The term adverb refers to a word class to which words like slowly, here, now etc belong . Adverbials , on the contrary, is a functional label , covering all the syntactic units performing the same function as single-word adverbs , that is, they are units which describe the action denoted by the verb . These syntactic units may be Prepositional Phrases or Noun Phrases.
An adverbial can describe an action by telling us how, where and when an action is done . Examples
* She sings sweetly . ( how)
* She has gone there. (where)
*He is sleeping now( when)
Instead of using single-word adverbials as in our examples above , we can use Prepositional Phrases and Noun Phrases to describe actions .
* She gets up at 6 o' clock .
* He left home in a hurry .
* She has gone to the hospital.
In these examples we have used Prepositional Phrases as advebials .
In the following examples we are using Noun Phrases as adverbials :
* He worked hard all day
* She came back home home last week .
* They will join us tomorrow .
* She left for the US the day before yesterday.
* They opposed the government proposal tooth and nail.
Please note that the term adverb refers to a word class while adverbial refers to different syntactic units performing a similar function, namely, describing the action performed by the verb.
The basic concept of describing an action is provided by the term adverb while the different realizations of the concept are provided by the term adverbial.
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