5 Helpful Lists of -ly Adverbs

Use the lists of -ly adverbs below to help describe actions and excite readers!

Adverbs are the part of speech that modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. -ly adverbs are words that end in the suffix -ly; using them makes sentences more specific and descriptive without adding extra words that makes reader scanning more difficult. Readers like to get the basic ideas easily and quickly, so keeping topics concise is critical. These adverbs also make sentences seem more refined and fancy.

Note: Not all words that end in -ly are adverbs, so check which function the word performs (adjectives only ever modify nouns and pronouns) before using them. This includes adjectives such as: friendly, cowardly, motherly, comely, kindly, and chilly.

The 5 lists of -ly adverbs are for adverbs of:

  • ‘when’ or time
  • ‘where’ or space
  • ‘how much/many’ or Quantity
  • ‘which one’ or identifying
  • ‘How’ or ‘in what way’

Helpful Lists of -ly Adverbs

1. -Ly adverbs for ‘when’ or time

Recent

  • Formerly
  • Imminently
  • Impendingly
  • Lately
  • Loomingly
  • Modernly
  • Novelly
  • Quickly
  • Suddenly
  • Recently
  • Ripely

Specific time/now

  • Annually
  • Currently
  • Daily
  • Instantly
  • Momentarily
  • Nightly
  • Periodically
  • Presently
  • Promptly
  • Simultaneously

Far off/old

  • Anciently
  • Antiquely
  • Eventually
  • Finally
  • Futuristically
  • Lastingly
  • Medievally
  • Old-fashionedly
  • Outdated
  • Quaintly
  • Vintagely

Check out more adverbs of time here!

2. -Ly adverbs for ‘where’ or space

Near

  • Boarderingly
  • Closely
  • Feckly
  • Nearly
  • Practically
  • Virtually

Far

  • Considerably
  • Detachedly
  • Distantly
  • Faintly
  • Notably
  • Remotely
  • Reservingly

Urban

  • Brightly
  • Bustlingly
  • Corruptly
  • Compactly
  • Crowdedly
  • Excitingly
  • Metropolitanly
  • Stuffily

Rural 

  • Fertilely
  • Freshly
  • Friendly
  • Naturally
  • Openly
  • Quietly
  • Peacefully
  • Serenely

3. -Ly adverbs for ‘how much/many’ or Quantity

Few/little

  • Diminutively
  • Emptily
  • Insufficiently
  • Meagerly
  • Merely
  • Microscopically
  • Petitely
  • Smally
  • Sparsely
  • Starkly

Many/lots

  • Astronomically
  • Bounteously
  • Colossally
  • Enormously
  • Extensively
  • Fully
  • Greatly
  • Massively
  • Numerously
  • Richly
  • Titanically

Unknown number or amount

  • Boundlessly
  • Countlessly
  • Endlessly
  • Infinitely
  • Innumerably
  • Limitlessly
red question mark among black question marks

4. -Ly adverbs for which one

Visual 

  • Artfully
  • Baldly
  • Beautifully
  • Brightly
  • Cutely
  • Drably
  • Flamboyantly
  • Limply
  • Palely
  • Plainly
  • Ornately
  • Poisedly
  • Sensationally
  • Splendidly
  • Sluggishly
  • Transparently
  • Vibrantly
  • Vividly
  • Warily
  • Witheringly
color wheel made from colored pencils

Auditory

  • Blaringly
  • Deafeningly
  • Inaudibly
  • Loudly
  • Lullingly
  • Mutedly
  • Quietly
  • Silently
  • Shrilly
  • Subduedly
  • Thunderously
  • Voicelessly

Feel

  • Abrasively
  • Aridly
  • Creepily
  • Damply
  • Dirtily
  • Firmly
  • Roughly
  • Roundly
  • Sharply
  • Softly
  • Tautly
  • Weirdly
  • Windingly

Taste

  • Saltily
  • Deliciously
  • Distastefully
  • Hungrily

Smell

  • Awfully
  • Detestably
  • Earthily
  • Flowerly
  • Fouly
  • Freshly
  • Repulsively
  • Revoltingly

5. -Ly adverbs for ‘How’ or ‘in what way’

Quality

  • Aptly
  • Competently
  • Constantly
  • Correctly
  • Efficiently
  • Gently
  • Leniently
  • Mildly
  • Negatively
  • Outstandingly
  • Poorly
  • Pricelessly
  • Securely
  • Slowly
  • Studiously
  • Superbly
  • Swiftly
  • Weakly
  • Wonderfully
  • Zealously

Emotion

  • Adversely
  • Aggressively
  • Amiably
  • Bitterly
  • Calmly
  • Cleverly
  • Curtly
  • Cynically
  • Darkly
  • Dramatically
  • Flippantly
  • Happily
  • Harshly
  • Hilariously
  • Gallantly
  • Maliciously
  • Modestly
  • Peevishly
  • Shrewdly
  • Slyly
  • Tensely
  • Rudely
  • Unreliably
  • Vengefully
  • Wickedly

Summary

Adverbs are the part of speech that modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. -ly adverbs are words that end in the suffix -ly; using them makes sentences more specific and descriptive without adding extra words that makes reader scanning more difficult.

The list of -ly adverbs are for adverbs of:

  • ‘when’ or time
  • ‘where’ or space
  • ‘how much/many’ or Quantity
  • ‘which one’ or identifying
  • ‘How’ or ‘in what way’

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