Adverbial nouns are nouns with multiple functions according to the sentence they are in. In this lesson, we will learn more about them.
What Are Adverbial Nouns?
Adverbial nouns (also called adverbial objectives or adjunct adverbial) are nouns that can have two functions depending on the sentence they are used in.
They can be:
What Kinds of Noun Are Adverbial Nouns?
Nouns that talk about measurements or a specific amount of something, such as time or distance or location or direction or weight or value are usually adverbial nouns.
Adverbial Nouns: Time
Adverbial nouns can talk about when (at what time) or the extent of time (how long). Names of the weeks, months and seasons can also be adverbial nouns.
We have waited
I am leaving
She never came home
Adverbial Nouns: Distance, Direction, Location
Adverbial nouns can talk about the distance or direction (the cardinal directions, such as north, south, east, and west) or the location of something. Take a look at the examples:
I think I just stay
I think he went
The river is
The water rose
The curtains are
Adverbial Nouns: Weight
Take a look at some examples about adverbial nouns that talk about the weight of something:
Your bag weighs
The package weighed
Adverbial Nouns: Age
Adverbial nouns talk about the age of something or someone. For example:
The whisky is aged
Adverbial Nouns: Value
Certain adjectives, such as 'worth' take nouns or noun phrases as complements. For example:
This toy is only worth
Since worth indicates an answer to the question 'how much,' it requires an amount as a modifier.
One of the antiques is worth
What Do Adverbial Nouns Do?
Like adverbs, these nouns normally modify verbs but can also modify adjectives, adverbs, and even prepositions.
Nouns and noun phrases can act as adverbials – that is, they can modify or add information to a verb. When noun phrases act in such a role, they describe time, place, quantity, or manner.
Adverbial Nouns vs. Direct Objects
Adverbial nouns often occur at or near the end of a sentence, however, you should not confuse them with the object of the sentence.
The objects answer the question "what?" but adverbial nouns answer the question "where?" "when?", "for how long?", "how much?" etc.
Here, the word 'north' is an adverbial noun giving additional information about the direction in which subject drove and answering the question of "where."
Likewise, 'an hour' indicates a length of time, answering 'how long?,' making 'an hour' also an adverbial noun.
This sentence however, answers a question of 'what.' The words 'his Mercedes' are, therefore, the object of the sentence.
Nouns denoting numbers of some sort are commonly used for adverbs.