A Friendly Word - Tricky Adverbs

Quiz playing is a wonderful way to increase your knowledge of English as a Second Language. Remember that all of our ESL quizzes have titles that are both friendly and technical at the same time… In the case of this quiz you might like to tell your friends about “A Friendly Word” but no doubt your teachers will talk about the “Tricky Adverbs quiz”! If you hear a technical term and you want to find a quiz about the subject then just look through the list of quiz titles until you find what you need.

It is always good to hear 'a friendly word' (usually meaning more than one actual word, i.e. an expression or a whole sentence) from someone.

This time we are looking at ‘tricky’ adverbs... most adverbs end in '~ly', as you probably know. But there are some Adverbs that do NOT end that way; and, meanwhile, some other words that DO end in '-ly' but which are not, in fact, adverbs (like 'friendly).

So you will need to be careful! Take a look at these ‘Tricky’ Adverbs

  1. How many Adverbs are there in the following sentence?
    'I would like to thank you for your kindly and timely contribution to our project.'
    'Kindly' and 'timely' (despite their '-ly' endings) are each Adjectives describing the contribution/s.
    'Kindly' can, of course, also be the adverbial form of 'kind' in such a situation as: ''Will you kindly leave the room for a couple of minutes?' or 'The woman at the shop very kindly helped me with this problem.' (In each case, the following word is a Verb.)
  2. How many Adverbs are there in the following sentence?
    'Sally wondered casually what the wiggly writing said, on the wall of the Arab bazaar.'
    'Sally' is a girl's name, so the fact that it ends in '-ly' is irrelevant and a coincidence.
    'Casually' is the one genuine adverb here, describing the not-at-all-urgent way in which she was considering the sign.
    'Wiggly' is, in fact, an adjective ( ~ you may hear children speaking, or singing, about 'a wiggly worm').
  3. Choose the best, clearest and most accurate answer.
    'I reckon I have now ... ... mastered the Art of the English Adverb.'
    Three quite common, and each slightly tricky, examples here!
  4. Choose the best, clearest and most accurate answer.
    In the widely-known and loved prayer by St Richard of Chichester (active in the 13th century), the believer asks God for the strength and grace to :
    ' (...) know you more ... ... , love you more ... .... , and follow you more ... ... , day by day.'
    Whether or not you are an active believer in any religion, we hope you will find this a very pretty means of expressing the Christian pilgrim's wish to follow in The Way.
    Each adverb, as well as rhyming with the others, is an appropriate one to modify and intensify the verb that it goes with.
  5. Choose the best, clearest and most accurate answer.
    'I doubt it'll rain tomorrow', said Uncle Fred ... ... .
    Answer 1 (leaving the original '-y' as it was) is OK as an alternative, but looks ~ perhaps ~ slightly odd; similarly 'shyly' and 'slyly'.
    There is a Pun here, because 'dry' describes the way Uncle Fred is speaking (i.e. without much emotion or enthusiasm), but the weather is also going to be dry.
  6. How many Adverbs are there in the following sentence?
    'We have finally reached a very satisfactory level of quarterly sales.'
    'Finally' is an Adverb of time; 'very' (despite not ending in '-ly') is an intensifying adverb which modifies the adjective that follows it; 'quarterly' is an adjective (like 'daily'; it means 'for each quarter of the year', i.e. a three-month trading period).
  7. Choose the best, clearest and most accurate answer.
    'Maybe you shouldn't believe what people say, about everyone with red hair having a very quick temper', said Sam ... ... .
    Almost any of these would be quite good, but 'gingerly' works best because 'ginger' is a fairly common nickname for someone with red hair. There is an allusion to the spice, ginger, which is used in making cakes and biscuits to give a flavour that is both 'hot' but reasonably sweet.
    Perhaps rather surprisingly, and completely unrelated, the adverb 'gingerly' means 'in a gentle, cautious, unobtrusive manner' ~ the kind of way that someone might creep into an important meeting if they have arrived late, and/or know they are going to be in trouble.
  8. Choose the best, clearest and most accurate answer.
    'The administration on this project has really been very poor and disorganised', said Mr Harrison ... ... .
    'Listless' = 'uncomfortable, ill-at-ease' (somehow 'not well in one's own skin', as some other languages suggest).
    The pun suggests that Mr Harrison, and probably others involved in the project, have not been given lists to help them keep track of what was going on.
    Any of the other Answers would make good sense, but they do not carry the pun.
  9. Choose the best, clearest and most accurate answer.
    'If money is short for our holiday, we could always think about going camping ...' suggested someone ... ... .
    'Tentative' means 'on a trial basis', i.e. it is only a provisional suggestion to be considered. There is a pun on the word 'tent' (which, of course, they would presumably need for a camping holiday); though in fact, there is no actual connection between these words.
  10. Choose the best, clearest and most accurate answer.
    Many an English folk tale ends with the phrase :
    ' ... And they all lived ... ... ever after.'
    Don't forget that when an Adverb is formed from an adjective that ended in a short unstressed '-y', this letter changes into an '-i-' before the '-ly' is added (e.g. 'noisy => noisily' ; 'ready => readily' ; 'scary => scarily').

Author: Ian Miles

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