An adverb is a word that modifies a verb (e.g. to start), an adjective (e.g. big), or another adverb (e.g. quickly). It adds information about the manner, place, time, degree, or frequency of the word it is describing. Many adverbs end with -ly.  

For example: carefully, quickly, efficiently, rapidly, clearly, precisely, thoroughly.

Some adverbs do not have the -ly ending: hard, often, always.

In a sentence, an adverb can appear in different positions, depending on the emphasis or meaning that the speaker wants to convey.

An adverb may appear before the verb it is modifying (She carefully reviewed the report before submitting it.) or after the verb (He worked hard all day.).

Analyse the following sentences, paying attention to the use of adverbs:

  1. We urgently need to review the financial reports to identify any potential issues.
  2. The sales team is actively pursuing new leads to expand our customer base.
  3. We should carefully consider all the options before making a final decision.
  4. The new software system is incredibly efficient and saves us a lot of time.
  5. We should thoroughly analyse the data to gain a better understanding of our market.
  6. The company’s profits have steadily increased over the past few years. 

Here are the definitions of the adverbs in bold: 

urgently – in a manner that requires immediate action or attention; with haste

actively – in a way that involves active participation, engagement, or involvement

carefully – in a cautious manner, paying close attention to detail

incredibly – to a remarkable or extraordinary degree; extremely

thoroughly – completely and comprehensively; in a detailed manner

steadily – in a consistent, stable, and continuous manner; without fluctuations or interruptions

Both adjectives and adverbs play an important role in business English, as they add detail to communication, and allow speakers to convey their messages more effectively.