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Adverbs of sentence

Sentence adverbs are adverbs that modify the entire sentence. These adverbs can also function as adverbs of degree or various other types. However, when a sentence adverb is placed at the beginning of a sentence it is to put emphasis on the adverb itself, that is, to modify the entire sentence. Sentence adverbs include: Indeed, ideally, actually, ironically, interestingly, certainly, curiously, evidently, naturally, thankfully etc. The list goes on!

Generally, Adverbs of Sentence go at the very beginning of the sentence

  • Curiously, we never found out what went wrong that day.
  • Actually, I must tell you that I’m not at all happy over the way you treated me.
  • Interestingly, It does rain in the city every so often.
  • Indeed, I am looking for a red hat.
  • Thankfully, we were able to finish the race without getting into a storm.
  • Naturally, if he had taken the detour he’d have got there faster.

Sentence adverbs are used to modify the whole sentence

Also, it’s important not to overuse them because then their usage could become repetitive.

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Essential English Grammar – A Friendly Approach

Lesson #33: Adverbs of Sentence

Adverbs of Sentence are adverbs that modify entire sentences. Adverbs of sentence can also function as adverbs of degree, manner, or other adverbs. When an Adverb of Sentence is used, the adverb usually goes at the beginning of the sentence, which means more emphasis is put on the adverb itself while also modifying the whole sentence.

Context

  • Thankfully1, we were able to get a table last night. The restaurant had us waiting2 for over thirty-five minutes.
  • I know. I’m not a fan of waiting3 outside restaurants. Curiously4, the restaurant didn’t appear to be that full. Maybe they were just low on staff.
  • Indeed5, I noticed that as well.
  • Frankly6, the food was exceptionally7 That’s probably the reason as to8 why they’re9 just so popular.
  • Yes, they’ve also had a reputation for their extraordinary quality.
  • Interestingly10, most restaurants these days11 are becoming more popular. Perhaps it’s because people just don’t have time to cook.
  • Perhaps you’re right, although it can get quite costly you know, frequently going out to restaurants.

Analysis

  1. Thankfully: adverb of sentence. Thankfully is modifying the whole sentence, we were able to get a table last night. It’s important to place a comma (,) after the adverb of sentence.
  2. Had us waiting: the verb have is used to talk about experiences and actions.
  3. Of waiting: remember, prepositions are always followed by the gerund (verb + ing). The preposition of is followed by the gerund waiting.
  4. Curiously: adverb of sentence. This adverb is modifying the whole sentence.
  5. Indeed: adverb of sentence.
  6. Frankly: adverb of sentence meaning honestly, sincerely.
  7. Exceptionally: adverb of degree that’s modifying the adjective good.
  8. As to: an important prepositional phrase in English meaning, with respect to, regarding. I.e., I’m meaning as to how David got lost yesterday in the carpark. 
  9. They’re: don’t forget to pronounce the contractions, and also remember the verbs being contracted. In this case, it’s they are.
  10. Interestingly: adverb of sentence. The adjective is interesting, so -ly is added to the adjective to form the adverb.
  11. These days: remember, demonstrative adjectives (this, these, that, and those). Days is plural, and the speaker is referring to days with close proximity, therefore, these is used rather than those.

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