Wir Ain Leed


Adverbs are words added to verbs, adjectives or other adverbs, expressing some modification of the meaning or accompanying circumstance.

  1. Many adverbs take the same form as the verb root or adjective, especially when they are placed after verbs.

    It's real guid yill.
    It's really good ale.
    A'm awfu fauchelt.
    I'm terribly tired.
    Mynd an caw cannie.
    Remember to proceed carefully.
    He's clean daft.
    He's quite mad.
    A'm tairible obleeged tae ye.
    I'm terribly obliged to you.
    The dug wis naur wuid.
    The dog was nearly mad.
    A'm real weel the day.
    I'm very well today.
    He's richt fou the nicht.
    He's very drunk tonight.
    She wis greetin sair.
    She was crying bitterly.
    He's no sair pleased.
    He's not greatly pleased.
    Her tongue gangs constant.
    Her tongue is constantly wagging.
    A haed clean forgotten.
    I had quite forgot.
    Nae ither body.
    No body else.
    Ony ither thing.
    Anything else.
    A wis fair dumfoondert.
    I was dumbstruck.

  2. Adverbs may also be formed by suffixing ly or lies. Where the adjective ends in ie the adverb may be formed by changing ie to i and adding ly.
    The internal inconsistency caused by unpredictably using <lie> or<ly> will be found on this site. Some writers simply use one or the other.

    alanerly entirely geyly a good deal
    brawly very well geylies rather much
    brawlies very well haurdly*** hardly, barely
    cannily cautiously likely probably
    feckly mostly shuirly surely
    freely completely uncoly very much
    fully** fully    

    *Brawly and brawlies also express the sense of 'thoroughly' or 'excellently'.
    **Fully expresses the sense of 'quite', 'rather more than', 'a good deal' and 'on the whole'.
    ***Haurdly may also take the form hairdly.

    Coorser fully nor the floor.
    A good deal coarser than flour .
    Thon baurley-bree gangs doun brawlies.
    That whisky goes down splendidly.
    A kent him brawly.
    I knew him very well.
    Fully that.
    Quite that.
    A s' likely be thare.
    I shall probably be there.
    A coud haurdly thole the dule.
    I could barely endure the suffering.
    He wad shuirly gie't whase aucht.
    He would surely give it to whom it belongs.

  3. Some adverbs are formed by suffixing s, for example, mebbes 'maybe, perhaps' and whiles 'sometimes'.

    Tak tent tae the glaur, or mebbes you'll get your cuits slairt.
    Beware of the mud, or you may smear your ankles.
    He whiles teuk a drap o the maut-bree.
    He sometimes took a drop of whisky.

  4. The suffix in, plural ins, may be added to some adverbs.

    She didna like the new dress aitherin
    She didn't like the new dress either.
    Ye aiblins micht come ower.
    Perhaps you might come over.
    That dug is seendlins feart fae onybody.
    That dog is seldom scared of anyone.

  5. Some adverbs are formed by suffixing lins to nouns indicating in the direction of, and to adjectives to indicate direction, manner, condition or degree.
  6. He fell airselins an speldert hissel on the fluir.
    He fell backwards and spread himself across the floor.
    The shearer's darg wis maistlins duin.
    The reapers work was almost finished.
    He gien the bonnie lass a sidelins glence.
    He gave the pretty girl an sideward glance.

  7. Some adverbs are formed by suffixing gate(s) and wey(s).

    awgate(s) everywhere onygate(s) anywhere, anyhow,
    awwey(s) everywhere onywey(s) anyway, anywhere
    endweys straight on somegate(s) somewhere, some
    place(s), somehow,
    in some manner
    naegate(s) nowhere somewey(s) somewhere, somehow,
    in some manner
    naewey(s) nowhere    

    When adjectives such as nae, ony and some are used to modify nouns such as gate and wey in order to express the sense of 'in some method, manner, fashion or 'in some way', they are generally written as separate words.

  8. Some adverbs are formed using the prefix be.

    The shielin's bewast the brig ower the burn.
    The shepherd's hut is to the west of the bridge across the stream.
    Betimes ye hear a gowk in the shaw.
    Sometimes you hear a cuckoo in the copse.

  9. The frequentive suffix le also implies direction towards.

    He gaed twa mile eastle.
    He went two miles eastwards.
    The muinlicht gart aw the ripples glentle.
    The moonlight caused the ripples to sparkle.

  10. Adverbs may also be formed from many adjectives when the preceded by the preposition 'for'.

    Ay, that's the fare for ordinar.
    Yes, that's the ordinary fare.
    Jeanie's a guid bairn for uisual.
    Jeanie's usually a good child.
    The politeecian gied a better speech nor for ordinar.
    The politician gave a better speech than usual.
    A telt ye that disna come on for common.
    I told you that doesn't normally happen.

  11. Relative, Interrogative and Demonstrative adverbs.

    Relative adverbs refer to the preceding part of the sentence with respect to place, time, manner or case.

    hou how this wey in this way
    whaur where why why
    whan when whit wey in what way

    Hou may also be used for the sense of 'the reason for'.

    A want tae ken hou ye selt the kye for sae little.
    I want to know why you sold the cows for so little.
    He staved his thoum whan he lowpit the pairk waw.
    He sprained his thumb when he jumped (over) the park wall.

    Demonstrative adverbs point out with respect to place, time, manner or case.

    here here thare there
    hou now this this
    sae so that that
    than then yon, yonder, thonder  

    After here, before a noun, the verb 'to be' may be elided. Thare is may also be elided to thare's or simply reduced to thare.
    This and that may be contracted to 'is and 'at in Northern dialects.
    Yon (thon) and yonder (thonder) refer to things at a distance.

    Here a puckle sweeties atween haunds.
    Here are a few sweets in the meantime.
    Thare's nou twal fowk whaur seiven uised tae bide.
    IThere are now twelve people where seven used to live.
    Thare a body askin efter ye.
    There is someone asking about you.
    A will that.
    I'll do so.
    Bide thare.
    Stay there.
    A telt ye that.
    I told yo so.
    It's no that ill.
    It's not so bad.
    She wis that prood.
    She was so proud.
    Gang ower yonder.
    Go over there.

    In colloquial speech an unstressed or contracted pronunciation of thare [ðə], [ðə] in Insular varieties, sounds much like the definite article the [ðə] or an unstressed realisation of the pronoun thay [ðə] (they). Consequently it is usually written the (also de or dey in Shetland dialect writing). The reduced form the occurs in constructions such as:

    The're meaning 'there are'.
    The wis meaning 'there was'.
    The war meaning 'there were' or 'there was'.
    The'll meaning 'there will' or 'there shall'.

    Also the negative forms:

    Are the? meaning 'are there?'
    War the? meaning 'were there?' or 'was there?

  12. Ance the war a man.
    Once there was a man.
    Are the mony mair o yer kin?
    Are there many more of your sort?
    Are the onybody in?
    Is there anyone in?
    The're no nae time at nicht.
    There's no time at night.
    The're a man doun thare.
    There's a man down there.
    The warna hauf sae muckle dichtin duin than.
    There wasn't half as much cleaning done then.

    Interrogative adverbs ask questions with respect to place, time, manner or case.

    whaur where whit for for what reason
    whan when whit wey why, how
    why, hou why, how    

    Hou is often used to ask for a reason, as is why and whit for. Whit wey is often used to ask 'for what reason' or 'in what manner'. Are may be elided after whaur, especially before ye or you.

    Hou did ye no speir at him?
    Why didn't you ask him?
    Hou no?
    Why not?
    Hou come ye teuk the job?
    Why did you take the job?
    Hou's aw wi ye?
    How do you do?
    Why wis ye no comin?
    Why weren't you coming?
    Whit wey no?
    Why not?
    Whit for no?
    Why not?
    Whit for?
    For what reason?
    Whan did he come?
    When did he come?
    Whaur ye gaun?
    Where are you going?

  13. Adverbs of place.
    Many prepositions are used adverbially.

    aback behind hame home
    abeich aloof hereawa thereabouts
    ablo below hyne at a distance
    aboot about in in
    abreed abroad inby inside
    abuin above inower inside
    aff off oot out
    afore before ootby outside
    ahint behind ootower at a distance
    aside beside ower over, farther off
    ayont beyond owerby over there
    ben inside thegither together
    but outside up up
    by by, near yont along, through

    Mynd the cuddie an haud aback.
    Be careful of the donkey and keep back.
    The faither casts his heid abeich an leuks a kennin soor.
    The father casts his head aloof an looks slightly sour.
    It's slaistery and sliddery doun ablo amang the glaur.
    It's wet, dirty and slippery down below in the mud.
    He's up aboot Buchan somewey.
    He's somewhere up in Buchan.
    She's aboot again efter a spell o the haingles.
    She's on her feet again after a bout of influenza.
    It's a sair horse tae keep in aboot.
    It's a difficult horse to control.
    A bide but an ben wi him.
    He and I live together in the same dwelling.
    A’v been thinking by your tongue ye’re no a hereawa man.
    It’s occurred to me from your accent that you’re not from these parts.
    Whit kin o fowk bides hereawa?
    What sort of people live hereabouts?
    The’re naebody in.
    There’s no one in.
    Come inby.
    Come indoors.
    Far hyne ootower the lea.
    Far off beyond the pasture.
    Come inower.
    Come nearer.
    Haud ootower.
    Keep away.
    Are ye comin yont the clachan?
    Are you coming over there to the village?

  14. Adverbs of time and number.
    Many prepositions are used adverbially.

    aback since, ago niver, ne'er never
    aboot about neist next
    aft(en) oft(en) nou now
    again again sin since
    ahint behind suin soon
    awee a little syne then, ago
    aye always, still till until
    belive quickly, soon whiles sometimes
    iver, e'er ever yet yet

    Auld lang syne.
    Long, long ago.
    No the nou.
    Not just now.
    Syne A gaed hame.
    Then I went home.
    Syne he cam ben.
    Then he came in.
    It's a lang while sin syne.
    It's a long time since then.
    He's aye til the fore.
    He's still alive.
    Whiles ay an whiles na.
    Sometimes yes and sometimes no.
    Aye wice ahint the haund.
    Always wise after the event.
    A'm aye warstlin on.
    I'm still struggling on.
    Ae day suin we'll gang oot thegither.
    One day soon we'll go out together.
    He comes here whiles.
    He comes here sometimes.
    It's a gey lang while sin than.
    It's a very long time since then.
    When A wis weary A wad rest awee.
    When I was weary I would rest a little while.
    Auld lang syne we wis pals.
    Long, long ago we were friends.
    Ance on a day, a while sin, thare leeved three wee swine.
    Once upon a time, some time ago, there lived three little pigs.

  15. Adverbs of quantity, manner and degree.

    aboot about in in
    alike alike juist just, quite, no less than
    anely only like like, as it where, probably
    awmaist almost mebbe may be, pehaps
    awthegither altogether muckle much
    back back naither neither, however
    belike probably, near/naur nearly, almost
    brawly likely, very well, probably ney nigh, near, almost
    but but, merely on on
    by past, finished oot out
    by-ordinar extraordinary, extraordinarily ower over, too, excessively
    clean absolutely sae so
    deed indeed, to be sure tae to
    eneuch enough til to
    ense else, otherwise that so, to such a degree
    fair fair tho anyhow, to that extent
    fine fine, very well throu through, finished
    forby besides, in addition to up up
    forrit forward weel well, very, quite, much

    It's wirth aboot twa pund.
    It's worth two pounds at any rate.
    He lowpit back an forrit.
    He jumped backwards and forwards.
    The quean wis but aichteen year auld.
    The girl was merely eighteen years old.
    She gaed by 'ithoot speakin.
    She went past without speaking.
    He's by wi't.
    He's past recovery.
    Thae pease is by-ordinar fine.
    Those peas are extraordinarily fine.
    Det an drink haes dri'en him clean wuid.
    Debt and dring have driven him absolutely mad.
    He's clean daft.
    He's quite mad.
    A'm clean duin.
    I'm quite exhausted.
    That's guid eneuch.
    That's good enough.
    Like eneuch A'll be thare.
    I shall very likely be there.
    A wis fair dumfoondert.
    I was quite dumbstruck .
    He's fair clean fou the nicht.
    He's quite drunk to night.
    A ken him fine.
    I know him well.
    He can dae't fine.
    He can do it easily.
    Ay, an forby, it was real threidbare aneath the table.
    Yes, and besides, it was really threadbare under the table.
    An mony mair forby.
    And many more besides.
    Deed ay! It wisna that wey ava.
    Yes indeed ! It wasn't like that at all.
    Lay in tae yer darg.
    Commence your work.
    Juist that.
    Just so.
    She juist gabbert even on.
    She simply jabbered incessantly.
    A'm no verra weel like, the day.
    I'm not very well, as it were, today.
    Mebbe ay, mebbe na.
    Perhaps yes, perhaps no.
    She wis muckle thocht o.
    She was very well thought of.
    Ye hae pitten in ower muckle saut.
    You have put in too much salt.
    No michty muckle.
    Not very much.
    It's no milk naither.
    It's not milk however.
    A naur cowpit.
    I nearly overturned.
    Read it lood oot.
    Read it aloud.
    Ye hae comed ower suin.
    You've come too early.
    We gaed hame sae as tae ceuk the denner.
    We went home in order to cook dinner.
    The fish wis sae lang as ma airm.
    The fish was as long as my arm.
    A wis that feart.
    I was so scared.
    Wis it tho?
    Was it indeed?
    Are ye no throu yet.
    Haven't you finished yet.
    His time wis throu.
    His time was over.
    Ma horse is fell weel comed in nou.
    My horse is thoroughly well trained now.

    The concept of 'very', 'remarkably', 'thoroughly' can be expressed using a number of adverbs: awfu, fell, fou, gey, real, sair, richt, tairible, unco and verra.

    He wis taen awa awfu suddent.
    He was taken away very suddenly.
    He's a fell guid meenister.
    He's a remarkably good clergyman.
    The bairn sat thare fou snug an said naething.
    The child sat there very snugly and said nothing.
    A'm gey (an) thrang the nou.
    I'm very busy just now.
    Thae's real fine neeps.
    Those are very fine turnips.
    He's no sair pleased wi it.
    He's not greatly pleased about it.
    That's a richt auld ane.
    That's a very old one.
    She's unco queer.
    She's very eccentric.
    Thae's tairible fine nowt.
    Those are exceedingly fine cattle.

  16. Some adverbial expressions are:

    a maiter o as much as lat be leave alone
    abee as it is, leave alone lief(er) rather
    aff-luif off-hand mair by taiken more over
    ance eerant specially for that alone nae dout no doubt, doubtless
    an aw that and all that sort of thing still an on nevertheless
    an that and so on, etcetera suiner sooner, rather
    an aw also, as well, too somewey somehow or other
    at ane mair at the last push that wey in that way, like that
    atweel in any case the conter on the contrary
    awweys in every way the lenth o as far as
    by wi't done with it, as good as dead the wey o't how it goes
    e'en't indeed throuither anyhow, in confusion
    for aw that notwithstanding, all the same weel-a-whit certainly
    hale on steadily, right along housomeiver however

    That's nae guid ava (at aw).
    That's no good at all.
    He cam a heap aboot Enster.
    He often came to Anstruther.
    She's a wee thing daft.
    She's a little mad.
    That's a thocht ower lang.
    That's the least bit too long.
    Milkin kye an aw that.
    Milking cows and all that sort of thing.
    Is he gaun furrin? He is e'en't.
    Is he going abroad? He is indeed.
    The rinawa bairns gat the lenth o the burn.
    The runaway children got as far as the stream.
    He gaed awa a maiter o twinty poond in ma det.
    He left with as much as twenty pounds in my debt.
    She's his auntie some wey.
    She's his aunt somehow or other.
    Dinna gang ance eerant.
    Don't go for that alone.
    She's a hantle sicht better.
    She's much better.
    A wis hindert a wee thing.
    I was a little delayed.
    A'd as lief bide at hame.
    I'd rather stay at home.
    He brocht his sin an aw.
    He brought his son too.
    A wad suiner gang hame.
    I would rather go home.
    Lat's abee.
    Leave me (us) alone.

  17. Negative adverbs.

    Adjectives, verbs and adverb are negated by no or nae in Northern Scots. No or nae often combines with the comparatives sae and that.

    She's no sae gyte as ye think.
    She is not as mad as you think.
    He's no that ill.
    He is not that ill.
    It's no aft sae wairm.
    It's rarely so warm.
    Weemin are no sae blate nou.
    Women aren’t so shy now.
    Thare is something no that cannie aboot thon horse.
    There is something not quite safe about that horse.

    Double negatives are very common.

    No nae ither thing.
    Nothing else.
    She haedna nane naither.
    She hadn't any either.
    A niver eats nae beef.
    I never eat any beef.
    A haena seen her naegate.
    I haven't seen her anywhere.
    A dinna care aboot nane o't.
    I don't care for any of it.
    He's no nae waur.
    He's no worse.
    A dinna tak nae mair nor a gless.
    I don't take more than a glass.
    The're no nae time at nicht.
    There's no time at night.
    The horns niver gets nae size.
    The horns never grow to any size.
    A'm no gaun tae gie ye naething.
    I'm not going to give you anything.
    The Angus coat of arms.
    The're nae sic a thing nae place nou.
    There's no such thing anywhere now.
    Thare niver wis naething like it.
    There never was anything like it.
    Ye canna lippen on him wi naething.
    You can't trust him in any respect.
    A niver haurd it get naething else.
    I never heard it called anything else.

  18. Comparison of adverbs.

    Adverbs form their comparative and superlative in the same way as adjectives. See under adjective comparisons.

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