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Attitude adverbs for CEFR Level B2

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Attitude adverbs (also called attitudinal adverbs) show the speaker / writer’s attitude toward the state or action described in the sentence. Attitude adverbs are most commonly placed before the subject of the sentence, but they can be placed in the middle or end of the sentence.

Here are some common attitude adverbs:

  • Fortunately / Unfortunately
  • Luckily / Unluckily
  • Obviously (also Clearly and Naturally)
  • Frankly
  • Hopefully
  • Incredibly (also Amazingly)
  • Sadly
  • Honestly
  • Really
  • Personally

Here are some examples sentences and more detail on each attitude adverb.

I lost my car keys. Fortunately, I had a spare set of keys in the house. (meaning that was lucky)

Obviously, I won’t be cleaning that up – I didn’t spill it. (the speaker thinks it should be already be understood that they won’t be cleaning up)

Frankly, I think she was a terrible choice for the job. (the speaker is saying that they know what they are saying may cause people to be upset or offended)

Hopefully it won’t be raining when we get there because I didn’t bring an umbrella. (the speaker is not sure, but is…well… hoping!)

He fell 50 metres from the balcony. Incredibly, he didn’t even break a bone! (the speaker knows this wasn’t what was expected)

Sadly, he didn’t survive the car crash. (the speaker feels sad about the situation)

Honestly, I didn’t think I’d pass because I didn’t have much time to study. (we use this word when we are telling the truth but not something they would want to tell everyone – almost like a secret)

Really, he didn’t deserve to pass because he never studied. (this is similar to honestly).

Personally, I’d choose pizza, but it’s up to you! (this means ‘from the point of view of the speaker’)

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