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?
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:
- 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:
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:
Now that you better understand what adjectives and adverbs are, it’s time to answer the burning question.
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
To change a verb to an adverb, you usually change the verb into an adjective, then add a suffix.
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”.
Carefully is the adverb of careful. Adverbs, like carefully, modify verbs. For example, “mark walked carefully into the kitchen.”
The adverb of happy is happily. It means with pleasure or enjoyment. For example, “I am happily married.”
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.”
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”.
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.