3 Games To Encourage Your Students To Use Adverbs

As we know, there are different types of adverbs. Generally speaking, I have found that students use most types with relative ease, adverbs of time, place and even frequency, don’t seem to present too much of a challenge for them. But adverbs of manner? Well that’s a different story. Maybe it’s just me and the students that I teach, but they shy away from using them, which is very frustrating! Adverbs are lovely language and to be a successful English speaker, and to pass any exam, they need to be comfortable with using them. So here are some games that I use to help!

Longest Sentence Wins

Bring out the competitive side in your students and yourself with this one! Very simply, the person with the longest sentence wins.

  • Divide the group into pairs or threes, if you have a limited number of students they could also do it on their own.

Give each group or pair a letter of the alphabet. Avoid Z and Y, those are hard!

Carl caught careful chickens, chased cold chicks, checked cavernous cages.

You get the idea.

  • Then introduce the idea of an adverb and what it does. Tell them your sentence with 10 words could be even longer with those! For example;

Carl cautiously caught casually careful chickens, confidently chased cheerlessly cold chicks, closely checked completely cavernous cages!

  • Now you have 16 words, thanks to adverbs! So if they want to win, adverbs are necessary!
  • They have 5 minutes, set a different time limit if you wish, to come up with the longest sentence they can, with every word starting with that letter!
  • When they’ve finished, or the time has run out, get all the class together and read them out, hopefully you can have a few laughs as well!

Act It Out

This one helps to teach students why we use adverbs of manner. Principally, they are used to answer the question; ‘How’. For example;

“My sister runs”.

“How does she run”?


  • Write an action on the board. Here’s the one I usually use;

After I went to bed last night, something unusual happened to me….

  • Get one student to stand up and give them a card with an adverb on it. E.g. Secretly.
  • The student has to read the sentence in the way shown on the card.
  • The other members of the group must try and guess the adverb, if they are correct they get the card.
  • The student or team with the most cards at the end of the game, wins!

Irregular Adverb Practice!

Adverbs are pretty easy to make. Usually, we just take the adjective and add -ly. Apart from a few occasional spelling changes, it’s a piece of cake!

However, some adverbs are irregular, and students sometimes have trouble remembering these.

  • Have students stand up, and explain that you’re going to say an adjective. They must shout back the adverb equivalent. E.g. Quick – Quickly.
  • If any student gets it wrong, they must sit down.
  • Do this with easy, regular adverbs for a couple of rounds, until they get the hang of it.
  • Then start adding the irregular ones, like the examples below. If they get it right, they remaining standing. If not, they must sit down. The winner is the only person still standing at the end.

Hard, Early, Late, Fast, Good, Bad, Daily, Straight.


 Have any similar games to help with adverb use? Let me know in the comments!

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