When you can't just add -LY

In English, in order to create an adverb, you normally take an adjective and just add –LY.

For example, nice – nicely, quick – quickly.
*She has a nice (adj) voice. She speaks nicely (adv).
*That was a quick (adj) reply. You replied quickly (adv).

However, there are some exceptions to this rule:

  1. Sometimes the word changes.

For example, good – well
*You wrote a good (adj) letter. You wrote it well (adv).

  1. Sometimes the word stays the same.

For example, fast – fast, wrong – wrong
He has a fast (adj) car. He drives too fast (adv). (Wrong: He drives fastly.)
That must be the wrong (adj) answer. I think I did it wrong (adv). (wrongly would be acceptable too)

  1. However, and perhaps most interesting, are words which get a NEW MEANING when you add –ly! :wink:

For example, hard – hardly, late – lately
That was a hard (adj) task. I don’t like to work too hard (adv).
BUT… She hardly (adv) works at all (i.e., not much)!

We had a late (adj) night yesterday. My son arrived home quite late (adv) last night.
BUT… I haven’t seen him much lately (i.e., recently).

Can you think of some other interesting examples?

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