Unit 9.1

Adverbs of Manner

Introduction

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

Adverbs of manner are used to provide information about the way (how) something is done.

Form

Adverbs of manner usually come after a verb and sometimes before it and can be used after words like very or too. They can be regular or irregular.

Regular

In most cases, we obtain the adverb of manner by adding -ly to the adjective. For example:

Adjective Adverb
bad badly
exact exactly
loud loudly
nice nicely
polite politely

Irregular

There are various irregularities to the formation of adverbs of manner, so we don’t follow the same rule or simply maintain the same form of the adjective. For example:

Adjective Adverb
fast fast
good well
hard hard
late late
straight straight

Example

Regular:

  • I was badly hurt in the accident.
  • You didn’t know exactly how to use the machine.
  • He told them that he had a headache but they continued talking very loudly.
  • She combed her hair nicely.
  • We went to the Social Welfare and asked politely for help.

Irregular:

  • My brother drives fast.
  • She said it well.
  • I worked hard all day, I need a break.
  • I got to her house a bit late. 
  • Hold the bottle straight.

Use

We use adverbs of manner to express the way or how something happens or is done (badly, exactly, loudly, nicely, politely, fast, well, hard, late, straight…).

They can be used with:

  • very: to add emphasis to adjectives and adverbs that are able to be graded;
  • too: to mean more than wanted, more than necessary or more than enough.

Summary

Adverbs of manner give information about the way (how) something is done, and they emphasise the action. They usually come after a verb and sometimes before it.

They are formed by adding -ly to the adjective (badly, exactly, loudly, nicely, politely…).

For example:
“Quick” ⇒ “He quickly kissed the girl on the cheek.” / “He very quickly kissed the girl on the cheek.” = We add -ly, and very to add extra emphasis to the action.

Some adverbs of manner are irregular and maintain the same form as adjectives (fast, well, hard, late, straight…).

For example:
“Straight” ⇒ “Walk straight, the Chinese restaurant is there.” = Straight remains the same.

NOTE: They can be used after words like very or too.

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

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