Has the definition of an adverb changed over time?

I was reading a modern grammar book recently and was very surprised to see that “yesterday” and “nevertheless” are regarded as adverbs.

Has the definition of an adverb been constant over the last 50 years or has it evolved? I feel that neither yesterday nor nevertheless were defined to be adverbs in the 1970s but I could well be wrong.


Shorter Oxford (revised Onions 1933) lists yesterday as noun and adverb.

Yesterday sb. Did you see my yesterday’s note? Byron.
All our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. Will Shakespeare.

He was to dine, as yestesterday with the Frazers. Jane Austen

Nevertheless is only listed as an adverb. Nonetheless is not recorded.

However, Notwithstanding is given as preposition, (notwithstanding their objections…); as adverb, (he saw it would come to pass notwithstanding); and conjunction, (Notwithstanding that it were once burned by the Duke of Burgundy. 1596);

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *