Let's Revise Adverbs of Manner!



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.

Example Meaning
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
closely look closely
correctly spell correctly

make a mistake deliberately, lie deliberat




eagerly ask eagerly
easily pass a test easily, win easily
enthusiastically clap enthusiastically, react enthusiastically
fast drive fast, talk fast
fondly remember someone fondly
frankly speak frankly

search frantically, run frantically



gently hold something gently, touch something gently
happily live happily
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


naturally act naturally
neatly fold something neatly, write neatly
nervously wait nervously, speak nervously, stutter nervously
noisily walk noisily, eat noisily
obediently listen obediently
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
repeatedly ask repeatedly
safely arrive safely, get home safely
shyly ask shyly, smile shyly
silently tiptoe silently, leave silently
slowly drive slowly, repeat slowly
softly whisper softly
stupidly act stupidly, behave stupidly
suspiciously act suspiciously, say something suspiciously
well play well, speak well


Now follow the links and do the exercises:





Fuente: Created by Susan ZIlberstein
Fecha: 27/3/2020 | Creado por: Susana Beatriz
Categoria: Grammar
Etiquetas: Inglés, Ort, Almagro, Susan Zilberstein, B1+, 2020