Scots Learners’ Grammar

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7. Adverbs 


When the adverb is positioned next to the verb, it takes the same form as the adjective e.g. He cam in quiet. He’s near feenished. If more emphasis is needed -like is added e.g. Run, quick-like!

Generally adverbs can be formed by adding -lie to the end of the related adjective e.g. slaw, slawlie; saft, saftlie; braw, brawlie; maist, maistlie, but ¬†–lik(e) can also be added here and often seems a preferred construction. Perhaps by extension, as mentioned above, like has become a very common intensifier in West Central and Ulster dialects

Are ye comin we me, like?

Some adverbs have an optional extra -s: aiblins (perhaps), whiles (sometimes), mebbies, geylies (pretty much), brawlies (excellently), nae wunners (no wonder).

Many Scots prepositions (see below) can be used as adverbs.

The common adverb awa appears in several idioms, sometimes replacing a verb

A’m awa (I am going)

Come awa! (come here)

Awa (wi ye)! (expression of disbelief)

Awa (an) bile yer heid! (get lost!)

A’m fair awa wi it (happy/proud).

The adverb gey (an) is used to intensify an adjective e.g. It wis gey dear and it is worth noting are the range of words, very distinctive of Scots, used to intensify adjectives such as awfie, fell, rare, sair, unco.

That is used as an adverb equivalent of the Englishso’

A wis that wabbit a jist gaed hame.