An adverb gives us more information about a verb. It can be in the form of a single word (happily) or in a phrase (in the town) and the term adverbial is often used to describe both forms.

Adverbs can be thought of as answering questions, such as How? (manner), Where? (place), When? (time), How often? (frequency), and To what extent? (degree).

Adverbs of Manner.

Add -ly to an adjective: quick/quickly

After a consonant, -y changes to – i happy/happily

Some words can be used as adverbs or adjectives without adding –ly or –ily


He was a fast worker => He worked fast

Other examples are: better, best, early, hard, high, last, late, monthly, near, wide, worse.

Adverbs that can cause confusion

Adverbs that can cause confusion

Some adverbs have two forms, one with –ly and one without-ly.

These forms have different meanings and uses:e.g.


He tried hard to find work, but had no luck (=he made a big effort)

He hardly tried at all to find work (=he made almost no effort)


I came late for the meeting (= not on time)

We have been having many meetings lately. (= recently)


I have just submitted my proposal so there is no feedback yet. (= a short time ago)

I was not treated justly by my boss. He fired me for no reason. (= in an unfair manner)

Exercise2 - Drag and drop. (Elementary)

Exercise 1 Spot the mistake (Elementary)

Five of the following sentences contain an error with the form of the adverb. If there is an error, write the correct form in the space that follows. Otherwise, write x or n/a.

Exercise2 - Drop-down list. (Elementary)

Choose the right adverb in each sentence.

Exercise 3 Matching (Advanced)

Substitute the adverbs on right column for the adverbial phrases in the sentences on left column. Each adverb matches one of the sentences.