Adverb of Manner | Definition and Examples

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What Is an Adverb of Manner?

In simple words, adverbs of manner tell us how an action is carried out.


Peyton breathed restlessly.

Jason painfully stretched his legs.

The player said she will come back strongly.

To pass the test, we will have to work hard.

Placement of Adverbs of Manner

  • Adjectives of manner are mostly placed either after the verb or the object.


    Clara travels passionately. (after the verb)

    Liliana played the piano beautifully. (after the object)

  • Where the verb is followed by a direct object, the adverb of manner is ideally placed either before the verb or at the end of the sentence.


    Jade generously helped us.

    Jade helped us generously.

  • In a sentence where the verb is intransitive, the adverb of manner is placed right after the verb.


    Since 2005, technology has grown exponentially.

  • Adverbs such as "hard", "fast", and "well" are placed after the verb most of the time.


    Sam worked hard to get good grades.

    Please act fast to avoid further problems.

Click on the Circles to Spot the Six Adverbs of Manner


Tricky Adverbs of Manner

The two adverbs of manner: hardly and lately have nothing to do with "hard" and "late".


He works hard. (He puts in a lot of efforts.)

He hardly works. (He doesn't put in any efforts.)

I came late. (I came after the scheduled time.)

Nina hasn't been eating well lately. (She hasn't been eating well recently.)

Adverbials of Manner

Adverbials with "like" are often used after linking verbs.


This hotel feels like home.

The dish smells like heaven.

No Adverbs with Linking Verbs

We don't use adverbs of manner after linking verbs. Instead, we use adjectives. This is because linking verbs don't refer to any action and only link the subject to the rest of the sentence.


Rylee looked happily. (incorrect)

Rylee looked happy. (correct)

Kevin sounded tiredly. (incorrect)

Kevin sounded tired. (correct)

The system proved effectively. (incorrect)

The system proved effective. (correct)

Degrees of Comparison in Adverbs

Adverbs, like adjectives, have three degrees of comparison: positives, comparatives, and superlatives.

  • Positive Adverbs

    A positive adverb simply modifies without effecting any comparison.


    Mia finished the assignment quickly.

  • Comparative Adverbs

    A comparative adverb compares two people, places, or things.

    How to Form Comparative Adverbs

    • We convert adverbs that look like one-syllable adjectives into comparatives by adding an -er to them.


      Mia ate faster than Ana.

      Josephine will be back later.

    • In order to form comparatives from long adverbs that end with – ly, we use the words "more" or "less".


      Sally spoke more interestingly than Maya.

      Tim was more seriously injured than Neil.

    • Some comparative forms do not follow the conventional pattern; they are called irregular comparatives.


      Julia did better than Mary in the test.

      Carla chose to spend less than her friends.

  • Superlative Adverbs

    A superlative adverb compares three or more people, places, or things. Superlative adverbs mean that the action is performed to the highest or lowest degree within a group. Most of the time, superlatives come with "the".


    Nancy dances the best in our group.

    Wanda always sleeps the longest.

    With adverbs having the same form as one-syllable adjectives, we form superlatives by adding -est to them.


    John works the hardest of all.

    Of all children, Leo spoke the loudest.

    To change long adverbs ending in – ly into superlatives, we use the words "most" or "least".


    Thomas finished the work the most effortlessly.

    While many hesitated to part with their money, Grandpa donated the most generously.

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