#Adverbs and You

adverbs

You’re not alone.  I wondered why adverbs were the great sin of writing.  With overuse, they can be obnoxious, I get that.  But they can be helpful too.   Your post clarified the when to/when not to use.  Thank you!

KNIGHTS OF WRIT

The next item from the “Do Not Do” list (posted January 10th of this year):

Eliminate adverbs, especially those with the dreaded -ly ending.

Adverbs with the -ly ending should be used sparingly. This sentence prompts the question, Why?

The sparing use of adverbs improves writing. Although this sentence also asks a question, (How?), the strength of the construction is declarative: a statement of fact rather than mere suggestion.

Adverbs exist for a reason; they are used to modify and strengthen a verb, but often -ly adverbs only add redundancy or offer a weak alternative to a stronger verb choice.

She turned quickly. Alone this sentence is adequate, but nothing more.

A better way may be to write Nancy spun (or pivoted, or whirled), or perhaps show the action–Nancy’s hair whipped across her shoulders when she turned [spun, pivoted, whirled].

The goal is…

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