100 IELTS tips Califronia‌KL Grammar

Correct use of adverbs (part2)

Correct use of adverbs (part2)

This is a text according to the training and IELTS test. If you have any questions, we will be happy to comment on this page.

This text is in accordance with the IELTS training in CaliforniaKL College and the IELTS test. If you have any questions, please leave a comment on this page.

Grammar Explanation: Adverbs

Adverbs are the words that modify or give extra information about verbs, adjectives, other words or whole clauses. This unit examines the form and use of adverbs, including adverb pairs with very similar forms, as well as adverbs and adjectives with the same form. This unit also looks at the position of adverbs which modify verbs and at those adverbs which convey a viewpoint or attitude or modify a whole sentence.


Forms of Adverbs

Some adverbs are not derived from other words, while others are formed by adding suffixes (eg. -ly) to other words, or are formed from groups of words. These are some common examples of adverbs (note spelling):

Not formed from other words just, well, soon, too, quite, still
Fixed phrases kind of, of course, at last

Formed from other words

adjective + -ly

noun / preposition +



tragic => tragically, excitable => excitably, easy => easily, real => really

home => homeward, after => afterwards, price => prices,

health => healthwise

some + times => sometimes

Confusing Forms

In some cases adverbs have the same forms as adjectives; in other cases, two different adverbs are derived from the same adjective:

Adverbs which have the same form as adjectives:

  • close, dead, fast, fine, long, low, pretty, short, straight, wide, wrong

Common adverbs from the same base, with different meanings: 

direct (= without stopping)

  • We flew direct from La Guardia to Houston.

directly (= immediately/very soon)

  • Don’t go. I’ll be with you directly.

late (= not on time/not early)

  • The plane arrived late due to bad weather.

lately (= recently)

  • She’s been rather ill lately.

high (= to a great height)

  • He lifted it high over his head.

highly (= extremely)

  • Arsenic is highly toxic.

hard (= with a lot of effort/ severely)

  • He braked hard when he saw the cat.

hardly (= scarcely, almost not)

  • We hardly know our neighbours.

right (= direction/correctly)

  • Turn right at the crossroads.
  • Try to do it right this time!

rightly (= correctly in my opinion)

  • The tribunal rightly condemned the war criminals.

free (= without paying)

  • We got into the concert free!

freely (= without limitation or control)

  • Sheep roam freely over the hills.

deep (= to a great depth/distance)

  • We explored deep into the jungle.

deeply (= thoroughly)

  • I’m deeply ashamed of my behaviour

Note: There are a few adjectives which look like adverbs, eg. friendly, lonely, cowardly. We cannot make these adjectives into adverbs in the usual way. We use alternative words or phrases, or the adjective with manner or way:

 X He left cowardlyly, sneaking out the back door.

 ✓ He left like a coward … ✓ He left in a cowardly way …

We use some common adjectives as adverbs in informal conversational English, although some speakers consider this incorrect:

  • They sell things very cheaply in that market.

In the informal US English real and good can be used instead of really and well:

  • She’s a real nice girl. The team’s running well this season. continue part 3
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