Explanations » A1 Grammar Explanations » Adverbs of manner (slowly) – or adjectives (slow)?

Adverbs of manner

Grammar chart comparing adjectives to their corresponding adverbs of manner, including spelling changes and irregular forms.

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Adverbs of manner – Use

We use adverbs of manner after a verb to describe the verb. We use an adverb of manner to say how something happens or how we do something.

  • It rained heavily. (=We are describing how it rained.)
  • He always replies quickly. (=We are describing how he replies)

Adverbs of manner – Position

We use adverbs of manner after the verb or, if there is an object, after verb + object.

  • He drives carefully.
  • She plays the guitar well

Very, really, quite

We can use very, really, quite before an adverb of manner.

  • It rained quite heavily
  • He drives quite carefully
  • She plays the guitar really well.



We use adjectives before a noun or after the verb be. You can review the topic of adjectives here.

  • This is an expensive guitar
  • This guitar is expensive


Adverbs of manner vs adjectives


We use adjectives to describe a noun (before a noun or after the verb be), and we use adverbs of manner to describe a verb (after the verb or verb + object). Compare:

  • Robert plays the guitar well. (=We are describing the verb, i.e. how Robert plays the guitar.)
  • Robert is a good guitar player. (=We are describing the noun, Robert.)
  • Sara eats slowly
  • Sara is a slow eater. 

Adjectives ending in -ly

Some words end in -ly, but they are adjectives, NOT adverbs: friendly, lovely, silly. We CANNOT transform these adjectives into adverbs of manner.