Adverb of Manner

Adverb of manner tells us how something happens. So it answers the question how. Adverb of manner modifies verb.

I. Adverb of Manner Formation

Most adverbs of manner are formed by adding ly to an adjective. But sometimes there are some changes in spelling when forming an adverb of manner from an adjective. Here are the detail rules:

A. For adjectives end in y, follow the rules below:
1. Change y into i then add ly.


Angry: angri+ly>>angrily, busy: busi+ly>> busily, easy: easi+ly>> easily, greedy: greedi+ly>> greedily, happy: happi+ly>> happily, hasty: hasti+ly>> hastily, heavy: heavi+ly>> heavily, hungry: hungri+ly>> hungrily, lazy: lazi+ly >> lazily, noisy: noisi+ly>> noisily, sleepy: sleepi+ly >> sleepily, speedy: speedi+ly>> speedily, and stealthy: stealthi+ly>> stealthily.

Use in sentence:

a. She spoke angrily to him.
b. I think I can do the test easily.
c. The boy is eating the food greedily.
d. The lazy man does his job lazily.

2. But for the adjectives shy and sly, just add ly.

shy: shy+ly>> shyly, sly: sly+ly>> slyly.

Use in sentences:

a. She smiled shyly.
b. He deceives his victims slyly.

3. If the adjectives are preceded by a vowel, just add ly.


coy: coy+ly>>coyly.

But for the word gay, first you need to change y into i then add ly

gay: gai+ly>>gaily.

Use in sentences:

a. She is facing the handsome man coyly.
b. We should welcome our guests gaily.

B. For adjectives end in ic, first put the syllable al then add ly.


automatic: automatic+al+ly>> automatically, dramatic>> dramatic + al+ly >> dramatically, enthusiastic: enthusiastic+al+ly>> enthusiastically, scientific>>scientific + al+ ly>> scientifically, specific>> specific+al+ly >>specifically, but public changes to publicly, not publically.

Use in sentences:

a. That tool works automatically.
b. They played the roles dramatically.
c. We followed the seminar enthusiastically.

C. For the adjectives end in le, follow this rules:

1. If before le is preceded by a consonant, drop e then add y.


Favorable>> favorabl + y >> favorably, gentle: gentl+y>>gently, humble >> humbl + y >> humbly, irritable: irritabl+y>> irritably, sensible: sensibl+y>> sensibly, simple>> simpl + y >> simply

Use in sentences:

a. Mom stroked my hair gently.
b. They treated us sensibly.
c. She dresses simply.

2. If before le is preceded by a vowel, you only need to add ly.


agile: agile+ly>> agilely, sole: sole+ly>> solely; except for the word whole, the final e must be removed then add ly >>whole: whol+ly >>wholly.

Use in sentences:

a. The skillful workers work agilely.
b. I was wholly convinced by his business presentation.

D. For adjectives ending in ll, just add y.


Dull: dull+y>> dully, full: full+y>> fully, shrill: shrill+y>> shrilly.

Use in sentences:

a. The dull student answered the questions dully.
b. I don’t fully understand your explanation.
c. She complained shrilly.

E. For the adjectives ending in ue, omit e then put ly.


due: du+ly>> duly, true: tru+ly>> truly

Use in sentence:

a. They treated us duly.
b. She speaks truly.

F. Just add ly to the rest.

I will just present the adverbs, not the process of forming them. Those words among others are:

accidentally, anxiously, awkwardly, badly, beautifully, blindly, boldly, bravely, brightly, calmly, carefully, carelessly, cautiously, cheerfully, clearly, cleverly, closely, completely, correctly, courageously, cruelly, dangerously, daringly, deliberately, doubtfully, eagerly, elegantly, enormously, equally, eventually, exactly, , excitedly, faithfully, fatally, fiercely, fondly, foolishly, fortunately, frankly, frantically, furiously, generously, gladly, gracefully, honestly, hurriedly, inadequately, ingeniously, innocently, inquisitively, joyously, justly, kindly, loosely, loudly, madly, mortally, mysteriously, neatly, nervously, nicely, normally, obediently, openly, painfully, patiently, perfectly, politely, poorly, powerfully, promptly, punctually, quickly, quietly, rapidly, rarely, recklessly, regularly, reluctantly, repeatedly, rightfully, roughly, rudely, sadly, safely, secretly, selfishly, seriously, sharply, silently, slowly, smoothly, softly, solemnly, straightly, sternly, stupidly, successfully, suddenly, surprisingly, suspiciously, swiftly, tenderly, tensely, thoughtfully, tightly, truthfully, unexpectedly, victoriously, violently, vivaciously, warmly, weakly, wearily, wickedly, wildly, willingly, wisely,etc.

Use in sentences:

a. She is dancing beautifully.
b. A calm man faces a problem calmly.
c. Do it carefully!
d. My aunt always dresses elegantly.
e. She whispered tenderly.


1. Some adverbs that have the same form as adjectives.

Some adverbs of manner have the same form and meaning as the adjectives, they are fast, hard and late. To see their difference when serve as adjective or adverb, see their use in sentences below.

a. He drove the car fast.(adverb, fast modifies verb, drove)
b. The man is a fast runner.(adjective, fast modifies noun, runner)
c. We worked hard all day. (adverb, hard modifies verb, worked)
d. He is doing a hard task. (adjective, hard modifies noun, task)
e. She always comes late. (adverb, late modifies verb, comes)
f. It’s annoying to wait for a late train. (adjective, late modifies noun, train)

You may ask a question, “why don’t we use lately and hardly because those words are available (but fastly is not)?” Lately and hardly are indeed adverbs, but not adverbs of manner; lately means recently and hardly means almost not at all.

See their use in sentences:

a. I saw her there lately.
g. They hardly come to visit me this year.

2. Adverbs of manner which do not end in ly

Commonly adverb of manner ends in ly which is derived from the adding of ly to the basic form of an adjective, yet well is not included. Well is derived from the adjective good.

See the difference in sentences:

a. They are good students. (good is adjective for it modifies noun, students)
b. They did it well. (well is adverb for it modifies verb, did)

But well can also function as an adjective when it’s used to talk about health. Pay attention to the following dialogue!

X: How are you?
Y: I’m very well, thank you. (in a good health condition).

3. Adverbs which end in ly

As you see that commonly most adverbs of manner are formed by adding ly to the basic form of adjectives, so that they have ly ending. But there are some other types of adverbs which also end in ly, they are consequently, subsequently, frequently, rarely and usually (remember, they are not adverb of manner).

We also can find some other words that end in ly, such as friendly, lovely, holy and silly which are not adverbs, but adjectives.

II. Adverb of Manner with Verb

Adverbs of Manner are normally used with dynamic (action) verbs, not with stative, state verbs or linking verbs such as be, become, feel, get, look, and seem. Adjectives are used after these verbs.

See the following examples!

The correct Use:

a. She smiled happily.
b. He spoke nervously.

The wrong Use:

a. She looked happily.
(It must be She looked happy)
b. He seemed nervously.
(It must be He seemed nervous)

III. Position of Adverb of Manner

1. Adverb of Manner is usually placed after the main verb.


a. I will run fast to get the finish line.
b. You must speak seriously.

2. Adverb of Manner is usually placed after the object.

If the verb has an object, the adverb of manner is usually placed after the object.


a. They performed a traditional dance beautifully.
b. She does her job neatly.

Note: Don’t put adverb of manner between the verb and the object!

a. The man bound tightly the paper. (incorrect)
b. The man bound the paper tightly. (correct)

3. But if the verb you use in your sentence is an intransitive verb (verb with no object), you should constantly put the adverb of manner after the intransitive verb.


a. The little girl cried loudly.
b. He died peacefully.


There are some general adverbs which are nearly always put after the verb; they are badly, fast, hard and well.


a. The amateur singer is singing badly.
b. The professional secretary types fast.
c. My father always works hard.
d. My favorite team played well yesterday.

4. For sentences with an object of preposition, you can put the adverb of manner either before the preposition or after the object.


a. We are studying happily at school. Or
b. We are studying at school happily.

5. If you want to emphasize on the way something is done (emphasize on the verb), you can put the adverb of manner before the verb.


a. He carefully told him about the news.
b. I patiently wait for his coming.

6. And if you want to catch your listeners’/readers’ attention, you may put the adverb of manner at the beginning of the sentence.


a. Greedily the hungry boy ate up the food.
b. Angrily I expelled him last night.

7. Clause with more than one verb

When your clause contains more than one verb, the different position of the adverb can change the meaning. If it is placed before the verb, it modifies the action described by the verb. But placing the adverb at the end of the clause means describing the way the whole action is done.


a. The teacher gradually advises the students to change their bad habit. (Gradually modifies advises, it means the teacher regularly advises the students)

b. The teacher advised the students to change their bad habit gradually.( Gradually modifies the way the students changing their bad habit, step by step, not all at once)

IV. Adverb of Manner Modifiers

You can modify adverb of manner by using a bit, quite, most, fairly, really, very, extremely, rather, etc. These words are always put before the adverb.


a. She spoke quite angrily to him.
b. I could do the test very easily.
c. The boy is eating the food rather greedily.
d. The lazy man does his job really lazily.

To see the complete discussion on Adverb (Kind of Adverbs) just click here!

The Related Post


  1. Adverbs of Time
  2. Adverb of Place
  3. Adverb of Manner
  4. Adverb of Cause and Effect
  5. Adverb of Reason
  6. Adverb of Degree
  7. Adverb of Frequency
  8. Adverb of Certainty
  9. Adverb of Purpose
  10. Adverb of Comment

Position of Adverbs