Negation: Adverbs

In this lesson, we will learn about negative structures with adverbs. Do we have negative adverbs?

Negation of Adverbs in the English Grammar

What Are Negative Adverbs?

Negative adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs to express the absence or denial of something. Negative adverbs are used to negate or deny the truth of a statement.

Negative Adverbs

Some adverbs have a negative meaning, for example:

  1. hardly (ever)
  2. little
  3. never
  4. scarcely
  5. seldom
  6. barely (ever)
  7. no longer

They seldom speak.

I hardly go out.

When these adverbs are used at the beginning of the clause, we must invert the subject and verb.

Little did I know that my life was about to change.

Never had I been so upset.

Hardly had she left the school when it started to rain.

'barely' means 'almost not' which makes it a negative adverb

Adverbial Phrases

There are a few adverbial phrases that are used to completely negate a clause. For example:

  1. under/in no circumstances
  2. (in) no way
  3. on no condition

Under no circumstances are you to go out.

No way will we be finished by five o'clock.


In addition to using 'not' and 'no' there are other words that can negate the sentences.

Here are some phrasal adverbs and adverbs that have the power to make the sentence negative.

hardly (ever) little never scarcely seldom
barely (ever) no longer under/in no circumstances (in) no way on no condition


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