Forming Adverbs from Adjectives

Here are some guidelines on forming adverbs from adjectives:

  1. In a large number of the cases, the adverb can be formed by simply adding ‘-ly’ to the adjective.

ADJECTIVE                                                  ADVERB

Cheap                                                              Cheaply

Quick                                                              Quickly

Strong                                                             Strongly


  1. If the adjective ends in with ‘y’, replace the ‘y’ with an ‘i’ and add ‘-ly’.

ADJECTIVE                                                  ADVERB

Ready                                                              Readily

Merry                                                              Merrily

Easy                                                                Easily


  1. If the adjective ends with ‘-le’, replace the ‘e’ at the end with ‘y’.

ADJECTIVE                                                  ADVERB

Understandable                                               Understandably

Forcible                                                           Forcibly

Possible                                                           Possibly


  1. If the adjective ends with ‘-ic’, add ‘-ally’.

ADJECTIVE                                                  ADVERB

Idiotic                                                             Idiotically

Tragic                                                              Tragically

Basic                                                               Basically

An exception to this rule is ‘public’, whose adverbial form is ‘publicly’.


  1. Some adjectives do not change form at all.

ADJECTIVE                                                  ADVERB

Fast                                                                 Fast

Straight                                                           Straight

Hard                                                                Hard


  1. In the case of the adjective ‘good’, the corresponding adverb is ‘well’.



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