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Adverbs of Time

Adverbs of Time

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Adverbs of Time


Hello! In this lesson, we will learn about English adverbs of time. Remember that an adverb is a word that modifies a verb, an adjective or another adverb. Adverbs give us more information about the word they modify. They explain the degree to which something is done.

Adverbs of time tell us when an event took place, for how long the event took place, or how often the event takes place. Let us look at a few examples of adverbs of time.

In the sentence “You arrived yesterday”, the adverb “yesterday” modifies the verb “arrived” to tell us when the event took place. The adverb of time serves to give more information about when “You arrived”. Notice that because we are talking about something that happened one day ago, we must conjugate our verb into past tense.

In the sentence “He will arrive tomorrow”, the adverb “tomorrow” modifies the verb “will arrive” to tell us when the event is taking place. The adverb of time serves to give more information about when “He will arrive”. Notice that because we are talking about an event that is happening in one day, we must conjugate our verb into future tense.

Let us look at a list of the most common adverbs of time.

Today
Tomorrow
Yesterday
Now
Late
Early
Already
Finally


Now, let us listen to a short dialogue, then we will look at the sentences more closely. Remember to keep in mind the adverbs of time.

In this dialogue, David and Jennifer have arrived at their hotel.

David: We arrived yesterday, right?
Jennifer: No, we arrived two days ago.
David: Really?
Jennifer: Yes, and we will leave early tomorrow.

Now let us look at the sentences more closely.

David begins by asking “We arrived yesterday, right?” We use the adverb “yesterday” to describe when the verb “arrived” took place. Notice that we have used the past tense of the verb “to arrive” to describe an event that took place in the past.
Jennifer corrects her husband and says “No, we arrived two days ago”. When describing an event that took place other than one day in the past, we use the adjective “ago” after the amount of time that has past, and we can use “ago” with any amount of time that has past. This adjective can also be used with minutes, as in “It happened two minutes ago”, up to years, as in “We were married fifty years ago”.
After David surprisingly responds “Really?”, Jennifer tells him “Yes, and we will leave early tomorrow”. Notice that we have used the future tense of the verb “to leave” to describe an event that is taking place in the future. In this example, we have used two adverbs, “early” and “tomorrow”. Notice that “tomorrow” is an adverb which describes the verb “will leave”, while “early” is an adverb which describes “tomorrow”, another adverb.

Let us listen to the dialogue once more, focusing on the adverbs of time.

David: We arrived yesterday, right?
Jennifer: No, we arrived two days ago.
David: Really?
Jennifer: Yes, and we will leave early tomorrow.

Excellent! Now that you understand how to use adverbs of time, you will add more information to each sentence you say. “Now we continue!”