[adjective + ly]

There are also irregular adverbs such as “well” and “fast.”

USE 1 : Adverbs can be used to modify verbs.
* John walked quickly towards the door.
* Sally sat silently waiting for somebody else to speak first.

USE 2 : Adverbs can be used to modify adjectives.
* The redwood tree was impressively tall.
* The blouse was outrageously expensive.

USE 3 : Adverbs can be used to modify other adverbs.
* She spoke extremely confidently.
* The cheetah ran incredibly quickly.


There are many different adjective endings including “-ive,” “-ous,” “-y,” “-ful,” “-ent” and many others. “Attractive,” “envious,” “lazy,” “beautiful,” and “intelligent” are all adjectives.

USE 1 : Adjectives can be used to modify nouns.
* Jack drives a big car.
* Sally writes beautiful poems.

USE 2 : Adjectives often follow linking verbs (described below).
* Max is tall.
* Sandra seems mad.

Linking Verbs

    • to appear
    • to be
    • to become
    • to feel
    • to get
    • to go
    • to grow
    • to look
    • to prove
    • to remain
    • to seem
    • to smell
    • to sound
    • to stay
    • to taste
    • to turn


The linking verbs above are often followed by adjectives instead of adverbs. In such situations, the adjective describes the subject of the sentence rather than the verb. Study the examples below to learn the difference.


  • Mary seemed sad. Correct
  • Mary seemed sadly. Not Correct
  • The cake tastes good. Correct
  • The cake tastes well. Not Correct
  • The train is slow. Correct
  • The train is slowly. Not Correct
  • James grew tired. Correct
  • Sarah remained calm. Correct
  • The milk went bad. Correct
  • The seas turned rough. Correct
  • The negotiations proved pointless. Correct


The verbs in the list above are not always used as linking verbs. Compare the examples below.


  • Sally grew angry.
    “Angry” describes Sally. In this sentence, “to grow” is being used as a linking verb meaning “to become.”
  • The plant grew quickly.
    “Quickly” does not describe the plant, it describes the manner in which it grows. In this sentence, “to grow” is not being used as a linking verb.


  1. Jack spoke (confident/confidently) to the audience urging them to elect him president of the union. He knew he had a (good/well) chance of winning the election.
  2. Melanie (quick/quickly) ate her lunch. She knew the meeting was )important/important) and she didn’t want to be late.
  3. Sophie lived in Thailand for several years. She speaks Thai (fluent/fluently), and she knows the culture very (good/well).
  4. The (hotly/hot), humid weather made it difficult to enjoy the tropical beach. Miriam seemed more (comfortable/comfortably) than relaxed.
  5. The entrance examination is (extreme/extremely) challenging. Very few people make it into the (prestigious/prestigiously) medical school.
  6. This airline’s (complete/completely) lack of organization is astounding. I have been very (patient/patiently) up to this point, but I am going to lose my temper if you don’t find my baggage immediately.
  7. The young girl sings (amazing/amazingly) well for someone her age. Her performance was (spectacular/spectacularly) to say the least.
  8. The skies became surprisingly (darkly/dark) as the moon moved between the Earth and the Sun. As the eclipse progressed, the people in the streets stood (silent/silently) waiting for the sun’s warmth to return.
  9. Although Beth speaks (softly/soft) and seems quite (timid/timidly), she is the leading expert in her field. Don’t underestimate her abilities.
  10. After the medieval cathedral was (tragic/tragically) burnt down last year, the city (quick/quickly) rebuilt it stone for stone. It looks exactly the same as it did before the fire.
  11. We (gradual/gradually) noticed changes in Diane’s personality; she became (quiet/quietly) and withdrawn from her friends and family. We finally realized that we had to do something about her drinking problem before it was too late.
  12. Nicole grew (tired/tiredly) from the hours of overtime at work. It became quite (obvious/obviously) that she needed a long vacation.
  13. The tomato plants grew (quick/quickly) in the rich soil. Mrs. Ficara intended to use the homegrown tomatoes to make her (delicious/deliciously) tempting lasagna.
  14. Mr. Tanzer )generous/generously) donated $1,000,000 to the law school’s scholarship fund. With this money, they will be able to help low-income students cope with the (increasing/increasingly) cost of education.
  15. Tim is (god/well) known for his sense of humor. Last Saturday, when he told the joke about the fireman and the school teacher, everybody there started laughing (uncontrollable/uncontrollably).


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