Ever confused whether to use quick or quickly, nice or nicely?
Here is a simple rule:
An adjective (comfortable, easy) describes a noun, whereas an adverb (comfortably, easily) can describe a verb, an adjective or another adverb.
e.g.: It’s a nice song. BUT: She sang nicely.
The man had a quiet voice. BUT: The man spoke quietly.
He wears expensive clothes. BUT: He dresses expensively.
The weather was extreme. BUT: The weather was extremely bad.
How to form adverbs:
In most cases, we simply add -ly to an adjective:
-polite -> politely
-careful -> carfully
If an adjective ends in -y, the adverb ends with -ily:
-angry -> angrily
-easy -> easily
If an adjective ends in -le, the adverb ends with -ly:
-probable -> probably
If an adjective ends in -ic, the adverb ends with -ically:
-basic -> basically
-tragic -> tragically
Some adverbs have the same form as adjectives:
early, late, fast, near, hard, straight, high, wrong
e.g. It is a fast car. – She drives very fast.
Special case “good”
The adjective “good” corresponds to the adverb “well”,
e.g.: He is a good pianist. – He plays the piano well.
Don’t be confused
Sometimes adjectives are used after verbs, e.g. Mike looked angry.
This can be confusing, but if you take a closer look, you will notice that “angry” in this case doesn’t describe the verb, but the person, and therefore needs to be an adjective.
Try it yourself!
1. Could I have a … (quick) word with you?
2. She writes in … (perfect) English.
3. Could you speak more … (quiet) please?