There are three forms of adverbs: adverbs formed by adding -ly to an adjective, adverbs that share identical words with an adjective, and adverbs not derived from an adjective or any other word.

a) Most adverbs are formed by adding -ly to an adjective:

  • He had a sudden heart attack while jogging. (Adjective)
  • He suddenly had a heart attack while jogging. (Adverb)
  • She had a quick walk to get there on time. (Adjective)
  • She walked quickly to get there on time. (Adverb)
(See List 8 - Adverbs for more examples.)


b) Adverbs that share identical words with an adjective:

  • He found the exam quite hard. (Adjective)
  • He failed his exam as he didn't try very hard. (Adverb)
  • The two brothers live on opposite sides of the city. (Adjective)
  • She has a brother who lives opposite to her. (Adverb)


c) Adverbs such as as, even, how, never, next, now, rather, so, soon, still, then, too, etc.

  • He doesn't even know where the Pacific Ocean is.
  • He said he had never been to a circus.
  • She has got rather a lot of money to spend at this time of the month.
  • She has eaten two big pizzas and is still hungry.

Converting a number of adjectives to adverbs by adding -ly entails removing a letter as shown in the following:

  • by adding –ly or –ally to the end of an adjective (quick –quickly, heroic –heroically),
  • by adding –ly after removing the last –e from an adjective (comfortable–comfortably, possible–possibly), or
  • by dropping the last y from an adjectiveand replacing it with –ily (easy–easily, happy–happily).

Adverbs are also formed from other parts of speech such as noun (accident)and verb (hurry), and from present participle (frightening).

  • She deleted my file by accident. (Noun)
  • She accidentally deleted my file. (Adverb)
  • Nick hurried to answer the telephone. (Verb)
  • Nick moved hurriedly to answer the telephone. (Adverb)
  • He's frightening us with the speed he's driving. (present participle)
  • He's driving frighteningly close to the edge of the pavement. (Adverb)