You are here

Adverbials of manner

Level: beginner

Adverbs of manner are usually formed from adjectives by adding –ly:

badbadly quietquietly sudden > suddenly

but sometimes there are changes in spelling:

easy > easily gentle > gently careful > carefully

The adverb formed from good is well:

You speak English very well.

Adverbs of manner normally come after the verb:

He spoke angrily.

or after the object:

He opened the door quietly.

Adverbials of manner 1


Adverbials of manner 2


Level: intermediate

If an adjective already ends in -ly, we use the phrase in a …. way to express manner:

silly: He behaved in a silly way.
friendly: She spoke in a friendly way.

A few adverbs of manner have the same form as the adjective:

They all worked hard.
She usually arrives late/early
I hate driving fast.


Be careful!

hardly and lately have different meanings from hard and late:

 He could hardly walk. = It was difficult for him to walk.
 I haven't seen John lately. = I haven't seen John recently.

We often use phrases with like as adverbials of manner:

She slept like a baby.
He ran like a rabbit.

Adverbials of manner and link verbs

We very often use adverbials with like after link verbs:

Her hands felt like ice.
It smells like fresh bread.

Be careful!

We do not use adverbs of manner after link verbs. We use adjectives instead:

They looked happy. (NOT happily)
That bread smells delicious. (NOT deliciously)

Adverbials of manner 3


Adverbials of manner 4




I wanted to know if an adverbial should be put at the front, middle or back.

Hello Jason C,

That really depends on the adverbial, the context and the exact meaning you want to convey. In most situations, though, adverbials of manner come after the verb. You can read a bit more about this on this Cambridge Dictionary page.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello! In the las excercise in the subsection "intensifiers and mitigators" there is this sentence: "The children waited _rather anxiously_ for their new teacher".
I'm a little confused, because lessons say adverbials usually goes after the verb and the complement. Or shouldn't we consider "their new teacher" as the complement of the verb "waited"?
Thanks a lot.

Hello Claudia,

The position of adverbial phrases is very flexible in English. All of the following are possible:

The children waited rather anxiously for their new teacher.

The children rather anxiously waited for their new teacher.

The children waited for their new teacher rather anxiously.

Rather anxiously, the children waited for their new teacher

I think the third form is the most common and the fourth the least common, but all are grammatically possible.



The LearnEnglish Team

Is "regardless of" an adverb(ial) of manner? "He did it regardless of our opinions to the contrary."

Hello anssir66,

I wouldn't call 'regardless' an adverbial of manner. To be honest, I'm not sure what type of adverb it is. I'm afraid I'm not familiar with any commonly accepted classification of adverbs that includes it.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

It's really encapsulating.

Is this sentence, "corruption is very widespread in Nigeria" correct please?

Hello raphway

I answered your other nearly identical comment on the Adverbials page. Please do not post your comments in more than one place.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Is this sentence, "corruption is very widespread" cotter please?