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An adverb is simply defined as a word or phrase that modifies a verb, an adjective or another adverb. Examples of adverbs in English include slowly, loudly, carefully, quickly (yes, many – but not all – English adverbs end in “– ly”). Other adverbs such as seldom, often, never, amongst others, deviate from the “–ly” suffix trend.
Adverbs provide us with further information regarding the manner, place and time that something happens or is done, the frequency and degree at which it happens or is done, and how sure we are about it happening or being done. Following from this, we can categorise adverbs into:
|manner adverbs||badly, loudly, beautifully, carefully|
|place adverbs||nearby, here, there, outside|
|time adverbs||now, tomorrow, yesterday|
|frequency adverbs||always, seldom, never|
|degree adverbs||very, too, quite, nearly|
|probability adverbs||perhaps, maybe, possibly, obviously|
Now let’s look at Twi adverbs under each category listed above and how we use them.
Manner Adverbs (Yɛbea Kyerɛfoɔ)
Manner adverbs tell us how something happens or is done. In English, most manner adverbs end in “–ly”. Twi examples include yie (well), brɛoo (slowly), ntɛm (fast).
|ɔgyee no anigyeɛ so||he/she received him/her/it happily|
|ɔkyerɛ adeɛ yie||he/she teaches well|
|Kwadwo kasa brɛoo||Kwadwo speaks slowly|
|Yaa didi ahoɔhare so||Yaa eats quickly|
Place Adverbs (Beaeɛ Kyerɛfoɔ)
Place adverbs tell us where something happens or is done. Similar to place adverbs in English, place adverbs in Twi may come after the verb, object or at the end of a sentence. Examples include (ɛ)ha (here), (ɛ)hɔ (there), ase(ɛ) (under).
|ɛda soro||it lies at the top|
|bra ha||come here|
|kɔ hɔ||go there|
|wɔredi agorɔ wɔ abɔnten||they are playing outside|
Time Adverbs (Berɛ Kyerɛfoɔ)
These adverbs tell us when something happens or is done. They are mostly used at the beginning or at the end of sentences. Examples: seesei ara (right now), ɛnnora (yesterday), dada (already).
|Ama adidi dada||Ama has eaten already|
|ɛnnora, mebaa ha||yesterday, I came here|
|mɛkɔ kurom ɔkyena||I will go to town tomorrow|
|yɛbɛhyia daakye||we will meet in the future/someday|
|me na mewiee kane||I was the one who finished first|
Frequency Adverbs (Dodoɔ Kyerɛfoɔ)
Frequency adverbs tell us how often something happens or is done. Examples of frequency adverbs in Twi include da (never), mprenu (twice), mprɛnsa (thrice).
|ɔntuu kwan da||he/she has never travelled|
|Kofi ntaa nyare||Kofi seldom falls ill|
|ɔhwee ase mprenu||he/she fell down twice|
|mahyia ɔmanpanyin Obama pɛn||I have met President Obama before|
|Kofi asan aba bio||Kofi has come again|
Degree Adverbs (Anoɔden Kyerɛfoɔ)
Degree adverbs tell us the extent or level at which something happens or is done. Twi examples include dodo (too (much)), pa ara (very), buroburoo (completely).
|ɛdan no mu yɛ sum dodo||the room is too dark|
|Buruwaa kasa dodo||Buruwaa talks too much|
|me ho yɛ pa ara||I am very well|
Probability Adverbs (Akyinnyegyeɛ Kyerɛfoɔ)
Probability adverbs tell us the likelihood of something happening or being done. They are used to show how sure we are about a situation or event. Examples include ebia (maybe/perhaps), ampa (truly).
|ebia osuo no nnyae tɔ seesei||perhaps it won’t stop raining now|
|ampa, wonim de!||truly, you are knowledgeable!|
|sɛsɛɛ wada||he/she is probably sleeping by now|
We end here today. Please take note of any Twi adverb you may come across henceforth. You may find some in other lessons on this blog, or from external resources. They will definitely come in handy when we begin combining words to form sentences.
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