Adverbs of manner tell us how something happens. They are usually placed either after the main verb or after the object.
- He swims well.
- He ran quickly.
- She spoke softly.
- James coughed loudly to attract her attention.
- He plays the flute beautifully. (after the direct object)
- He ate the chocolate cake greedily. (after the direct object)
An adverb of manner cannot be put between a verb and its direct object. The adverb must be placed either before the verb or at the end of the clause.
- He ate greedily the chocolate cake. [incorrect]
- He ate the chocolate cake greedily. [correct]
- He greedily ate the chocolate cake. [correct]
- He gave us generously the money. [incorrect]
- He gave us the money generously. [correct]
- He generously gave us the money. [correct]
If there is a preposition before the verb's object, you can place the adverb of manner either before the preposition or after the object.
- The child ran happily towards his mother.
- The child ran towards his mother happily.
Adverbs of manner should always come immediately after verbs which have no object (intransitive verbs).
- The town grew quickly after 1997.
- He waited patiently for his mother to arrive.
These common adverbs of manner are almost always placed directly after the verb: well, badly, hard, & fast
- He swam well despite being tired.
- The rain fell hard during the storm.
The position of the adverb is important when there is more than one verb in a sentence. If the adverb is placed before or after the main verb, it modifies only that verb. If the adverb is placed after a clause, then it modifies the whole action described by the clause. Notice the difference in meaning between the following sentences.
|She quickly agreed to re-type the letter.||the agreement is quick|
|She agreed quickly to re-type the letter.||the agreement is quick|
|She agreed to re-type the letter quickly.||the re-typing is quick|
|He quietly asked me to leave the house.||the request is quiet|
|He asked me quietly to leave the house.||the request is quiet|
|He asked me to leave the house quietly.||the leaving is quiet|
Sometimes an adverb of manner is placed before a verb + object to add emphasis.
- He gently woke the sleeping woman.
- She angrily slammed the door.
Some writers put an adverb of manner at the beginning of the sentence to catch our attention and make us curious.
- Slowly she picked up the knife.
- Roughly he grabbed her arm.
Adverbs of Manner list
Here’s a list of 50 common adverbs of manner, with examples of verbs we can use them with.
|Adverb of manner A-D||Examples of usage|
|angrily||react angrily, speak angrily, say something angrily|
|anxiously||wait anxiously, say something anxiously|
|awkwardly||stand awkwardly, hold something awkwardly|
|badly||play badly, perform badly|
|beautifully||sing beautifully, play an instrument beautifully|
|calmly||act calmly, wait calmly|
|carefully||speak carefully, walk carefully, drive carefully|
|carelessly||drive carelessly, act carelessly|
|cautiously||speak cautiously, act cautiously|
|cheerfully||smile cheerfully, whistle cheerfully|
|clearly||speak clearly, explain something clearly|
make a mistake deliberately, lie deliberat
|easily||pass a test easily, win easily|
|enthusiastically||clap enthusiastically, react enthusiastically|
|fast||drive fast, talk fast|
|fondly||remember someone fondly|
search frantically, run frantically
|gently||hold something gently, touch something gently|
|healthily||eat healthily, live healthily|
|hurriedly||speak hurriedly, walk hurriedly|
|innocently||say something innocently, act innocently|
|inquisitively||ask inquisitively, look at someone inquisitively|
|kindly||act kindly, speak kindly|
|loudly||speak loudly, knock loudly, sneeze loudly|
|mysteriously||act mysteriously, disappear mysteriously|
|neatly||fold something neatly, write neatly|
|nervously||wait nervously, speak nervously, stutter nervously|
|noisily||walk noisily, eat noisily|
|patiently||wait patiently, listen patiently|
|perfectly||work perfectly, time something perfectly|
|politely||ask politely, smile politely, tell someone politely|
|powerfully||strike, hit a ball powerfully|
|quickly||swim quickly, speak/talk quickly, react quickly|
|reluctantly||ask reluctantly, reluctantly agree to something|
|safely||arrive safely, get home safely|
|shyly||ask shyly, smile shyly|
|silently||tiptoe silently, leave silently|
|slowly||drive slowly, repeat slowly|
|stupidly||act stupidly, behave stupidly|
|suspiciously||act suspiciously, say something suspiciously|
|well||play well, speak well|
Now follow the links and do the exercises: