Adverbs can mislead many English learners. It is challenging to learn because adverbs and adjectives can be confusing. In this article, we try to clear this confusion.

What is an Adverb?

Adverbs are words that change or modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs, mostly they answer questions of time (when), place (where), manner (how), or quality (how much).

Let’s look at some examples of adverbs:

  • Location: I put the book there.
  • Time: Let’s leave soon.
  • Manner: we read carefully the terms of use.
  • Quality: he rent prices are extremely expensive in New York.

How to form an Adverb?

Generally, adverbs are formed by adding -ly to an adjective, as in; quickly and beautifully. However, words without -ly can be adverbs. For example, well is an adverb.

Some words end with -ly but sill they are not considered adverbs. For example, costly, deadly, and neighborly, these three words are all adjectives.

Some words may have the same form for both adjectives and adverbs. Such as fast, hard, and early.

Occasionally, an adjective can generate two adverb forms with different meanings. For example, the adjective right can be used as an adverb in:

  • Make sure you spell her name right (correctly).
  • She cleaned the room rightly (appropriately).

Adverbs can have comparative and superlative forms. Generally, these forms use words like more and most. Let’s take a look at these examples:

  • Harry speaks Chinese more fluently than we expected.
  • Susan plays piano better than her brother.
  • The colors in Bob Ross’s paintings glow the most brightly.

List of common adverbs

AbnormallyDiligentlyHopelesslyAccidentallyDoubtfully
HungrilyDeliberatelyHighlyMysteriouslyDelightfully
HonestlyNaturallyNearlyRightfullyUltimately
NervouslyRoughlyUnaccountablyNeverRudely
UnbearablyNicelySafelyNoisilyScarcely
UnexpectedlyUnfortunatelyObedientlySearchinglyOddly
SeeminglyUnnecessarilyOffensivelyExquisitelyOfficially
SeriouslyActuallyEnormouslyIntenselyEqually
InterestinglyAwkwardlyEventuallyExactlyClosely
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