List 8 - Adverbs

Some adverbs have two forms which are used in different ways. One form ends in –ly while the other form doesn’t end in –ly. All the forms without the –ly endings can also be used as adjectives.  


cheap cheaply
close closely
deep deeply
direct directly
free freely
hard hardly
high highly
last lastly
late lately
loud loudly
low lowly
near nearly
real really
right rightly
sharp sharply
short shortly
strong strongly
tight tightly
wide widely
wrong wrongly




  • The boss told him he was free to leave if he wasn't happy working there. (Adjective)
  • My barber friend let me have a haircut for free. (Adverb)
  • He freely admitted to his mother that he had escaped from the prison. (Adverb)


  • I am unlikely to own a car in the near future. (Adjective)
  • Don’t go too near to the tree; it could be struck by lightning. (Adverb)
  • The son is nearly as skinny as his father. (Adverb)


  • Let's walk the short distance to the library. (Adjective)
  • We had to cut short the boat trip when everyone complained of feelings of seasickness. (Adverb)
  • They had a real fight shortly before their marriage. (Adverb)






Like the comparison of adjectives, adverbs have three degrees of comparison: the Positive, the Comparative, and the Superlative. Most adverbs end in –ly, and they form the Comparative with more and the superlative with most. The following table shows some of the adverbs ending in –ly.

  • The team played brilliantly against a stronger opponent. (Positive)
  • The team has to play more passionately to win more matches. (Comparative)
  • The team needs another striker in order to play most effectively. (Superlative)
Positive Comparative Superlative
angrily more angrily most angrily
anxiously more anxiously most anxiously
beautifully more beautifully most beautifully
bravely more bravely most bravely
brightly more brightly most brightly
busily more busily most busily
carefully more carefully most carefully
cheerfully more cheerfully most cheerfully
clearly more clearly most clearly
cleverly more cleverly most cleverly
comfortably more comfortably most comfortably
cowardly more cowardly most cowardly
cruelly more cruelly most cruelly
dearly more dearly most dearly
dimly more dimly most dimly
directly more directly most directly
easily more easily most easily
famously more famously most famously
fiercely more fiercely most fiercely
foolishly more foolishly most foolishly
freely more freely most freely
frequently more frequently most frequently
gladly more gladly most gladly
happily more happily most happily
hardly more hardly most hardly
heavily more heavily most heavily
horribly horribly most horribly
justly more justly most justly
kindly more kindly most kindly
lazily more lazily most lazily
lightly more lightly most lightly
loudly more loudly most loudly
mentally more mentally most mentally
merrily more merrily most merrily
morally more morally most morally
neatly more neatly most neatly
noisily more noisily most noisily
notoriously more notoriously most notoriously
patiently more patiently most patiently
pleasantly more pleasantly most pleasantly
politely more politely most politely
proudly more proudly most proudly
quickly more quickly most quickly
quietly more quietly most quietly
roughly more roughly most roughly
sadly more sadly most sadly
safely more safely most safely
silently more silently most silently
skilfully more skilfully most skilfully
slowly more slowly most slowly
soundly more soundly most soundly
strangely more strangely most strangely
strictly more strictly most strictly
sweetly more sweetly most sweetly
swiftly more swiftly most swiftly
terribly more terribly most terribly
violently more violently most violently
wastefully more wastefully most wastefully
wisely more wisely most wisely
wonderfully more wonderfully most wonderfully