Adverbs of manner describe how something happens. For example, it is possible to walk or run at different speeds. The words used to describe walking or running at different speeds (quickly or slowly for example) are excellent examples of adverbs of manner. They help the reader gain greater insight into the way a written scene is playing out. Comparing the following sentences will help you to understand how these adverbs change the overall meaning of the sentences they're found in.
The boys ran. (There is no adverb of manner in this sentence, so we can only imagine how fast the boys are running.)
The boys ran quickly. (The adverb of manner is quickly. It tells us that the boys are in a hurry.)
The boys were tired, so they ran more slowly than before. (The adverb of manner is slowly. It tells us that the boys are running, but they aren't covering as much ground as they were before.)
There are a few rules to remember regarding adverbs of manner:
As you read the following examples of adverbs of manner, you will notice how the same adverb can lend different meanings to sentences containing nearly the exact same set of words.
The adverb of manner in each example has been italicized for easy identification.
He quickly agreed to go to the store for milk. (His agreement was quick)
He agreed to go to the store for milk quickly. (He would go to the store quickly)
She quietly asked me to leave the room. (Her request was quiet)
She asked me to leave the room quietly. (I am not going to make noise when I leave)
The doctor woke the gently sleeping patient. (The patient was sleeping gently)
The doctor gently woke the sleeping patient. (The doctor was gentle while waking the patient)
The following list of adverbs of manner contains 125 single-word adverbs of manner; this is just a sample, as adverbs of manner actually form the largest of all groups of adverbs.