Monday, June 21, 2010

Delete Adverbs

"The road to hell is paved with adverbs."—Stephen King
Beginning writers love adverbs, flinching when pointed out during a critique session. so how do you delete adverbs?
Adverbs often tell when, where, why, or under what conditions something happens or happened. Adverbs frequently end in –ly.

Adverbs modify
  • a verb (He walked slowly.)
  • an adjective (He walked at a very fast pace.
  • another adverb (He moved quite slowly down the aisle.

Find Adverbs Using Find and Replace
Highlight adverbs in red. On the Edit menu, click Find. In the Find and Replace box, enter ly or adverb. Then click on the Replace box. Type in ly or adverb. Select Highlight. Then Find All.

Replace adverbs with descriptive verbs.
What do you know about the man?
Adverb: He walked angrily/quickly/quietly/ slowly/nervously/unsteadily down the hall.
Descriptive verb: He stomped/stormed/tiptoed/ crept/paced/staggered down the hall.
Delete these empty adverbs: extremely, definitely, truly, very, really, only
Adverbs: A Common List in the English Language
Adverbs starting with: a b c d e f g h
Adverbs starting with: i j k l m n o p q
Adverbs starting with: r s t u v w x y z
Adverbs List