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Forming Adverbs From Adjectives

Converting an adjective to an adverb

You will want to form an adverb from an adjective to describe the manner in which something happens. The process for doing this conversion is quite simple, but it depends on the end of the word.

The -ly suffix

In most cases, you can add ly to the end of the adjective to make it an adverb. 


  • You can find the book online pretty cheaply. (‘Cheap’)
  • He walked quickly away from the scene. (‘Quick’)

The -ily suffix

The -ily suffix is for adjectives that end in -y.


  • That was easily the best film I’ve ever seen. (‘Easy’)
  • My colleague will happily help you with that. (‘Happy’)

The -y suffix

You will need the -y suffix when the adjective ends in -le, -able or –ible. Simply replace the ‘e’ on the end of the word with a ‘y’. 


  • You seem noticeably happier. 
  • He is always fashionably late. 

The -ally suffix 

The -ally suffix is usually used for adjectives that end in -ic


  • The clown’s car was comically small.
  • I tend to be physically fitter in the Summer.

Other adjective to adverb conversion rules

There are some exceptions to keep in mind which means the conversion doesn’t always follow the formula outlined above.


  • There is no adverb form of ‘good’ – instead, use ‘well’.
  • Sometimes, the adverb form of an adjective is the same word. Examples: hard, fast, high.

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