Clearly and Naturally: Ideas for Practicing the Use of Viewpoint Adverbs

  • To practice the difference between adverbs of manner and viewpoint adverbs. Post 5-6 large photos that lend themselves to telling a story (ads from a magazine, clip art, or images on Flickr – for a successful search use actions as key words like argue, kiss, talk, smile). In pairs students must chose 3 photos. For each photo, they must write two sentences about the picture using one of the viewpoint adverbs already presented. One models the use of an adverb of manner, and the other models the use of a viewpoint adverb. Suggested adverbs: clearly, frankly, hopefully, naturally, sadly, strangely. Provide a model.

The man in the red shirt cannot see clearly without his glasses.

Clearly, this is a friendly gathering.

Image from Creative Commons on Flickr


  • To understand the semantics of viewpoint adverbs. Select a text with at least three different viewpoint adverbs (blog, news article, lyrics, etc.) Have students identify whether a given adverb expresses a degree of certainty (apparently, certainly), an evaluation (luckily, unfortunately), or other form of comment (basically, generally). Model:

Tunison, Michael. Fantasy Issues: Scoring Meachem’s Return TD. Go2Media: 2010.

[Commenting on a questionable touchdown.]

“But then Meachen is also an offensive player who didn’t come into the play as a member of the defense. Surely he should be credited as such. Luckily, there is a precedent and some leagues (but obviously not all) have a policy in place to cover such matters.”


  • To put viewpoint adverbs into use. In advance, prepare slips of paper with suitable conversation topics. Suggestions: animal shelters, organic foods, living in a cold climate, credit card debt, the salaries of professional athletes.  In class hold short discussions in small groups. You can call the activity Two-Minute Topics. The idea is for each student to state his or her opinion on a topic and allow for others to briefly comment as well – all in the course of two minutes. The initial speaker must make use of a viewpoint adverb. Example: In our city there’s obviously a need for animal shelters. Be sure the two-minute rule is observed so that each student gets a turn initiating a discussion on a selected topic.

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