Learning suffixes is an easy way to quickly increase your English vocabulary. This post will explain how to use the suffix LY with lots of examples. Learn how to make new adverbs and adjectives to help you communicate naturally in English.
You will find lots of real example sentences that use words with the Suffix -ly, a video for listening practice, and a PDF word list that you can print and study offline anytime you like. For other teachers, this can be helpful to use in your own English classes. Keep reading.
Adverbs with the Suffix ly
In adverbs, the Suffix -ly means: in the way mentioned
*Remember that adverbs are used to modify verbs, adjectives, and even other adverbs.
Below is a list of adverbs ending in the suffix -ly
accidentally – by chance; in a way that was not planned
- He accidentally knocked over the vase while trying to catch the ball.
- Be careful not to accidentally spill coffee on your white shirt before the meeting.
adamantly – in a way that shows you are determined not to change your mind or to be persuaded about something
- She adamantly refused to change her mind despite all the evidence we presented.
angrily – in a way that shows you have strong feelings about something that you dislike very much or about an unfair situation
- After the referee called the foul, Thomas shouted angrily at the TV.
anxiously – in a worried or nervous way
- She anxiously stood at the podium and started to give her presentation. She was obviously very nervous.
badly – without skill or care/not successfully/not in an acceptable way
- I thought the workers were being treated badly after I toured the plant. We need to make some management changes.
beautifully – in a beautiful way/very well; in a way that pleases you
- The sunrise was beautifully captured in the photograph.
boldly – in a brave, confident way; without being afraid to say what you feel or to take risks
- He boldly proposed a new strategy for the company.
bravely – in a way that shows courage
- She bravely fought for what she believed in, even in the face of opposition.
carefully – with a lot of attention or thought, so that you avoid hurting yourself, damaging something or doing something wrong
- She carefully placed the fragile glass on the shelf.
certainly – without doubt
- He certainly had the qualifications to get the job but he was lacking experience.
clearly – in a clear way
- The instructions were clearly written in the manual.
- She spoke clearly to the audience and made sure that she was understood.
correctly – in a way that is accurate or true, without any mistakes
- He answered the question correctly on the test.
dangerously – in a way that is likely to harm or injure somebody, or to damage or destroy something
- The hike was dangerously steep and rocky.
eagerly – in a way that shows great interest and excitement about something that is going to happen or about something that you want to do
- They eagerly awaited their turn to speak.
easily – without problems or difficulty
- The recipe can be easily followed by even beginner cooks.
effortlessly – in a way that needs little or no effort, and that seems easy
- She effortlessly finished the marathon, crossing the finish line with a new personal best time.
This adverb is made from the adjective effortless. Effortless is the noun EFFORT plus the Suffix -LESS. You can do a deeper study into this suffix and my blood post here >> Adjectives with the Suffix -less (79 Examples, Free PDF Download, Video)
evenly – in a smooth, regular or equal way
- The cake was cut evenly among the children at the birthday party.
eventually – at the end of a period of time or a series of events
- They will eventually get to the root of the problem.
finally – after a long time, especially when there has been some difficulty or delay
- Finally, my new computer has arrived. I’ve been waiting almost 20 days for it to come.
foolishly – in a way that shows a lack of good sense or judgment
- He acted foolishly and regretted it later.
This adverb is made from the adjective foolish. Foolish is the noun FOOL plus the Suffix -ISH. You can do a deeper study into this suffix and my blood post here >> Your complete guide to the Suffix -ISH (Video + FREE Quiz/worksheet Download)
frequently – often
- They met frequently to work on the project.
generally – by or to most people/in most cases
- Generally speaking, the weather was quite pleasant.
gently – in a way that is soft and light, not strong, extreme or violent (in a gentle way)
- She gently laid the baby in the crib.
*LAID is the past tense of the verb LAY. The verbs LAY and LIE are often confused. (LAY is the past tense of LIE!) Master these verbs by reading my blog post >> LIE or LAY? All Tenses (Easy to remember tips, PDF, Video)
gladly – willingly/happily; with thanks
- She gladly accepted her friend’s offer to help organize the party.
gracefully – in an attractive way that shows control; showing a smooth, attractive form
- He danced gracefully across the stage.
greatly – (usually before a verb or participle) very much
- The new technology greatly improved efficiency.
happily – in a cheerful way; with feelings of pleasure
- The couple has been happily married for over 25 years.
Did you know the adjective HAPPY is the old English word HAP + the suffix Y? Learn more at my Suffix -Y blog post >> Learn The English Suffix -y (60 examples + Free PDF download + Video)
highly – very/at or to a high standard, level or amount/with great respect or praise
- He was highly respected in his field.
honestly – in an honest way
- Jasmin answered the question honestly.
hungrily – in a way that shows you want to eat something/in a way that shows you have a strong desire for something
- Warren opened the fridge and looked hungrily at the leftovers, wondering what to have for lunch.
importantly – used for saying that something is important
- Kevin worked hard and, more importantly, he had a clear purpose.
ironically – in a way that shows that you really mean the opposite of what you are saying; in a way that expresses irony
- Ironically, the forecast said it was going to be sunny, but it rained all day.
loudly – in a way that makes a lot of noise
- Kevin shouted loudly to get everyone’s attention.
lovely – beautiful; attractive (comparative lovelier, superlative loveliest)
- The view from the hilltop was lovely.
- The garden was full of lovely flowers. The yellow roses are the loveliest in my opinion.
lowly – low in status or importance
- Don’t ask me, I’m just a lowly employee. You should ask my boss.
massively – to a very large degree or extent; extremely
- Luciano was massively overweight and knew he needed to go on a serious diet.
naturally – in a way that you would expect/without special help, treatment or action by somebody/in a way that shows or uses abilities or qualities that a person or an animal is born with
- My wife looks sad, so naturally, I wanted to help her feel better.
- Trent is a naturally gifted piano player.
originally – used to describe the situation that existed at the beginning of a particular period or activity, especially before something was changed
- I had originally only planned to stay in Japan for 6 months but it’s 3 years later and I’m still here.
necessarily – used to say that something cannot be avoided
- Due to the current situation, the number of available seats is necessarily limited. We should apply for a spot as soon as we can.
normally – usually; in normal circumstances
- The class started normally, but it was soon disrupted by the construction outside.
partially – partly; not completely
- His vision was partially impaired.
- It’s a large problem and I accept that I am partially responsible.
perfectly – completely/in a perfect way
- The meal was cooked perfectly.
practically – almost; very nearly/in a realistic or sensible way; in real situations
- We were only given 4 days. It was practically impossible to finish the project in time.
pragmatically – in a practical and sensible way rather than relying on fixed ideas or theories
- If we act pragmatically we can find a solution.
promptly – without delay
- They worked together as a group and promptly finished the task.
proudly – in a way that shows that somebody is proud of something
- He stood proudly as he received the award.
purposefully – in a way that has a useful purpose; with a clear aim and determination
- He worked hard and purposefully to achieve his goal. Having a clear purpose is a great motivator when things get challenging.
quickly – fast/soon; after a short time
- She quickly finished her work before lunch.
quietly – in a way that makes very little noise
- Jane whispered quietly to not wake the baby.
roughly – approximately but not exactly/using force or not being careful and gentle
- They said the package will be delivered in roughly two weeks.
sadly – in a sad way/unfortunately/very much and in a way that makes you sad
- When we got to the bakery, sadly all the cakes were gone.
separately – as a separate person or thing; not together
- They decided to live separately after the fight.
shortly – a short time; not long
- I hope the meeting will be over shortly.
simply – used to emphasize how easy something is/in a way that is easy to understand
- The solution was simply a matter of adjusting the settings.
slowly – in a slow way
- Steven and Ella walked along the path slowly to enjoy the scenery.
smoothly – in an even way, without suddenly stopping and starting again
- My new Tesla drove smoothly on the highway.
stupidly – in a way that shows a lack of thought or good judgment
- I stupidly lent Ted my car even though he’s my most irresponsible friend.
suddenly – quickly and unexpectedly (in a sudden way)
- We heard a loud clap of thunder and suddenly, the lights went out.
thankfully – used to show that you are pleased that something good has happened or that something bad has been avoided/in a pleased or grateful way
- Thankfully, no one was hurt in the accident.
wrongly – in a way that is not right or correct
- He was wrongly accused of the crime. He didn’t do it.
Adverbs that mean – After intervals of–
hourly – every hour
- If you spend a day at the beach you should reapply sunscreen hourly for complete protection.
daily – every day
- In Japan, the mail comes twice daily.
weekly – every week
- The store newsletter is printed twice weekly.
monthly – every month
- I get paid monthly.
yearly – every year
- Performance reports come out yearly in November.
annually – once a year
- The Summer Festival is held annually.
quarterly – every quarter (A quarter is 3 months [¼ of a year.])
- Most big office buildings pay their rent quarterly instead of every month.
Adjectives with the Suffix ly
(in adjectives) having the qualities of
*Remember that adjectives are used to modify nouns.
Below is a list of adjectives ending in the suffix -ly
costly – causing problems or the loss of something
- That proved to be a costly mistake.
cowardly – not brave; not having the courage to do things that other people do not think are especially difficult/(of an action) carried out against a person who is unable to fight back
- It was a cowardly attack on a helpless old lady.
deadly – causing or likely to cause death (comparative deadlier, superlative deadliest)
- Did you know that hippos are the deadliest animal in Africa?
friendly – behaving in a kind and pleasant way because you like somebody or want to help them (comparative friendlier, superlative friendliest)
- I love your dog, he’s the friendliest dog I have ever met.
- The staff at the hotel were friendly and helpful.
kindly – in a kind way
- My neighbor kindly agreed to help me shovel my driveway after the big snow.
likely – having a good chance of happening or being something; probable or expected (comparative likelier, superlative likeliest)
- Let’s postpone our camping trip until next weekend, I’m afraid it’s likely to rain for the next few days.
lively – full of life and energy; active and enthusiastic/of a place, an event, etc.) full of interest or excitement (comparative livelier, superlative liveliest)
- This bar is the liveliest spot in town on a Saturday night.
manly – having the qualities or physical features that are admired or expected in a man (comparative manlier, superlative manliest)
- Jason grew a thick beard which made him look more manly.
scholarly – (of a person) spending a lot of time studying and having a lot of knowledge about an academic subject/connected with academic study
- The scholarly Journal was interesting to read but there were many words that I didn’t understand.
timely – happening at exactly the right time
- It’s important to file your taxes in a timely manner. You may have to pay penalties if you file late.
Adjectives that mean – After intervals of–
All of these adjectives are modifying a noun.
hourly – done or happening every hour
- I couldn’t sleep well last night. The hospital kept waking me up for hourly blood tests.
daily – done or happening every day
- If I had more money I would get a daily massage.
weekly – done or happening every week
- It’s time to write my weekly report for my manager.
monthly – done or happening every month
- I try to make a monthly trip to my cabin in the mountains.
yearly – done or happening every year
- I have to renew my license on a yearly basis.
quarterly – done or happening every quarter (A quarter is 3 months [¼ of a year.])
- The board of directors quarterly meeting is in 2 weeks so we have to get ready.
Printable Suffix -ly PDF Word List
Download your printable PDF Word List below. (It’s FREE!) PDFs contain the live links from the post.↓
Check out these other great Prefix/Suffix English blog posts.
- 110 DE Prefix Words (Real Examples, Free PDF + Video)
- Confusing Suffixes -ize and -ify (How and When to Use Them)
- From Actor to Warrior: Learn the SUFFIX -OR (Free PDF)
- 50 Prefix DIS- Words and Example Sentences (Free PDF)
- The Prefix Semi: A Complete Guide (Real Examples + PDF)
- Explore the Power of the Prefix Off- A Comprehensive Guide
- Master The Suffix -ANT (Real Examples + Free PDF download)
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