How adverbs are formed

Rules

1. In most cases, an adverb is formed by adding ‘-ly’ to an adjective:

AdjectiveAdverb

cheap
quick
slow

cheaply
quickly
slowly

Examples:

  • Time goes quickly.
  • He walked slowly to the door.
  • She certainly had an interesting life.
  • He carefully picked up the sleeping child.

Rules

If the adjective ends in ‘-y’, replace the ‘y’ with ‘i’ and add ‘-ly’:

AdjectiveAdverb

easy
angry
happy
lucky

easily
angrily
happily
luckily

If the adjective ends in ‘able’, ‘-ible’or ‘-le’replace the ‘-e’ with ‘-y’:

AdjectiveAdverb

probable
terrible
gentle

probably
terribly
gently

If the adjective ends in ‘-ic’, add ‘-ally’:

AdjectiveAdverb

basic
economic
tragic

basically
economically
tragically

Note: Exception: public – publicly

2. Some adverbs have the same form as the adjective:

Adjective and Adverb examples with the same form

early
fast
hard
high

late
near
straight
wrong

Compare:

  • It is a fast car.
  • He drives very fast.
  • This is a hard exercise.
  • He works hard.
  • We saw many high buildings.
  • The bird flew high in the sky.

3. ‘Well‘ and ‘good

Well’ is the adverb that corresponds to the adjective ‘good’.

Examples:

  • He is a good student.
  • He studies well.
  • She is a good pianist.
  • She plays the piano well.
  • They are good swimmers.
  • They swim well

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