Look at these examples:
– Our vacation was too short – the time passed very quickly.
– Two people were seriously injured in the accident.
Quickly and seriously are adverbs. Many adverbs are formed from an adjective + -ly:
For spelling, see Appendix 6.
Not all words ending in -ly are adverbs end in -ly, too for example
Adjective or adverb?
Adjectives (quick/careful, etc.) tell us about a noun (somebody or something).
We use adjectives before nouns:
– Tom is a careful driver.
(not a carefully driver)
– We didn’t go out because of the heavy rain.
Adverbs (quickly/carefully, etc.) tell us about a verb (how somebody does something or how something happens):
– Tom drove carefully along the narrow road. (not drove careful)
– We didn’t go out because it was raining heavily. (not raining heavy)
– She speaks perfect English.
adjective + noun
– She speaks English perfectly.
verb + noun + adverb
We also use adjectives after some verbs, especially be, and also look/feel/sound, etc.
– Please be quiet.
– I was disappointed that my exam results were so bad.
– Why do you always look so serious?
– I feel happy.
– Please speak quietly.
– I was unhappy that I did so badly on the exam. (not did so bad)
– Why do you never take me seriously
– The children were playing happily
We also use adverbs before adjectives and other adverbs. For example:
reasonably cheap (adverb + adjective)
terribly sorry (adverb + adjective)
incredibly quickly (adverb + adverb)
- It’s reasonably cheap restaurant, and the food is extremely good.
- I’m terribly sorry. I didn’t mean to push you. (not terrible sorry)
- Maria learns languages incredibly quickly
- The test was surprisingly easy.
You can also use an adverb before a past participle (injured/organized/written, etc.):
– Two people were seriously injured in the accident. (not serious injured)
– The conference was very badly organized.