Forming adverbs

Many adverbs are formed from adjectives and end in -ly. Here are some tips to help you form adverbs and spell them correctly:

  • The basic rule is that -ly is added to the end of the adjective:
adjective adverb
quick quickly
sudden suddenly
straightforward straightforwardly

 

  • If the adjective has two syllables and ends in -y, then you need to replace the final -y with -ily:
adjective adverb
happy happily
hungry hungrily
lazy lazily

 

  • If the adjective ends with a consonant followed by -le, replace the final -e with -y on its own:
adjective adverb
terrible terribly
comfortable comfortably
incredible incredibly

 

Adjectives that end in -ly, such as friendly or lively, can't be made into adverbs by adding -ly. You have to use a different form of words, e.g. ‘in a friendly way’ or ‘in a lively way’ instead.

 

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Comparative and superlative adjectives

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Grammar and usage