List of 100 Adverbs + Printable

, Staff Writer
Updated July 29, 2021
common adverb dog played happily
    common adverb dog played happily
    Stefan Cioata / Moment / Getty
    Used under Getty Images license

The adverb can be one of the very most absolutely, positively, completely, totally, and truly confused parts of speech in the English language. Adverbs are often confused with adjectives; however, adjectives describe nouns, while adverbs describe verbs. Learn more about adverbs with a thorough list of adverbs for all kinds of descriptions.

Positive Adverbs List

If you need a word that shows how an action was done in a positive way, look no further. These adverbs can turn a boring paragraph into a sunbeam with their sunny outlook.

  1. boldly
  2. bravely
  3. brightly
  4. cheerfully
  5. deftly
  6. devotedly
  7. eagerly
  8. elegantly
  9. faithfully
  10. fortunately
  11. gleefully
  12. gracefully
  13. happily
  14. honestly
  15. innocently
  16. kindly
  17. merrily
  18. obediently
  19. perfectly
  20. politely
  21. powerfully
  22. safely
  23. victoriously
  24. warmly
  25. vivaciously

These adverbs can make someone's ordinary actions seem more positive. For example, "Sarah asked for the salt" is straightforward, but "Sarah politely asked for the salt" lets us know that Sarah has good table manners.


Negative Adverbs List

If life isn't looking so positive for you or your characters, you might need an adverb that suits a more negative tone. Here's a list of adverbs that have negative connotations.

  1. achingly
  2. angrily
  3. annoyingly
  4. anxiously
  5. badly
  6. boastfully
  7. dejectedly
  8. enviously
  9. foolishly
  10. hopelessly
  11. irritably
  12. jealously
  13. joylessly
  14. lazily
  15. miserably
  16. morosely
  17. obnoxiously
  18. painfully
  19. poorly
  20. rudely
  21. sadly
  22. selfishly
  23. terribly
  24. unhappily
  25. wearily

Adverbs like these can help you describe negative attitudes when needed. For example, "Sarah irritably asked for the salt" sets a much different scene than the positive example above!

List of Adverbs About Time

Adverbs can also convey how often something happens. They range from very often ( always, frequently, regularly) to not very often (rarely, seldom, never).

  1. always
  2. daily
  3. eventually
  4. finally
  5. frequently
  6. generally
  7. hourly
  8. later
  9. never
  10. nightly
  11. normally
  12. occasionally
  13. often
  14. rarely
  15. regularly
  16. seldom
  17. sometimes
  18. soon
  19. still
  20. today
  21. tomorrow
  22. usually
  23. weekly
  24. yearly
  25. yesterday

These adverbs can make a big difference in the sentence you're writing. For example, "I'll pay you later" is a solid promise, but "I'll pay you daily" is a much nicer offer.


List of Adverbs That Describe Speed

Describing how fast an item moves is a great way to modify a verb! Use these adverbs when you're talking about the speed of a verb.

  1. briskly
  2. casually
  3. expeditiously
  4. fleetingly
  5. gradually
  6. haltingly
  7. hastily
  8. hurriedly
  9. immediately
  10. instantly
  11. languidly
  12. lazily
  13. leisurely
  14. promptly
  15. quickly
  16. rapidly
  17. slowly
  18. speedily
  19. swiftly
  20. tediously

These adverbs can help you establish pacing in your writing. For example, "I leisurely packed my suitcase" makes the story sound more relaxed, but "I hastily packed my suitcase" brings a sense of urgency to the scene.

Adverbs That Describe Sound

Writers often need to describe the noise that something makes to strengthen their writing. Use these adverbs to describe how something sounds in your story.

  1. audibly
  2. deafeningly
  3. ear-splittingly
  4. emphatically
  5. faintly
  6. inaudibly
  7. loudly
  8. noiselessly
  9. noisily
  10. quietly
  11. resonantly
  12. resoundingly
  13. shrilly
  14. silently
  15. softly
  16. soundlessly
  17. thunderously
  18. uproariously
  19. vociferously
  20. weakly

These adverbs are effective ways to bring sensory language into your writing. For example, "He snored faintly" paints a much different picture than "He snored thunderously."


Adverbs That Describe Tone

Some adverbs need context to create tone. Use these adverbs when you need to paint a very clear picture of how the reader should imagine your verbs. Some adverbs include:

  1. accidentally
  2. awkwardly
  3. blindly
  4. coyly
  5. crazily
  6. cruelly
  7. defiantly
  8. deliberately
  9. doubtfully
  10. dramatically
  11. dutifully
  12. enormously
  13. excitedly
  14. hungrily
  15. madly
  16. mortally
  17. mysteriously
  18. nervously
  19. seriously
  20. shakily
  21. restlessly
  22. solemnly
  23. sternly
  24. unexpectedly
  25. wildly

Choosing the right adverbs can help you establish your desired tone. For example, "Mike shook my hand solemnly" sets a scene, but "Mike shook my hand excitedly" reveals that something fun might be about to happen.

Printable List of Adverbs

If you'd like a handy list of adverbs for easy reference, take a look at the PDF below. You can download and print it up for prominent posting in your writing station, classroom or notebook.

list of adverbs printable chart

Chart list adverbs

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Many Kinds of Adverbs

Many adverbs can be formed simply by adding -ly to the end of what was once an adjective. Anxious becomes anxiously, for example, and poor becomes poorly. But adverbs that describe how often something occurs, such as never or always, don't always follow that rule.

The main types of adverbs answer questions related to time, place, manner, frequency, and extent. Depending on what you want to modify, adverbs are the perfect way to make your writing more vivid and descriptive.

More Useful Word Lists

Now that you have a better handle on the world of adverbs, why not expand your vocabulary with even more word lists too? This list of descriptive adjectives is a great place to start, including simple adjectives, compound adjectives and proper adjectives. Then you can tie your writing together, with a list of transition words.