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A word, phrase or clause that performs the function of an adverb.

See also:

Examples and Observations:

  • "Adverbs and adverbials are similar but not the same. Though they share the same modifying function, their characters are different. An adverbial is a sentence element or functional category. It is a part of a sentence that performs a certain function. An adverb, on the other hand, is a type of word or part of speech. We can say that an adverb may serve as an adverbial, but an adverbial is not necessarily an adverb."
    (M. Strumpf and A. Douglas, The Grammar Bible. Owl, 2004)

  • "[The class of adverbial] includes manner and degree adverbs (e.g. happily, clumsily, quickly, very), temporal adverbials (e.g. now, when, today), spatial adverbials (here, north, up, across), attitudinal adverbials (certainly, hopefully), modal adverbials (not, no, probably, etc.), expectation adverbials (only, even, again), and textual adverbials (firstly, finally)."
    (W. McGregor, Semiotic Grammar. Oxford Univ. Press, 1997)

  • "In reality, adverbials are very free in their placement, appearing in different positions in the sentence, not just sentence final:
    • sentence initial -- [Yesterday], I ran a marathon.
    • sentence final -- I ran a marathon [yesterday].
    • preverbal -- I [always] run well in the heat.
    • postverbal -- I handed the baton [quickly] to the next runner.
    • within the verb group -- I have [never] won a race.
    The various types of adverbials behave differently, however; while all can occur sentence finally, time adverbials are acceptable sentence initially and sometimes preverbally, place adverbials are clumsy sentence initially, and manner adverbials frequently occur preverbally but are less good sentence initially. One position which is impossible for adverbials is between the verb and the direct object."
    (Laurel J. Brinton, The Structure of Modern English. John Benjamins, 2000)
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