Adverbs are words like tomorrow, daily, badly, once and too. They tell us more about other words, especially verbs.
- The child smiled sweetly. (The adverb sweetly modifies the verb smiled.)
- She walked slowly. (The adverb slowly modifies the verb walked.)
- He talked politely. (The adverb politely modifies the verb talked.)
Sometimes adverbs modify adjectives.
- It was a very important question. (The adverb very modifies the adjective important.)
- You are so sweet. (The adverb so modifies the adjective sweet.)
Adverbs can also modify other adverbs.
- He walked very slowly. (The adverb very modifies the adverb slowly.)
- She sang extremely well. (The adverb extremely modifies the adverb well.)
Most adverbs are formed by adding -ly to their corresponding adjectives. Examples are: kindly (kind), slowly (slow), hardly (hard), sweetly (sweet) etc.
- She is very beautiful (adjective).
- She is beautifully (adverb) dressed.
- He is a strange (adjective) person.
- He behaved strangely (adverb).
Points to be noted
1. If the adjective ends in -y, replace it with -i and then add -ly.
2. If the adjective ends in -able, -ible, or -le, replace the -e with -y.
3. If the adjective ends in -ic, add -ally.
This rule, however, has an exception. The adverb formed from public is publicly, and not publically.
Some words ending in -ly are adjectives, and not normally adverbs.
Common examples are: costly, cowardly, deadly, friendly, likely, lively, lonely, lovely, silly, ugly and unlikely.
- She has a lovely daughter.
- Don’t be silly.
- It was a lively discussion.
Some adverbs and adjectives have the same form.
Examples are: fast, hard, high, late, near, straight, wrong, daily, early, leisurely etc.
- It is a fast (adjective) car.
- A fast (adjective) car goes fast (adverb).
- He drove fast (adverb).
- Hard (adjective) work pays.
- You must work hard (adverb).
- He is an early (adjective) riser.
- I got up early (adverb) today.
- It is easy (adjective).
- Take it easy (adverb)