Unit 9.1

Adverbs Formation


Adverbs are expressions that function as modifiers of other elements in the clause. They can provide a wide range of information.


Adverbs can be formed from adjectives according to their suffix. The various cases of the formation of adverbs are:


The adverbs are formed by just adding -ly to adjectives.

Adjective Adverb
bad badly
beautiful beautifully
complete completely
extreme extremely
slow slowly


Exceptions to the regular formation:

  • Adjective with suffix -y : change to -i before adding -ly.
Adjective Adverb
easy easily
happy happily
nasty nastily
  • If an adjective ends with consonant + -le, -e becomes -y.
Adjective Adverb
gentle gently
idle idly
noble nobly
  • Adjective with suffix -ic: add -ally.
Adjective Adverb
drastic drastically
enthusiastic enthusiastically
tragic tragically


There are also some irregular adverbs:

Adjective Adverb
full fully
public publicly
shy shyly
true truly

Friendly and timely are adjectives and if we want to use them as adverbs, we follow these structures:

  • Friendly ⇒ in a friendly manner;
  • Timely ⇒ in a timely manner.



Most of the adverbs

  • He was answering slowly.

Adjective with suffix -y

  • She easily moved to another flat.

Adjective ending with consonant + -le, -e

  • She gently opened the pack of flour.
  • You idly ate that tin of tuna.

Adjective with suffix -ic

  • They enthusiastically made a jar of marmalade.


  • She shyly asked a question.
  • We offered her some orange juice in a friendly manner.


We use an adverb to describe or give more information about a verb, adjective, phrase or another adverb.


Adverbs are expressions that function as modifiers of other elements in the clause. They give more information. In most cases, we are able to make an adverb from an adjective by simply adding -ly.

For example:
“Beautiful” ⇒ “Beautifully“. = We add -ly at the end of the adjective.

There are some exceptions, depending on the ending of the adjectives.

For example:
— With suffix-y, we change -y to -i and add -ly: “Easy ⇒ “Easily“.
— With Consonant + -le, we change -e to -y: “Noble ⇒ “Nobly“.
— With suffix -ic, we add -ally: “Drastic ⇒ “Drastically“.

Some adverbs are irregular and there is no rule for their formation (fully, publiclyin a timely manner…).

For example:
— “Publicly” ⇒ “Publicly”.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. And take a look to the [Examples] that show its use within a context.