How Are Most Adjectives Changed into Adverbs? (Full Explanation)

Adjectives are typically transformed into adverbs by adding “-ly” to the end of the word, or with slight modifications such as replacing “-y” with “-ily”, changing “-le” to “-ly”, or adding “-ally” to adjectives ending in “-ic”.

There are a lot of interesting rules in English grammar that allow you to mold the language in a unique way. One process that’s worth noting is changing adjectives into adverbs. The question then arises: how are most adjectives changed into adverbs?

This article will explain how most adjectives are changed into adverbs to help you understand the process and accurately use it in your writing. However, you must first understand what an adjective and an adverb are, so let’s start with that.

What Is an Adjective?

boy looking at a tall man with a green background

An adjective is a word used to modify nouns or pronouns. 

Adjectives can be descriptive, quantifying, possessive, numeral, or carry other qualities. You can also combine them to create coordinate adjectives or cumulative adjectives. In this article, we’ll focus mainly on descriptive adjectives, which describe something in more detail to emphasize its quality. 

You often find adjectives before the noun, but they can also be after the noun, depending on the sentence structure. Regardless of their physical position, adjectives describe nouns.

Here are a few examples of adjectives in action. And if you want to use some less specific adjectives, check out our indefinite adjectives examples for your writing.

  • I love looking at the blue sky.
  • Today is a rainy day.
  • George is a tall man.

Here’s a list of some of the most common adjectives you’ll come across in the English language:

  • Beautiful
  • Wonderful
  • Quick
  • Tall 
  • Short

What Are Examples Of Adjectives?

The below table contains common adjective examples.

SizeSmall, Large, Tiny, Huge, Massive
QuantityFew, Many, Several, Numerous, Ample
QualityGood, Bad, Excellent, Poor, Mediocre
AppearanceBeautiful, Ugly, Elegant, Sloppy, Neat
AgeYoung, Old, Ancient, New, Modern
ColorRed, Blue, Green, Yellow, Purple
ShapeRound, Square, Triangular, Flat, Curved
PersonalityKind, Rude, Friendly, Shy, Outgoing
TemperatureHot, Cold, Warm, Chilly, Boiling
TimeQuick, Slow, Rapid, Brief, Lengthy
TextureSmooth, Rough, Soft, Hard, Bumpy
SoundLoud, Quiet, Noisy, Hushed, Melodious
Taste/SmellSweet, Sour, Bitter, Fragrant, Pungent
EmotionHappy, Sad, Angry, Peaceful, Anxious
MaterialWooden, Metallic, Plastic, Glass, Cotton

What Is an Adverb?

An adverb is a part of speech that is similar to an adjective. The main difference is adverbs describe verbs. You can also find adverbs before and after nouns, but they usually appear next to the word they modify.

  • Take the word anyway or anyways for example, which means nevertheless or regardless.

Here are a few more examples of adverbs in a sentence: 

  • Jessica walked quickly.
  • Steve ate slowly.
  • Leanna cautiously drove to the grocery store.

Adverbs, like yep or yup, are more useful than adjectives because you can use them to describe adjectives, vivid verbs, clauses, phrases, and even other adverbs. For example, in “drive safely or drive safe” the adverb safely modifies the verb drive. They also have more flexibility than adjectives when it comes to positioning in a sentence, as you can move them around without changing the meaning of the entire sentence. 

To illustrate, check out the following example:

  • Stacey ate her food quickly.
  • Stacey quickly ate her food.

Both sentences are grammatically correct and have the same sentence even though “quickly” changes positions in the sentence. Despite this flexibility, keep in mind that it’s better to keep the adverb near the verb it’s modifying in writing longer sentences.

Here are some of the most common adverbs you’ll come across in English: 

  • Carefully
  • Quickly
  • Quietly
  • Patiently
  • Beautifully

Now that you better understand what adjectives and adverbs are, it’s time to answer the burning question.

What Are Examples Of Adverbs?

Here are examples of adverbs in the table below.

MannerQuickly, Slowly, Carefully, Easily, Loudly
PlaceHere, There, Everywhere, Nearby, Inside
TimeNow, Later, Soon, Yesterday, Tomorrow
FrequencyOften, Always, Rarely, Sometimes, Never
DegreeVery, Quite, Almost, Too, Enough
AffirmationCertainly, Definitely, Clearly, Indeed, Absolutely
NegationNot, Never, Neither, Nor, None
ProbabilityMaybe, Perhaps, Likely, Possibly, Probably
DirectionUp, Down, Left, Right, Forward
SequenceFirst, Next, Then, Finally, Lastly
EmphasisActually, Obviously, Especially, Particularly, Truly
ComparisonMore, Less, As, Than, Similarly
Cause/EffectTherefore, Consequently, Hence, Thus, Accordingly
ViewpointPersonally, Officially, Objectively, Subjectively
ExampleFor example, For instance, Namely, Specifically

How Are Most Adjectives Changed into Adverbs?

Both adverbs and adjectives derive from root words. Many adverbs and adjectives share root words — primarily nouns — such as “beautiful” and “beautifully,” which come from the noun “beauty.” This is an excellent introduction to how to change most adjectives to adverbs.

For the most part, changing adjectives into adverbs is simpler than you might think as long as you keep track of a few simple rules.

Let’s walk through a few rules for changing adjectives into adverbs.

Rule DescriptionExample: Adjective to AdverbProcess Explanation
Adding “-ly”Quick to QuicklyMost adjectives can be turned into adverbs by adding “-ly” to the end.
Adjectives Ending in “-y”Happy to HappilyFor adjectives ending in “-y”, replace the “y” with “i” and add “-ly”.
Adjectives Ending with “-le”Gentle to GentlyWhen an adjective ends in “-le”, replace the “e” with “y”.
Adjectives Ending in “-ic”Tragic to TragicallyFor adjectives that end in “-ic”, add “-ally” to the end.

1. Adding “-ly”

Adding “-ly” is the easiest rule to remember and will be how you modify most adjectives to turn them into adverbs.

To change most adjectives to adverbs, simply add “-ly” to the end of the adjective, as in the following examples:

  • Beautiful = beautifully
  • Magical = magically
  • Interesting = Interestingly

Other adjectives that end with certain letters will follow different rules for changing into an adverb. Add -ly to causal and it becomes causally (adverb).

2. Adjectives that end in “-y”

For an adjective form that ends in “-y” you’ll have to do a little more modifying. First, replace the “y” at the end of the word with an “i.” From there, again, add “-ly” to the end of the word to finish the transformation into an adverb.


  • Easy = easily
  • Lazy = lazily
  • Happy = happily
  • Angry = angrily

3. Adjectives that end with “-le”

For adjectives ending in “-le,” including adjectives ending in “-able” or “-ible,” replace the “-e” at the end of the word with a “-y.”

Here are some examples of this adverb form:

  • Horrible = horribly
  • Memorable = memorably 
  • Gentle = gently

4. Adjectives that end in “-ic”

To change adjectives that end in “-ic” into adverbs, add “-ally” to the end of the word. One of the few exceptions to this rule is the adjective “public,” when in adverb form is “publicly.” Otherwise, here are some other examples:

  • Basic = basically
  • Manic = maniacally
  • Tragic = tragically


There are always exceptions in the English language, and changing adjectives to adverbs is no exception. Take the phrase too bad for example.

There are a few adverbs that have the same form as adjectives, such as:

  • Early
  • Fast 
  • Hard
  • Straight
  • Near

Moreover, to turn the adjective “good” into an adverb, you replace it with the word “well.”


  • This is a good pizza.
  • He’s doing well.

FAQs – Adverbs & Adjectives

Can an adjective be an adverb?

Yes, some words can act as both an adjective and an adverb. For example, the word “soon” can be used to describe how something happened (adjective), as in “the party soon ended”, or it can be used to describe when something will happen (adverb), as in “I will see you soon.” However, most adjectives can easily be made into adverbs by adding the suffix “-ly”. Take the adverb badly for example.

How do you usually change a verb to an adverb?

To change a verb to an adverb, you usually change the verb into an adjective, then add a suffix.

Do all adverbs end in ly?

Not all adverbs end in “ly.” Some examples of common adverbs that do not end in “ly” are: quickly, slowly, well, and often. So don’t think you can identify adverbs by simply looking for the suffix “-ly”.

What is the adverb of careful?

Carefully is the adverb of careful. Adverbs, like carefully, modify verbs. For example, “mark walked carefully into the kitchen.”

What is the adverb of happy?

The adverb of happy is happily. It means with pleasure or enjoyment. For example, “I am happily married.”

What is the adverb of fast?

The adverb of fast is quickly. This means that something happens quickly or moves quickly. You can also use the word fast to describe how you do something. For example, “I eat fast.”

What is the adverb of hard?

Hardly is the adverb form of hard. The word hardly is often used to describe how difficult something is. For example, “I could hardly hear him speak”.

What are Linking Verb?

A linking verb links a subject with its predicate. It is used to show the relationship between the two. Some common linking verbs are am, is, are, was, were, been, and being.

The Bottom Line

As you’ve learned from this article, you can turn adjectives into adverbs by simply adding the “-ly” to the end of the adjective. However, there are a few adjectives that follow different spelling rules and others that follow no spelling rules at all. 

It may take some time to spot the difference but turning adjectives into adverbs will eventually come easy to you. If you need help with other areas of your writing, check out Grammarly or QuillBot.