Adverb Exercise #2

So far we have deciphered which parts of the riddle are pronouns, nouns, verbs and adjectives. Next, we will determine what words are adverbs. Remember that adverbs end either in -e, -līce or unga. If the adverb ends in -an it has the general sense of being from. When adverbs are used to compare, the endings -or or -ost are usually added or the adverb will lose its -e ending. [23] The adverbs in this particular passage are a little more difficult and do not necessarily follow these rules. Nevertheless I want you to try to identify them in the passage. Recall the different parts of speech that we have already identified and try to distinguish the adverbs by a process of elimination. If you are still having difficulty after you have done this, look up the words in the glossary of your textbook. Once you know the meaning of the word in Modern English it will be much easier to determine what element of speech it is. An answer key has been provided below in order for you to check your accuracy.

  Riddle 26
  Ic eom wunderlīcu wiht, wifum on hyhte,
  nēahbūndum nyt ; nngum scee
  burgsittendra nyme bonan ānum.
  Staol mīn is stēaphēah, stonde ic on bedde,
(5) neoan rūh nāthwr. Nēeđ hwīlum
  ful cyrtenu ‌ ceorles dohtor,
  mōdwlonc mēowle, t hēo on mec grīpeđ,
  rseđ mec on rēodne, rēafađ mīn hēafod,
  fēgeđ mec on fsten ; fēle sōna
(10) mīnes gemōtes sēo e mec nearwađ,
  wīf wudenlocc : wt biđ t ēage.


Answer Key: Translation:
Line 5  
neoan [24] below/beneath/from beneath
nāthwr in some place unknown/somewhere or other
Line 6  
ful [25] very/completely
Line 8  
on [26] continuously/forward
Line 9  
fsten fast/firmly/directly
sōna immediately/right away


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[23] Mitchell and Robinson, 54.

[24] Notice how the adverb neoan ends in -an and has the sense of being from. It can be translated from below or from beneath and thus follows the typical adverb rules.

[25] Be careful not to get the Old English adverb ful confused with the adjective fūl, which means foul or vile. It is very important that you pay attention to accents because they can dramatically change the meaning of the words.

[26] In this particular case the word on is acting as an adverb, not a preposition. Because of context the word changes in meaning from on or upon, to continually or forward.