An adverb is the part of speech that describes, modifies or provides more information about a verb in a sentence. An adverb can also be used to modify or qualify adjectives, other adverbs, or whole word groups. Many adverbs in the English language end with the suffix -ly, since this is a quick and easy way to turn an adjective into an adverb. For instance, the adjective "sad" transforms into the adverb "sadly" by adding -ly to the end. The same is true where "perfect" becomes "perfectly."
The -ly suffix is also an excellent way to describe how something, or how often, something is done. While not a hard and fast rule, and there are certainly many exceptions, spotting the -ly ending in a word is oftentimes a good indicator that you're looking at an adverb. Many adverbs end in -ly, but not all of them do. Common adverbs that don't end in -ly include "very" and "never."
Common Adverbs Ending with -ly
This list is understandably not completely exhaustive. For even more examples of adverbs, be sure to read our list of 100 adverbs. However, here are 64 examples of adverbs ending with -ly to get you started:
Adverbs With -Ly in Sentences
One of the best way to understand how adverbs work is to see them in action in some sample sentences.
- She looked upon the creature inquisitively.
- George has been lazily lounging around the house all day.
- I'm afraid the knight was mortally wounded in battle.
- Nervously, Alice turned the knob and opened the door.
- And they lived merrily ever after.
- The circumstances rapidly changed overnight.
- As he turned sharply, the parcel flew out the window.
- They embraced one another warmly.
- Sara took her time, but she got there eventually.
- The committee hastily organized the event for the weekend.
Use Adverbs Correctly
Exercise a watchful eye when you're using adverbs, as people often used them incorrectly, getting them confused with adjectives. A very common error that people make is to say "I ran to the store quick" or "He runs very quick." This is not the proper usage of the word "quick."
In these sentences, "quick" is modifying "ran" and "runs." Those words are verbs, and need to be modified by an adverb, not an adjective. Therefore, the appropriate form of the word to use is "quickly."
The adjective "good" and adverb "well" are also often used interchangeably, but that's not always correct either. Read our article on When to Use Good and When to Use Well to learn more about this common confusing issue.