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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. Below you can see the various cases of the formation of adverbs.


Add -ly.

Bad Badly
Beautiful Beautifully
Complete Completely
Extreme Extremely
Slow Slowly

If an adjective ends with “-y” we change it to “i” before adding -ly.

Easy Easily
Happy Happily
Nasty Nastily

If an adjective ends with “consonant + –le“, “-e” becomes “-y“.

Able Ably
Idle Idly
Noble Nobly

If an adjective ends witch “-ic“, we add “-ally“.

Drastic Drastically
Enthusiastic Enthusiastically
Tragic Tragically


Full Fully
True Truly
Shy Shyly
Public Publicly

“Friendly” and “timely” are adjectives and if we want to use them as adverbs, we follows this structure:

  • Friendly ⇒ in a friendly manner;
  • Timely ⇒ in a timely manner.
  • He was answering slowly.
  • I will happily accept the wine they give to me.
  • You idly ate that tin of tuna.
  • They enthusiastically made a jar of marmalade.
  • She shyly asked a question.
  • We offered her some orange juice in a friendly manner.

An adverb is a word that describes or gives more information about a verb, adjective, adverb, or phrase. Adverbs  have several rules for creation but also many irregularities. How to use them and further irregularities can be found in the related pages.

Adverbs are expressions that function as modifiers of other elements in the clause. When we make adverbs from adjectives we follow a general rule. There are also many irregularities.

For example:
Add -ly: “I wrapped a box of biscuits beautifully.” = Generally we form an Adverb by adding -ly.
Adjective ending with -y: “I can easily drink alcoholic drinks.” = We change -y to -i and add -ly.
Consonant + -le: The knight who nobly fought was thirsty.” = -e at the end becomes -y.
— Adjective ending with -ic:
Steak prices drastically changed.” = Adjective takes -ally to become an adverb.

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


Adverbs - Formation Copyright © 2016 by My Language Skills. All Rights Reserved.