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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




Hello Tim,

The adverb can be placed before the main verb or after it. Thus you can say either of these:

She had been badly treated by her friend for a long time.

She had been treated badly by her friend for a long time.

I don't think the number of auxiliary verbs makes any difference here.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir
Could you please tell me wether I am right or wrong? I would say the first is wrong but the second is correct.
eg. Your brothers as well as your mother has come.
Your brothers as well as your mother have come.
Thank you
Andrew international

Hello Andrew international,

Yes, the second one is correct and the first one is not.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team


In task 1 sentence 2 the right answer is well (other side played really well) and in task 3 sentence 6 the right answer is good (This milk doesn’t smell very good). Why do we use good instead of well in this second example? Greetings Jurgen

Hello Jurgen,

Good is an adjective form and well is an adverb. With most verbs we use the adverb. However, verbs relating to senses (look, sound, smell, taste and feel) take adjectives:

It looks good.

It smells nice. (not 'nicely')

This shirt feels wonderful. (not 'wonderfully')


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, I would like to ask a question.
I do not understand that sometimes we use -ly for adverbs, sometimes we do not use -ly.
For example; we cant say "they looked happily, we should say they look happy.
But in the exercises:"The hungry cat looked greedily (greedy) at the chicken on the dinner table" is the true answer.
Thanks for reading.

Hello domatescim,

Yes, I can see how that's confusing, but I'm afraid that English, like most languages, is not always consistent. There are many adverbs that end in 'ly', but many of the most commonly used adverbs do not end in 'ly', and in fact many have the same form as common adjectives. I'd recommend that you look carefully at words that you think are adverbs to make sure that they are functioning as adverbs in sentences.

For example, in 'They look happy', 'happy' is not an adverb but rather an adjective. This is because 'look' in this sentence is a link verb (like the verb 'be'), and link verbs are followed by an adjective (or it's also possible for a noun to come after them). If you used 'look' in a different way, you could use the adverb 'happily' with it -- for example, 'The children happily looked for Easter eggs'. In this case, 'look' has a different meaning ('search'). The sentence in the exercises is similar to the example I just gave, in which 'look' is not a link verb.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Here's double "writes" in task 2.

Hi Guys,

In the one of the exercises I see: Have you ever eaten frogs’ legs?
As I'm going through the grammar section one by one, I'm just after the noun modifier part. There you can find a warning note: "We do not talk about: The car’s door;"... So what makes that example different? The only thing that comes to my mind is that the legs are no longer a part of a frog :-).

Hello Jarek_0,

That's very observant of you! The difference between 'the car's door' and 'frogs' legs' is that a car is an inanimate object and frogs are animals. In other words, 's is most often used with people, animals or groups of living beings, and not with inanimate objects.

This is not a hard-and-fast rule that always works, but is good rule of thumb to keep in mind and adequately explains this case.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team