Here are three sentences from my Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary:

1) The sea is two miles away from the hotel.

2) Put the biscuites on the shelfe above.

3) The way ahead was blocked by fallen trees.

This dictionary defines adverb as word that adds more information to a verb, an adjective, a phrase, or another adverb.

Questions:

1) This dictionary says the three words above are adverbs. But why are they adverbs, since they don't add information to a verb or an adjective, or another verb?

2) In my mother tongue, we change the word order of sentence 3) into : the ahead way was blocked by fallen trees.

Probably in English we can't say the ahead way, but can you think of an adjective that can be put before the way?

Thanks very much!
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stephenlearnerBut why are they adverbs, since they don't add information to a verb or an adjective, or another verb?
"Adverb" is often the name given to a word that doesn't fit into the other classifications. The definition you quote is not a very rigorous one. And adverbs are such a diverse group of words that it may be impossible to offer anything really rigorous.

stephenlearnerProbably in English we can't say the ahead way, but can you think of an adjective that can be put before the way?
No, you can't say the ahead way. I don't know of an adjective that could substitute.

CJ
stephenlearner
2) In my mother tongue, we change the word order of sentence 3) into : the ahead way was blocked by fallen trees.
Probably in English we can't say the ahead way, but

Thanks very much!

This is a very interesting observation. Many Asian languages have the similar grammar arrangements, mine included, which makes learning English a rather frustrating process for those who have not yet overcome that hurdle.

As CJ explained, adverbs are more than word ending with "ly". There are adverbs of time, frequency, location, and how.

"Ahead", "above" and "below" etc. are adverbs of location, or "where".

<<<can you think of an adjective that can be put before the way?>>>

Not an adjective because you have a passive construction here, but perhaps a noun. "The roadway was blocked....."
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Thank you all for your help with my question. I think I can accept dimsumexpress' explanation: "above" , "ahead" are adverbs of location. But sometimes it is really difficult to decide whether it is an adverb or adjective in a context.

I have another question. Because it has something to do with adverb, I do not plan to write a new thread.
Suppose someone said to you, "It will rain this afternoon". You felt it was likely to happen. What would you reply?
1) Perhaps.
2) Maybe.
3) Probably.
4) It is possible.
5) It is likely.
6) It could be.
7) It may be.
8) It might be.

Which one(s) is/are acceptable grammartically?
If some are acceptable, are they natural to you?
What would you say apart from the above ecamples?
Can adverbs be used independently like 1), 2), and 3) ??

Thank you!
stephenlearnersometimes it is really difficult to decide whether it is an adverb or adjective in a context.
Note that away, above, and ahead are all a- words. ago, around, awry, aside, asleep, and awake are similar examples. These types of words don't occur before nouns.

stephenlearnerSuppose someone said to you, "It will rain this afternoon". You felt it was likely to happen. What would you reply? 1) Perhaps. 2) Maybe. 3) Probably. 4) It is possible. 5) It is likely. 6) It could be. 7) It may be. 8) It might be.
Someone is more likely to say It's going to rain this afternoon or possibly It'll rain this afternoon. I would reply

It does look like it.

It certainly looks like it.

You're probably right.

I think you're right.

I don't doubt it.

I wouldn't be surprised.

That's what they say.

That's what's predicted.

CJ
Thank you, CJ. And thank you for the sentences you gave.

Can I use an adverb independently/in an isolated way?

For example,

A: Is Jim coming to the concert on Friday?

B: Perhaps he will come.

Can B omit "he will come" and just say "perhaps"?

It is like this:

A: Is Jim coming to the concert on Friday?

B: Perhaps. (or Possibly/Maybe/Probably)

Is this acceptable?
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While all of the replies you posited1 are correct grammatically2, the last three are not correct semantically3, the problem being the verb [to] be. Just drop be in each sentence and the resulting sentences will all be correct both semantically and grammatically. If the original sentence had been something such as "I think it will be raining by this afternoon," all seven replies work. In this case, "It could be" elliptically4 says the same [thing] as "It could be raining by this afternoon."

1 I've used words that might not be familiar to you. My use of posited may not be quite correct technically, but it's close enough. To posit is to assume or put forward as fact or the factual basis for an argument; postulate. No argument is anticipated here, hence my saying I might not have used it quite right.

2 Can't tell whether your grammartically was a typo or an incorrect spelling5, a result of adding -tically to grammar. The second r is dropped for the adverb.

3 Semantically can be taken as meaningwise. Not an actual word, but a comprehensible joining.

4 Elliptically. From ellipsis: the omission from a sentence or other construction of one or more words that would complete or clarify the construction, as the omission of who are, while I am, or while we are from I like to interview people sitting down. Ellipses can be useful for avoiding repetition -- as long as you use them carefully and make sure what you are saying is still clear.

5 I try not to talk down to people for whom English is a second language. Or to anyone else, for that matter.6 After all, if you weren't making an effort to learn English, we wouldn't be able to communicate at all, because I speak only English. In this, only my second post, I pointed out words and usages [that] I thought might not be familiar to you. In short order, I'll probably quit doing that and let you fend for yourself. My wife would say, "It builds character."

6 Not unless I want to make a point about my hairy superiority with someone who has particularly annoyed me. Don't tell any bald jokes, not if you have all your hair. I decided years ago to take such jokes as a deliberate attempt to belittle or demean me, even if you footnote your joke with "Said with humour."
stephenlearnerB: Perhaps he will come.
Can B omit "he will come" and just say "perhaps"?
It is like this:
A: Is Jim coming to the concert on Friday?
B: Perhaps. (or Possibly/Maybe/Probably)
Is this acceptable?
Yes. It's perfectly acceptable.

CJ
AmicusCuriosa, thank you very much! Your replies are informative. That is very helpful to me.

Your second observation is correct. My original spelling in wrong.

By the way, your answers are careful and well-ordered. I like it.

Regards,

Stephen
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