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Adverbs of Manner

What is an adverb of manner?

Adverbs of manner describe how something happens. For example, it is possible to walk or run at different speeds. The words used to describe walking or running at different speeds (quickly or slowly for example) are excellent examples of adverbs of manner. They help the reader gain greater insight into the way a written scene is playing out. Comparing the following sentences will help you to understand how these adverbs change the overall meaning of the sentences they’re found in.

The boys ran. (There is no adverb of manner in this sentence, so we can only imagine how fast the boys are running.)

The boys ran quickly. (The adverb of manner is quickly. It tells us that the boys are in a hurry.)

The boys were tired, so they ran more slowly than before. (The adverb of manner is slowly. It tells us that the boys are running, but they aren’t covering as much ground as they were before.)

There are a few rules to remember regarding adverbs of manner:

  • When using these adverbs, be careful not to place them between the object and the verb. They often fit best after the sentence’s object or main verb.
  • If there is a preposition before the object, the adverb of manner may be placed either before the preposition or after the sentence’s object.
  • Add emphasis by placing an adverb of manner before both the verb and object, and when these adverbs are placed at the beginning of a sentence, they catch the reader’s attention.

As you read the following examples of adverbs of manner, you will notice how the same adverb can lend different meanings to sentences containing nearly the exact same set of words.

Examples of Adverbs of Manner

The adverb of manner in each example has been italicized for easy identification.

 

He quickly agreed to go to the store for milk. (His agreement was quick)

He agreed to go to the store for milk quickly. (He would go to the store quickly)

 

She quietly asked me to leave the room. (Her request was quiet)

She asked me to leave the room quietly. (I am not going to make noise when I leave)

 

The doctor woke the gently sleeping patient. (The patient was sleeping gently)

The doctor gently woke the sleeping patient. (The doctor was gentle while waking the patient)

 

Adverbs of Manner Exercises

The following exercises will help you gain greater understanding about how adverbs of manner work. Choose the best answer to complete each sentence.

1. The excited baby pounded the table _______________.

a. Badly

b. Hungrily

c. Normally

d. Variously

Answer: B. The excited baby pounded the table hungrily.

2. Walk ______________ or you may miss the bus.

a. Quickly

b. Slowly

c. Personally

d. Happily

Answer: A. Walk quickly or you may miss the bus.

3. Reading ______________ helps you to understand concepts better.

a. Rapidly

b. Briefly

c. Carefully

d. Always

Answer: C. Reading carefully helps you to understand concepts better.

4. Playing music too _______________ can damage your hearing.

a. Slowly

b. Cheerfully

c. Carelessly

d. Loudly

Answer: D. Playing music too loudly can damage your hearing.

5. A tortoise walks _______________.

a. Mostly

b. Slowly

c. Happily

d. Eagerly

Answer: B. A tortoise walks slowly.

Adverbs of Manner List

The following list of adverbs of manner contains 125 single-word adverbs of manner; this is just a sample, as adverbs of manner actually form the largest of all groups of adverbs.

accidentally

angrily

anxiously

awkwardly

badly

beautifully

boldly

bravely

brightly

busily

calmly

carefully

cautiously

cheerfully

clearly

closely

correctly

courageously

cruelly

daringly

deliberately

doubtfully

eagerly

easily

elegantly

enormously

enthusiastically

equally

eventually

exactly

faithfully

fast

fatally

fiercely

fondly

foolishly

fortunately

frantically

generously

gently

gladly

gracefully

greedily

happily

hard

hastily

honestly

hungrily

hurriedly

inadequately

ingeniously

innocently

inquisitively

irritably

joyously

justly

kindly

lazily

loosely

loudly

madly

mortally

mysteriously

neatly

nervously

noisily

obediently

openly

painfully

patiently

perfectly

politely

poorly

powerfully

promptly

punctually

quickly

quietly

rapidly

rarely

really

recklessly

regularly

reluctantly

repeatedly

rightfully

roughly

rudely

sadly

safely

selfishly

sensibly

seriously

sharply

shyly

silently

sleepily

slowly

smoothly

so

softly

speedily

stealthily

sternly

straight

stupidly

successfully

suddenly

suspiciously

swiftly

tenderly

tensely

thoughtfully

tightly

truthfully

unexpectedly

victoriously

violently

vivaciously

warmly

weakly

wearily

well

wildly

wisely