What Are Adverbs of Affirmation and Negation? (Examples)

By Carly Forsaith, updated on May 12, 2023

What are adverbs of affirmation and negation? And how should you use them in a sentence? Let’s find out.

In short:

  • Adverbs of affirmation or negation are little words that help us confirm or deny something.

What Are Adverbs of Affirmation and Negation?

In order to understand what an adverb of affirmation is, we must first have a quick review of what an adverb is.

  • Adverbs modify a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.

There are different categories of adverbs to describe different things, but in the end, they all do the same thing: provide more information.

Adverbs of Affirmation

Going by the above definition of an adverb, then what is an adverb of affirmation? Well, it’s pretty simple, really;

  • It’s a word that reinforces what is being said in a positive way.

‘Affirm’ definition:

  • To state something as true.

Here are some examples of adverbs of affirmation:

  • Absolutely
  • Definitely
  • Truly
  • Yes
  • Undoubtedly

So one way you might use one of these adverbs is to confirm that something is or was happening or is happening now.

For example:

The lesson has undoubtedly already started.

Or you might use one to affirm that you really do enjoy a certain activity.

I absolutely love playing football.

Or you can simply use it to answer a question in the affirmative:

Yes, that is correct.

Adverbs of Negation

Adverbs of negation are very similar to adverbs of affirmation, except they are used to negate a statement instead of confirming it.

Negate’ definition:

  • To show something to be wrong or to be the opposite of what was thought.

Here are some examples of adverbs of negation:

  • hardly
  • little
  • never
  • no
  • seldom

Imagine, for instance, that you want to say it’s very rare that you go out at night. You might say:

I seldom leave my house in the evenings.

Or if you disagree with what someone has said, you could say:

I can hardly agree with that.

And similarly to the earlier ‘yes’ example, you could simply use the adverb of negation ‘no’ to respond to a question.

For instance:

No, we haven’t arrived yet.

Adverbs of Affirmation can also Negate

It’s worth noting that you can also use adverbs of affirmation to make a negative statement.

For example:

I absolutely hate rainy weather.

I’m definitely never going back there again.

That was truly my worst vacation ever.

Example Sentences

Now let’s take a look at some examples of sentences that contain adverbs of affirmation and negation.

This floor has never been swept!

We definitely don’t have the right setup here.

I am truly sorry for what happened.

You’re absolutely going to win the election.

Are you one hundred percent sure you don’t know where he is?

There aren’t any predicates in a phrase.

I’ll certainly check it out sometime.

Concluding Thoughts

Well, that concludes this short article on adverbs of affirmation and negation. I hope you found this article helpful and that the concept seems simple enough.

Here’s what we’ve learned:

  • Adverbs of affirmation positively reinforce the action of the verb or the statement being made.
  • Adverbs of negation do the same but in a negative way.
  • Adverbs of affirmation can often be used to reinforce a negative statement.

If you found this article helpful, check out our others on our Grammar Rules blog.

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Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

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