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For example, ‘I run happily.’ I notice that doesn’t mean running is happy, but I run, being happy. However why is it called ‘verb modifier’? Do I misunderstand adverbs?

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    Happily describes the way in which something is done (running, in this case). You could use an adjective to modify the noun (me, in this case), as in Happy, I ran home. Some may think that doesn't quite mean the same thing as I ran home happily, but bearing in mind we can also use the "flat adverb" form I ran home happy, I'm not convinced it's worth trying to draw semantric distinctions between them. It's just different syntax. – FumbleFingers Feb 24 at 12:20
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    "Happily" modifies "run". It's a manner adjunct expressing how you run. – BillJ Feb 24 at 12:20
  • In "I ran home happy"', "happy" also modifies "run" but it refers to the subject and hence is predicative (it's called a predicative adjunct). Semantically, though, there's little real difference. – BillJ Feb 24 at 12:44
  • @BillJ You mean happy just modifies subject but happily can be used for someone else’ happiness? – alice Feb 24 at 13:29
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    "Happily" certainly can be regarded as modifying "run". However, in response to the OP's question "Why is it called verb modifier? Do I misunderstand adverbs?", the answer is surely "yes, you do". The names of the parts of speech are ancient, are loose translations from Greek to Latin, and aren't to be taken too literally. Adverbs don't always modify verbs. Sometimes they modify other things. – rjpond Feb 24 at 15:28

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