Hi everyone, I have a question about part of speech. It is said that adverb can only modify verb, adjective, and other adverb. But how about in this sentence?

She's definitely the thief.

In that sentence, who does definitely modify? Can I also say "It was absolutely a disaster"? Is this grammatically correct but unnatural to say?

Thanks in advance
Hi there,

'Definitely' modifies 'is', which is contracted to 's in 'She's'.

Emotion: smile
lawn2llawn2It is said that adverb can only modify verb, adjective, and other adverb.
No. An adverb can also modify a whole sentence. That kind of adverb is called a sentential adverb.

I would call definitely a sentential adverb. unfortunately is another example of a sentential adverb.

She's definitely the thief ~ It is definitely the case that she is the thief.

Unfortunately, we ran out of money ~ It was unfortunate that we ran out of money.

lawn2llawn2Can I also say "It was absolutely a disaster"? Is this grammatically correct but unnatural to say?
In my opinion it is not particularly natural. I would say It was an absolute disaster. Here absolute is an adjective modifying disaster.

CJ
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Thanks all, really appreciate your explanation Emotion: smile