At these higher levels, expansion of the range of adverbs available to learners remains a central focus of learning.


By the B2 level learners can use a wide range of adverbs and adverb phrases to refer to the timing of an event.

B2 50x33   I look forward to hearing from you shortly and I thank you in advance. (Cambridge English: First; Catalan)

B2 50x33   It sounded like a muffled laugh, and she instantly recognised it as her mother’s. (Cambridge English: First; Slovene)

B2 50x33   You know it’s very difficult to decide what to buy if you need both things simultaneously. (Cambridge English: First; Russian)

B2 50x33   The trend that has appeared rather recently and is very common among young people nowadays is named “casual chic”. (Cambridge English: Proficiency; Greek)


They can also use a wide range of adverbs of manner to modify how something happens.

B2 50x33   She realises that he is a very dangerous man and that she should take his warning seriously. (Cambridge English: First; Swedish)

B2 50x33   Today I read the notice “Volunteers needed urgently” and I would like to be one. (Skills for Life: Level 1; German)

B2 50x33   As our parking space has been used illegally by the public, we will change our parking system. (Cambridge English: Business 2; Japanese)

Degree with adjectives

At the C1 level learners are able to use a wide range of adverbs with adjectives to express degree or intensity.

C1 50x33   It deals with the friendship between two completely different men. (Cambridge English: Advanced; German)

C1 50x33   It is extremely important that the project is finished before September. (Cambridge English: Advanced; Greek)

C1 50x33   The last thing I would like to mention is that you have lost a single passenger’s luggage three times, which is totally unacceptable. (Cambridge English: Advanced; Swedish)


Learners at the C1 level can also use a wide range of adverbs to indicate degrees of certainty.

C1 50x33   It was undoubtedly an unforgettable experience. (Cambridge English: Advanced; Portuguese)

C1 50x33   Television programmes are undeniably a way of keeping ourselves well informed and open to a special knowledge of every aspect of our lives. (Cambridge English: Advanced; Polish)

C1 50x33   I bought a skirt, a pair of jeans and a white dress, because I absolutely need new clothes for your party! (Cambridge English: Key; Italian)


C1 level learners use a wide range of stance adverbs (simply, truly, surely, apparently, naturally, surprisingly, inevitably, literally, exceptionally, frankly, clearly, amazingly, wisely, admittedly, etc.) to indicate an attitude or viewpoint, often in clause initial position.

C1 50x33   We can’t truly blame ourselves for this unlucky beginning. (Cambridge English: Advanced; Greek)

C1 50x33   Apparently someone made a mistake writing the details I gave over the phone. (Skills for Life: Level 2; Polish)

C1 50x33   Naturally I inclined towards the second option. (Cambridge English: Advanced; Romanian)

C1 50x33   Luckily for me, I stayed with a kind and helpful host family but they lived four miles from the school. (Cambridge English: Advanced; Swedish)


Once the C2 level is achieved, learners can use adverbs mid clause to distance the writer from what he or she is saying. Adverbs are used as stance devices at C1, but it is not until C2 that they appear mid-clause and take on a distancing function.

C2 50x33   He left school at the age of 16, and joined the “Universidad xxx” – the best one in Chile, supposedly – to study Economics. (Cambridge English: Proficiency; Spanish - Latin American)

C2 50x33   The author of the letter apparently has no experience of being a parent in our times. (Cambridge English: Proficiency; Polish)

C2 50x33   He was quite nice to me, surprisingly, and he told him that he would do his best but that the music was not too loud. (Cambridge English: Proficiency; French)

So, at these final stages of learner development with adverbs, learners are able to demonstrate learning through their wide range of adverb choices, and at the highest level, learners show skill in using adverbs to achieve a particular effect.

Cambridge University Press