[Adverbs] – Lesson 3: Adverbs of manner

Adverbs describe the time when something happens, the place where something happens or how something happens. They tell us more about verbs. We can ask these questions:

Question Answer Type
When? yesterday, today, now, later… adverbs of time
Where? here, there, everywhere, home, away, … adverbs of place
How? slowly, happily, well… adverbs of manner

Adverbs of Manner

Let’s work on adverbs of manner!

Read this example:

Tom drove carefully along the narrow road.

How did Tom drive? Carefully!
In what way did Tom drive? Carefully!


Tom is a careful driver.

Here, careful is an adjective and gives more information about what kind of driver Tom is. Adjectives usually follow the verb “to be” and come before a noun.

How can we make adverbs?

Usually, we make adverbs by adding “ly” to the end of an adjective.


nice arrrow to the right nicely
clear arrrow to the right clearly

Sometimes, we must change the “y” at the end of the adjective and add “ily” to make the adverb.


heavy arrrow to the right heavily
lazy arrrow to the right lazily

Be careful! Some adjectives end in “ly” and are NOT adverbs.


She is a lovely woman.
They are very friendly, aren’t they?

Now we know how to use adverbs of manner to describe more about the way we do things. Let’s look at three more examples. Can you find the adverbs?

My mother sings beautifully, but my father sings very badly.

When I was a child, I couldn’t swim very quickly, but now I can!

They don’t like the teacher because she speaks so loudly.

Be careful! There are some very common exceptions!!

“Good” is an adjective.

Your pronunciation is very good.

“Well” is an adverb.

You speak very well.
He can’t play tennis well.

The words “fast,” “late,” and “hard” are adjectives and adverbs.

Adjective Adverb
Mary was a fast runner in high school. Mary could run very fast.        (not fastly)
The bus was late. The bus arrived late today.     (not lately*)
John is a hard worker. John works hard every day.    (not hardly**)

*Lately is an adverb, but it means “recently”.

I have been feeling tired lately.

**Hardly is an adverb, but it means “almost not at all.”

She hardly ate anything today.

Now, we need to know how to compare how things are done. You can follow the same rules that we use with adjectives!


Ann speaks French fluently. Jack can’t speak French fluently.

Ann speaks French more fluently than Jack, OR
Jack speaks French less fluently than Ann, OR
Jack doesn’t speak French as fluently as Ann.

Ann speaks French the most fluently in the whole office.

This is the “superlative”. It compares three or more people/things.


Bob studies seriously.
Dan doesn’t study seriously.

Bob studies more seriously than Dan, or…
Dan studies less seriously than Bob, or…
Dan doesn’t study as seriously as Bob.

Bob studies the most seriously of all the students in his class.

Do you remember those exceptions above? (fast/late/hard/well)

Let’s see how to compare ideas with these!


Margaret runs faster than me, but Bob runs the fastest on our team.

Joe arrives home later than his children. His wife arrives home the latest in the family.

Sally works much harder than her sister in the family business, but her brother works the hardest.

My mother sings better than my father. In fact, my mother sings the best in our whole family!

[Adverbs] – Lesson 2: Adverbs of frequency

always, usually, regularly, normally, often, sometimes, occasionally, rarely, seldom, never are adverbs of frequency.

The position of these adverbs is:

before the main verb

Adverb of frequency Verb
I always get up at 6.45.
Peter can usually play football on Sundays.
Mandy has sometimes got lots of homework.

after a form of to be am, are, is (was, were)

Verb Adverb of frequency
Susan is never late.

The adverbs often, usually, sometimes and occasionally can go at the beginning of a sentence.
Sometimes I go swimming.
Often we surf the internet.

Somtimes these adverbs are put at the end of the sentence.
We read books occasionally.

[Adverbs] – Lesson 1: What are adverbs?

We use an adverb to say how an action is performed. He speaks English fluently.
She answered correctly.
We use an adverb to add information about the time/place/manner. How long have you lived here?
We can use an adverb to add information to an adjective. She was extremely happy to see him again.
really hate travelling by train.


Forms of adverbs
Most adverbs are formed by adding -ly to an adjective.
There are some exceptions – irregular adverbs.
nicely, quickly, beautifully, happily, economically
If the adjective ends in -ic we add ally. basic – basically, dramatic – dramatically
Some adverbs are irregular: they have the same form as the adjective.

The adjective good is irregular: its adverb form iswell.

fast, daily, late, early, hard

good – well


Adverbs – common mistakes
Common mistakes Correct version Why?
The camera works perfect. The camera works perfectly. We use an adverb
(perfectly – adverb, perfect – adjective) when we want to say how we do something.
Did you work hardly today? Did you work hard today? Some adverbs have the same form as the adjective: hard – hard, fast – fast, late – late.
She behaved rather sillily.

She passed the exam difficultly.

She behaved in a silly way.

She passed the exam with difficulty.

Some adjectives (including many ending in -ly) don’t have an adverb equivalent. Instead, we use an adverbial phrase (in a friendly manner, in a silly way, with difficulty).
His answer sounded correctly.
He looks happily.
His answer sounded correct.
He looks happy.
After linking verbs (looksound,tastesmellfeelseem) we use adjectives, not adverbs.