Confusing Adverbs

Confusing Adverbs

by | Oct 25, 2021 | Grammar

A podcast on how to tell the difference between adverbs ending in “-ly” and irregular adverbs.

Don’t confuse: “Adverbs with & without -ly.”
You supposedly know that in English, the suffix “-ly” is the sign of “ADVERB”; in other words, to make an “adverb,” you can simply add “-ly” to an adjective. That’s how you make REGULAR ADVERBS.


Quick => Quickly
Loud => Loudly
Bad => Badly
Clumsy => Clumsily
Beautiful => Beautifully

Well, although in most cases that’s how we make the adverbs, that is not always true because, for some words, we may have IRREGULAR ADVERBS, which mostly look like the adjective form and usually don’t end in “-ly”:

Listen to these examples:

  • We try hard to keep our customers happy.
  • Don’t drive so fast; there’s ice on the road.
  • The plane flew low over the fields.
  • Before you open it, shake the bottle well.
  • I stayed late at work last night, and Jane was walking straight towards us.


Don’t confuse “Hard” with “Hardly.” Both are indeed adverbs, but “Hardly” is not the adverb for “Hard.” “Hardly” means “almost not,” “scarcely,” “not very often.”
e.g., I hardly ever brush my teeth.
e.g., My grandpa is way too old, and he barely remembers his family.

B) Don’t confuse “Late” with “Lately.” Both are indeed adverbs, but “Lately” is not the adverb for “Late.” “Lately” means “recently.”
e.g., We haven’t met lately.
e.g., What has he been up to lately?

Confusing Adverbs

About the Author

About the Author

Online Tutor and Content Writer

Nikki Akrainejad is an English teacher and a content writer at IELTS  Juice Online Academy.


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