#291: 19 Adverbs to Express Your Opinion in English | Build Your Vocabulary
I’ve got a question for you.
What’s the difference between these two sentences:
- The restaurant will be closed on Thursday for a private event.
- Apparently, the restaurant will be closed on Thursday for a private event.
Obviously, the second sentence has an extra word. But why? And do we need it?
Apparently – along with words such as obviously, clearly, kindly, and frankly – is an adverb in English.
More precisely, it’s a comment adverb.
Comment adverbs elevate your speech by adding nuance and emotion. Moreover, they highlight your attitude or feelings towards something. Which allows you to more clearly express your opinion in English.
They can be used for polite, diplomatic communication. And finally, they indicate cultural fluency.
In this sentence:
- Apparently, the restaurant will be closed on Thursday for a private event.
The word apparently indicates that something SEEMS to be true based on the information you have or what you know at this time.
So rather than stating what sounds like a fact (The restaurant will be closed on Thursday for a private event), the word apparently adds that deeper level of meaning. We understand that this is true based on what you know.
Today you’ll learn 19 advanced adverbs to clearly express your opinion in English – and your understanding of information – for speaking and writing.
19 Adverbs to Express Your Opinion in English | Build Your Vocabulary
Review: How to Use Adverbs
Let’s start with a quick review of adverbs. What are they? Why are they important? And where should you use them in a sentence?
What are adverbs?
- Adverbs are words that provide extra information about verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs in a sentence.
Why are they important?
Adverbs help us share more information. They help us describe how, when, where, or why an action happens.
Most importantly, adverbs help make our communication more engaging, deep, and precise.
This is why expanding our knowledge of adverbs can help us to communicate our opinions with precision and clarity.
Comment adverbs – the adverbs you’ll learn today – are specifically used to give context, emphasis, and clarity to your message.
Furthermore, they highlight your attitude, opinion, or perspective about the information you’re sharing.
How are they used in a sentence?
Adverbs are quite flexible and can appear in various places within an English sentence. These placements shift the overall meaning and focus of the sentence.
There are 3 common adverb placements in English sentences:
Commonly, after the verb it’s meant to modify:
- Ex. The girl ran quickly to the door.
At the beginning of a sentence to place emphasis the adverb itself:
- Ex. Quickly, the girl ran to the door.
- Note: when placed at the beginning of a sentence, a comma immediately follows the adverb.
Before a verb to emphasize the action:
Ex. The girl quickly ran to the door.
3 Uses of Comment Adverbs to Clearly Express Your Opinion in English
- Indicate how likely we think something is
- Indicate our attitude to or emotional response to what is said
- Show one’s judgment of someone’s actions
Use 1: Indicate how likely we think something is
English speakers often use the following adverbs to indicate how possible an event or action may be.
English speakers often use them at the beginning of sentences to emphasize the likelihood, but they can be used before verbs or at the ends of sentences.
- Def: used to indicate something seems to be true based on the information available.
- Ex. “Apparently, the restaurant will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.”
- Def: used to emphasize affirmation or assurance; used to express complete agreement or willingness.
- Ex. “I certainly can meet you at 9:00 AM on Tuesday.”
- Def: used to indicate a high level of clarity or understanding; evident, well-defined, easy to perceive.
- Ex. “Clearly, we need a good plan before jumping into action.”
Check-in: Why has ‘clearly’ been placed at the beginning of the sentence?
Answer: to emphasize that it’s evident
What happens when ‘clearly’ is placed before ‘need?’
Answer: it puts greater emphasis on the verb ‘need’ and shifts the focus/meaning.
- Def: used to indicate a high degree of certainty or firm assertion.
- Ex. “We should definitely call the doctor’s office to reschedule the appointment.”
- Def: used to indicate a strong, unquestionable belief or certainty.
- Ex. “Undoubtedly, Susan’s help contributed to the overall success of this event.”
- Def: used to indicate that something is easily seen, understood, or recognized; clear and apparent, needing no further explanation
- Ex. “We need a family vacation; this year has been hard, obviously.”
Check-in: Why did I choose to place ‘obviously’ at the end of my sentence?
Answer: to add an afterthought and underscore that it’s apparent.
- Def: used to indicate an educated guess or inference, based on reasonable assumptions or available evidence.
- Ex. “Presumably, they’re stuck in traffic and it’ll be a while before they arrive.”
Use 2: Indicate our attitude to or emotional response to what is said
- Def: used to indicate the unexpected or astonishing nature of a situation or event; atypical or unanticipated
- Ex. “The engine of this car won’t last too long, surprisingly.”
- Def: used to indicate honesty, directness, openness, and/or sincerity.
- Ex. “Frankly, I’d rather stay in than go out this weekend.”
- Def: used to indicate genuineness; without deception.
- Ex. “Honestly, I don’t have the energy to take on my tasks today.”
- Def: used to indicate a common or typical situation or characteristic
- Ex. “The company generally doesn’t allow employees to take off more than 3 weeks within a year.”
- Def: to indicate a positive of fortunate outcome; by chance
- Ex. “Luckily, we stocked up on batteries before the power outage.”
- Def: used to indicate that something is expected or occurs in a logical/natural manner; in line with what is typical or inherent
- Ex. “My goal naturally changed over time as my knowledge expanded.”
- Def: used to indicate sorrow, regret, disappointment, or unhappiness about a situation.
- Ex. “Sadly, one of NASA’s programs will be discontinued by the end of the year.”
Use 3: Show one’s judgment of someone’s actions
Some adverbs are used to express our judgment of another’s actions.
These adverbs often end with the suffix -ly and are typically placed after the subject or at the beginning of a sentence.
- Def: used to indicate courage, fearlessness, strength, and determination
- Ex. “Tina bravely faced the audience and presented.”
- Def: used to indicate thoughtlessness, negligence, or lack of caution that may result in mistakes
- Ex. “Let’s not write the email carelessly; we need to connect with this client.”
- Def: used to indicate a willingness to give, share, or provide; kindness and unselfishness in one’s actions
- Ex. “She generously donated all their new toys to the fundraiser.”
- Def: used to indicate goodwill, friendliness, and/or politeness
- Ex. “Kindly, she explained the pros and cons of the role.”
- Def: used to indicate sound judgment, thoughtful evaluation, and good understanding of a situation
- Ex. “Wisely, she invested in the company at the right time.”
Practice What You Learned
Try using what you learned to add depth, nuance, and precision to your statements.
Consider this situation. How would you respond?
Think for a moment about someone who demonstrated bravery. Perhaps it was a coworker doing a presentation in English for the first time. Or your daughter walking to school on her own. How would you use ‘bravely’ in a sentence to indicate that you thought the action was courageous?
Or select another adverb from this lesson and try using it in an example sentence.
As always, you can share your comments and questions with me below.
Get the Confidence to Say What You Want in English
Download my free training on how to build the courage and confidence you need to say what you want in English.
You'll also get my Confident English lessons delivered by email every Wednesday and occasional information about available courses. You can unsubscribe any time.
Learn with me
Most Recent Lessons
Trying to make a decision? When you discuss differences in English conversation, linking words of contrast help you to speak with clarity and with an easy-to-follow structure.
Use these linking words to quickly compare in English. Perfect for highlighting similarities between job offers, mobile phone plans, gym memberships, online courses, skin care products, and more.
Emotional intelligence skills are the key to improved relationships, better communication, motivation, and more. Here’s how to level up your skills and the vocabulary you need in English on this topic.