Adverbs in English. Types of adverbs and methods of their formation

An adverb is a part of speech that is used to describe verbs, adjectives, other adverbs and even whole sentences. There are several types of them; depending on what goals they serve in the sentence, there are adverbs of manner (how), place (where), time (when), frequency (how often), the adverb of the degree (to what extent), etc.

She walks slowly. (How does she walk? Slowly - is an adverb of manner)

Your friend is there. (Where is the friend? There - is an adverb of a place)

I am coming tomorrow. (When? Tomorrow - is an adverb of time)

We often go to the cinema. (How often? Often - is an adverb of frequency of action

You are very kind. (How much? Very - degree adverb)


Having worked out the meaning and functions of adverbs, let's now consider how this part of speech is formed.

  1. Adverbs are usually formed by adding the suffix -ly to the adjective.

Serious - seriously

  1. Adjectives ending in -le drop the ending -e and add -y.

Gentle - gently

  1. For adjectives ending in a consonant + y, a substitution of y for -ily occurs.

Happy - happily

  1. To the adjectives with the ending -l the suffix -ly is added.

Awful - awfully

  1. The adjective with the ending -ic is appended with the suffix -ally.

Dramatic - dramatically, BUT public - publicly



However, as always, there is a number of exceptions. The following words, although ending in -ly, are adjectives: elderly, cowardly, friendly, likely, deadly, lively, lonely, silly, ugly, lovely.

We have very friendly neighbours.

To use them in the meaning of adverbs, we add the words way / manner to them:

They talked to us in a friendly manner / way.


There are also adverbs whose forms coincide with adjectives: hard, fast, high, low, deep, early, late, long, near, straight, right, wrong. And also hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.

I am afraid of deep water. (adjective)

Don’t go deep into the sea! (adverb)


The following adverbs have two forms, but each of them is used with a different meaning:

  1. We found the treasure deep underground. ( = long way down)

They are deeply in love with each other. ( = very)

  1. You can use it free. ( = no need to pay)

You can speak freely, don’t worry. ( = without any restrictions)

  1. These birds can fly high. (at the big altitude)

He is a highly respected manager. ( = very much)

  1. You came late. What happened? ( = not in time)

I have been there lately. ( = recently)

  1. What film do you like most? ( = superlative form of very)

I am mostly interested in dramas. ( = mainly)

  1. Don’t stay near, it is dangerous. ( = close)

I nearly changed my mind. ( = almost)

  1. He is a pretty nice person. ( = quite)

She is prettily dressed today, isn’t she? ( = nicely)

  1. You work too hard, take some break. ( = a lot, making efforts)

They hardly speak with each other. ( = almost not)



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