building blocksAdverbs 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!

When you are sure that you understand the lesson, you can continue with the exercises.