Adjectives in adverbial clauses

(Adjectives adverbially used by paraphrasing)

Table of contents – adjectives in adverbial clauses

On this page you will find the following:

  1. Adjectives that cannot form adverbs
  2. Further explanations and exercises

Which adjectives cannot form adverbs?

Although many adverbs originate from adjectives (very often by appending ‘-ly’) in English, some adjectives exist that cannot form adverbs. An example of such a type is ‘silly’. The difficulty is that such adjectives still end in ‘-ly’, which can easily cause confusion with adverbs. As a result, if such adjectives need to be used adverbially, a substitute form or a paraphrase, for example, ‘in a … way’, is required. Compare the following:

  • Adjectives that cannot form adverbs are, for example:
    • silly, friendly, lively, likely, lonely
  • There is still a way to use them adverbially, which means as an adverbial or, in particular, as an adverbial clause. To perform this, the substitute form or paraphrasein a … way’ or ‘in a … manner’ can be employed:
    • “Our new neighbours are friendly.”
      • In this sentence, ‘friendly’ is an adjective.
    • “They talked to me in a friendly way.”
      • Here, ‘in a friendly way’ is an adverbial clause and expresses how they talked in more detail. Incorrect would be:
        • “They talked to me friendly.”
        • “They talked to me friendlily.”

Further explanations referring to the ‘Adjectives in adverbial clauses’

The following explanations are related to the topic ‘Adjectives adverbially used by paraphrasing’ and may be helpful as well: