What Are Adverbial Nouns?
Adverbial nouns are nouns that function as adverbs in a sentence. They modify the verb, adjective, or another adverb in a sentence by providing additional information about time, manner, place, or frequency. Adverbial nouns can be single words or noun phrases.
What Kinds of Noun Are Adverbial Nouns?
Nouns that talk about measurements or a specific amount of something, such as time, distance, location, direction, weight, or value are usually adverbial nouns.
Adverbial Nouns: Time
Adverbial nouns can talk about when (at what time) or for how long (the duration of time) an action takes place. Names of the weekdays, 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'll just stay
I think he went
The river is
The water rose
The curtains are
Adverbial Nouns: Weight
Take a look at some examples to see how adverbial nouns can be used to talk about the weight of something:
Your bag weighs
The package weighed
Adverbial Nouns: Age
Adverbial nouns can also be used to talk about the age of something or someone. For example:
The whisky is aged
Adverbial Nouns: Value
What Do Adverbial Nouns Do?
Nouns and noun phrases can function as adverbials in a sentence by modifying or providing additional information about a verb. When used in this way, they can describe time, place, quantity, or manner.
Adverbial Nouns vs. Direct Objects
Adverbial nouns are often found at or near the end of a sentence, but they should not be confused with the object of the sentence.
While, the objects answer the question "what?", 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 answers the question 'where'.
Likewise, 'an hour' indicates a length of time, answering 'how long?,' making 'an hour' also an adverbial noun.
This sentence however, answers the question 'what'. The words 'his Mercedes' are, therefore, the object of the sentence.
Nouns denoting numbers of some sort are commonly used for adverbs.