Adverbs of Manner

What are Adverbs of Manner?

Adverbs of manner describe how or in what way something occurs. Let’s say Suzy is a writer and she’s writing an article that involves a fair amount of research. It’s possible to research topics at different levels of diligence. The words used to describe Suzy’s attention to detail (She can research poorly or thoroughly, for instance) are great examples of adverbs of manner. These adverbs help listeners or readers have a stronger understanding of the action. Let’s compare the following sentences and see how adverbs can dramatically change the meaning of a sentence:

  • Draven coughed.
  • Draven coughed quietly.

In the first sentence, we know that Draven coughed, but there isn’t any other information that can give us a better picture of his situation. However, the second sentence implies that Draven is making an effort not to be loud, perhaps because he’s in a public place or he didn’t want to bother anybody. The following are some example sentences with adverbs of manner:

  • She ran quickly to reach the bus stop in time.
  • Michael followed his mom obediently.
  • The dog moved reluctantly by the riverbank.
  • Carl whispered shyly that he wanted to go home.
  • They politely asked the group to leave the venue.
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Adverbs of Manner Rules

We use adverbs of manner to explain or modify verbs, more specifically in what fashion the action is done. They make verbs much more particular, noteworthy, or interesting.Take a look at the following examples: Elijah struck the ball. Elijah struck the ball powerfully. In the first sentence, you can imagine Elijah striking the ball, but the image you visualize is limited because there are no other details to help form a clearer picture. However, the second sentence indicates the effort behind Elijah’s action.
Like adjectives, adverbs can be used to show comparisons.Let’s look at the following examples:

– Taejin spoke frankly.
– Bee read the instructions carefully.

To make the comparative form of an adverb that ends in -ly, add the word more:

– Taejin spoke more frankly than his manager.
– Bee read the instructions more carefully than Melissa.

To make the superlative form of an adverb that ends in -ly, add the word most:

– Taejin spoke most frankly than everyone in the group.
– Bee read the instructions most carefully than all her classmates.
Table of Rules for Adverbs of Manner
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Adverbs Spelling Rules

Most adverb forms require adding the letters “–ly” at the end of adjectives.silent – silently
nervous – nervously
neat neatly
safe safely
obedient obediently
For adjectives that end in “–y,” change it to “i” and add “–ly”.primary –primarily
easy – easily
ready readily
lazy lazily
happy – happily
For adjectives that end in “–able,” “–ible,” and “–le,” change the “–e” to “–y.”incredible –incredibly
visible – visibly
considerable – considerably
remarkable – remarkably
horrible – horribly
For adjectives that end in “–ic,” add “–ally.”scientific – scientifically
economic – economically
energetic – energetically
tragic –tragically
historic historically
Table of Adverb Spelling Rules

Examples of Adverbs of Manner

Below are more sample sentences of adverbs in use. Notice how in sentences with the same set of words, an adverb can modify a different word and produce a different meaning.

1. Carlos easily cleared the field while talking on the phone. (Clearing the field was a breeze.)

2. Carlos cleared the field while talking on the phone easily. (Talking on the phone wasn’t hard to do.)

3. Alicia silently identified who left the meeting. (She spoke in a soft manner.)

4. Alicia identified who left the meeting silently. (The person left without making a noise.)

5. They deliberately lied to free the animals. (They lied on purpose.)

6. They lied to free the animals deliberately. (They had no help in freeing the animals.)

7. Kenneth swiftly volunteered to clean the stables. (He was quick to volunteer service.)

8. Kenneth volunteered to clean the stables swiftly. (Cleaning the stables will be fast.)

9. Velvet anxiously waited for the man to close the shop. (Velvet waited while worrying.)

10. Velvet waited for the man to close the shop anxiously. (Velvet wanted to see the man worry.)

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Adverbs of Manner Exercises with Answers

Regular practice is vital to go over what you’ve learned and check how you understand them. The exercise below exercises will help you identify adverbs of manner and how they function in sentences. Complete each sentence by choosing the correct adverb. Understand the meaning of each of the choices so they match the idea of the sentence in a sensible way.

Exercise on Adverbs of Manner

1. Priya has been training in ballet for years. Until now, she trains _______________.

A. Eagerly

B. Lazily

C. Hastily

D. Easily

2. Raymart isn’t a friendly person. He only nods _______________ when someone greets him.

A. Enthusiastically

B. Silently

C. Fondly

D. Beautifully

3. He has no idea why he’s there, so he just stood _______________ by the entrance.

A. Cheerfully

B. Angrily

C. Clearly

D. Awkwardly

4. Everyone was cheering ______________ after their team won.

A. Quietly

B. Loudy

C. Calmly

D. Correctly

5. She looked at the strange man ______________ and thought about calling the police.

A. Quickly

B. Properly

C. Suspiciously

D. Noisily


1. A: Priya has been training in ballet for years. Until now, she trains eagerly.

2. B: Raymart isn’t a friendly person. He only nods silently when someone greets him

3. D: He has no idea why he’s there, so he just stood awkwardly by the entrance.

4. B: Everyone was cheering loudly after their team won.

5. C: She looked at the strange man suspiciously and thought about calling the police.

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Adverbs of Manner List

The following is a list of adverbs of manner. The list is in alphabetical order for better reference.

Adverbs of Manner List
Table of Adverbs
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Advice for ESL Students& English Language Learners

Adverbs provide extra information and detail to sentences. Modifiers are helpful in giving a clearer portrayal of the connotation, magnitude, or implications that sentences are trying to communicate. Both adjectives and adverbs help perform this task. For this reason, adverbs are indispensable for sharpening the meanings of verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. If ESL or English Language Learners want to master adverbs they must comprehend an adverb’s purpose and incorporate it into their language use or style of communication. This includes noticing the presence of adverbs in phrases and clauses, committing spelling rules to memory, and being aware of how viable placement for an adverb should be within a sentence. Additionally, it is important for learners to properly understand types of adverbs and adverbs of degree.

Common Errors Made by English Learners

English language learners, more often than not, commit certain mistakes when it comes to adverbs. Generally, they confuse adjectives and adverbs as the two look similar in certain situations. Additionally, English language students find it hard to be cognizant of the accurate placement of adverbs which can alter and shift what they want to express. Consequently, the best approach to evade these errors is to comprehend how these adverbs work and apply them to their various forms and roles by routinely learning, practicing, and reviewing them.

Common ErrorsExplanationExample
Good and WellWell is the adverb counterpart of the adjective “good” is an adjective. Many students confuse the two because “well” can be used as an adjective regarding the subjects of health and well-being. The rule of thumb is to identify which word is being described by the modifier. An adjective should modify a noun, and an adverb should modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.For example:

– Arden is a good English teacher.
– Arden teaches English well.

In the first sentence, the word “good” describes “English teacher.” English teacher is a noun and needs an adjective to modify it, hence the use of “good.” In the second sentence, the word “well” describes “teaches.” Teaches is a verb and needs an adverb to modify it, which is why “well” is the correct word to use.
Intransitive and Transitive VerbsIntransitive verbs don’t require an object, while transitive verbs do. Place adverbs of manner after intransitive verbs and before transitive verbs.For example:

Intransitive Verbs

– Peach finished quickly yesterday.
– Dennis snored noisily.

Transitive Verbs

– She enthusiastically painted the mural (object).
– Bobby safely carried the sculpture (object).
PrepositionIn cases when there’s a preposition before the object of a transitive verb, you can either put the adverb of manner before the preposition or after the object.For example:

– He tapped me gently on the shoulder.
– He tapped me on the shoulder gently.
Table of Common Errors with Adverbs
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Learning Strategies and Best Practices with Adverbs of Manner

To learn adverbs more efficiently, English language learners should focus on understanding the different roles that parts of speech play in sentences. To become a master of adverbs, you should particularly concentrate on these topics:

  • Correct distinction between adjectives and adverbs.
  • Proper placement of adverbs of manner in sentences.
  • The relationship between various linking verbs and adverbs of manner.

Here are some pointers to strengthen your understanding of adverbs.

Learning Strategies and Best PracticesExplanationExample
Adjectives and Adverbs with the Same FormsAdverbs usually end in the letters -ly, However, some adverbs are exactly the same as their adjective forms. The most effective way to differentiate them from each other is to identify the function of the words they’re describing.Let’s look at the examples below:

– This ball is really hard.
– George shut the window hard.

In the first sentence, the word “hard” describes the word ball. The word ball is a noun, therefore “hard” is an adjective. In the second sentence, “hard” modifies the word shut. The word shut is a verb, therefore “hard” is an adverb. Let’s look at another example:

– That’s a fast horse.
– The horse runs fast.

In the first sentence, the word “fast” describes the word horse. The word horse is a noun, therefore “fast” is an adjective. In the second sentence, “fast” modifies the word runs. The word runs is a verb, therefore “fast” is an adverb.
Adverb PlacementIf you put an adverb in the wrong place, the sentence can become awkward or nonsensical. It can also change the sentence’s meaning entirely. It’s important to remember the rules of adverb placement.

Adverbs are typically placed after intransitive verbs and before transitive verbs.

In case the object of a transitive verb is preceded by a preposition, you can choose to either put the adverb after the object or before the preposition.
For example:

Intransitive Verbs

– Flynn worked carefully.
– Shoshanna watched quietly.

Transitive Verbs

– Harry gravely apologized to Sandra.
– Eula cheerfully greeted the guests.

With prepositions

– He lifted the cup softly off the table.
– He lifted the cup off the table softly.
Linking VerbsLinking verbs describe nouns rather than show actions, and they usually come in different forms of be. But verbs such as feel, smell, sound, seem, and appear function as linking verbs too.Take a look at the following examples:

– The speaker sounds loudly over the court.
– The speaker sounds loud over the court.

An adverb of manner would describe the way the action sounds plays out. Meanwhile, an adjective would describe what that sound is. “Sounds loudly” means that the word speaker makes a great noise when spoken, which doesn’t make so much sense. But since the sentence is more likely describing that the sound from the speaker is of a high volume, an adverb isn’t needed and the second sentence is the right way of expressing the meaning.
Table of Learning Strategies for Adverbs
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Adverbs of Manner Frequently Asked Questions

Modifiers are words that describe parts of speech, particularly nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Modifiers change the meaning of the words they describe. They also provide more details or explanations to describe a situation, action, or thing more fluently or eloquently. Adjectives and adverbs (along with phrases used for the same functions) are the most common examples of modifiers.

Adverbs of manner describe in what way an action happens. Adverbs of frequency, on the other hand, answer the question “how often.”

Adverbs of manner

1. She deliberately disobeyed me.
2. The witness correctly identified the thief.

Adverbs of frequency

1. I seldom go shopping these days.
2. My sister never washes the dishes.

Affirmation or Negation are two adverbial classifications that are meant to separate the positive and negative meanings of adverbs. Some examples of affirmative adverbs reinforce positive meanings such as surely, definitely, certainly, etc. Their negative counterparts are never, nowhere, scarcely, etc.

Example Sentences with Adverbs of Affirmation:
1. He will surely miss you.
2. We’ll definitely see you again.
3. He’s obviously coming to the party.

Example Sentences with Adverbs of Negation:
1. Her jewelry was nowhere near the fireplace.
2. Stella never wanted to insult them.
3. He scarcely saw his own daughter.

The following are some sentence examples that show adverbs describing adjectives. The adjectives are italicized, while the adverbs are in bold.

1. My gym trainer is incredibly patient with my excuses.
2. He’s not entirely sure if he can come to the reunion.
3. Ninin is very proud of her son’s degree in medicine.
4. Silas is completely terrified of that character.
5. The color is quite beautiful under natural light.

1. He smiled innocently at his mother.
2. She fidgeted uneasily in her seat.
3. Leta described the situation to Robby frantically.
4. We ate fast because we were running late.
5. Marklin drives speedily wherever he goes.
6. Desiree likes to be fashionably late, which annoys us to bits.
7. They remember her fondly during these moments.
8. Believe it or not, they’re happily married.
9. The group cautiously approached the haunted house.
10. Angrily, she kicked the door open.

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