "speaking" is seldom necessary.

A focus adverb indicates that what is being communicated is limited to the part that is focused; a focus adverb will tend either to limit the sense of the sentence ("He got an A just for attending the class.") or to act as an additive ("He got an A in addition to being published."

Although negative constructions like the words "not" and "never" are usually found embedded within a verb string — "He has never been much help to his mother." — they are technically not part of the verb; they are, indeed, adverbs. However, a so-called negative adverb creates a negative meaning in a sentence without the use of the usual no/not/neither/nor/never constructions:

  • He seldom visits.
  • She hardly eats anything since the accident.
  • After her long and tedious lectures, rarely was anyone awake.

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