What Are Adverbs of Manner?
Adverbs of Manner: Structure
Adverbs of manner can often be formed from adjectives by adding the suffix '-ly'. For example:
- quick + -ly → quick
- easy + -ly → easi
- quiet + -ly → quiet
When forming adverbs, there can be some changes in the spelling. For example, when an adjective ends in -y we have to change the -y to '-i' and then add -ly:
y+ -ly → eas ily
y+ -ly → happ ily
y+ -ly → angr ily
If the adjective already has as -ly in the end, we use the phrase in a (...) way/manner to form an adverbial of manner. Pay attention to the examples:
- brotherly → in a brotherly manner
He treats his relatives
- silly → in a silly way
- deadly → in a deadly way
He stared at his opponent
Some adverbs of manner have the same form as their corresponding adjectives. These adverbs are called flat adverbs, bare adverbs, or simple adverbs.
Can you stay
Our son is growing up
He kicked the ball
Some adjectives have different meanings when they are modified by the '-ly' suffix to become adverbs of manner. For example:
I was so shocked I could
'Hardly' as an adverb means barely or only just.
What have you been doing
As an adverb, 'lately' means recently or in the recent past.
As an adverb, 'highly' means very or to a great extent.
Adverbs of Manner: Placement
Adverbs of manner are usually placed:
- after the main verb and or its object or object phrase
- between the auxiliary and the main verb
- at the beginning or at the end of a sentence
She plays the piano
Adverbs of manner cannot be placed between a verb and its direct object. Instead, they should be placed either before the verb or at the end of the clause clause (after the verb).
She ate a slice of bread
He walked towards his house
In literary usage, writers may place adverbs of manner at the beginning of a sentence or before a verb + object to draw attention to the adverb and create emphasis.
Is the Place of Adverbs of Manner Important?
The position of an adverb of manner is important when we have more than one verb in the sentence.
- If we put the adverb before or after the main verb, it only describes that verb.
- If we put the adverb after a clause, it describes the whole clause.
Here, 'secretly' modifies the verb 'tell'
Mary told Alan
Here too, 'secretly' modifies the verb 'tell'
Mary asked Alan to leave her house
Here, 'secretly' modifies the verb 'leave'
We cannot use adverbs of manner after linking verbs. We use adjectives instead:
The girl seemed
The flowers smelled
Adverbs of manner modify verbs and they are either placed at the end of the sentence or after the subject. Remember we cannot use adverbs of manner with linking verbs, and they never modify linking verbs.