slowly, possibly, uneasily, lovely, gently, beautifully, basically, definitely

In this lesson we're looking at rules such as dropping or keeping the 'e' with ly, when there's a double l + ly, and changing y to i + ly

The rules are quite simple and reliable but some of the words are tricky to spell: definitely, probably, absolutely, likely, reasonably, hopefully

Let's look at 6 rules around adding -ly to words

Rule 1
We just add -ly to words ending in a consonant
slow + ly = slowly
endless + ly = endlessly
week + ly weekly
stupid + ly = stupidly
friend + ly = friendly
independent + ly = independently
quick + ly = quickly
quiet + ly = quietly
vivid + ly = vividly

Rule 2
When we add -ly to words ending in -ful, it makes -fully (with double l)
careful + ly = carefully
wonderful + ly = wonderfully
beautiful + ly = beautifully
faithful + ly = faithfully
peaceful + ly = peacefully
successful + ly = successfully

Rule 3
The same rule applies to other words ending in 'l' (makes a double 'l')
accidental + ly = accidentally
cool + ly = coolly
cruel + ly = cruelly
especial + ly = especially
final + ly = finally
financial + ly = financially
formal + ly = formally
general + ly = generally
lethal + ly = lethally
occasional + ly = occasionally
total + ly = totally
social + ly = socially
usual + ly = usually

Rule 4
We keep the 'e'
lone + ly = lonely
love + ly = lovely
live + ly = lively
complete + ly = completely
definite + ly = definitely
desperate + ly = desperately
extreme + ly = extremely
immediate + ly = immediately
separate + ly = separately
sincere + ly = sincerely
fortunate + ly = fortunately

Exceptions: We drop the 'e' in truly true + ly = truly (this is a common misspelled word)
we drop the 'e' in duly due + ly = duly
drop the 'e' in wholly whole + ly = wholly

Rule 5
We change the 'e' to 'y' in words ending in the consonant + le patterns (-ble, -ple, -tle, -gle, -dle, -kle)
gentle - gently
simple - simply
terrible - terribly
wrinkle - wrinkly
miserable - miserably
possible - possibly
incredible - incredibly
probable - probably
responsible - responsibly

Rule 6
When we add -ly to words ending in -y we change the 'y' to 'i' if more than one syllable
easy - easily, uneasily
happy - happily, unhappily
busy - busily
crazy - crazily
steady - steadily
lazy - lazily
necessary - necessarily, unnecessarily
shabby - shabbily
steady - steadily
greedy - greedily

But we keep the 'y' in one syllable words
shy + ly = shyly
sly + ly = slyly
coy + ly = coyly

But exceptions:
day + ly = daily
gay + ly gaily

Now try the exercise below

ProProfs - Adding -ly 

That's it for the adding -ly to words lesson. If you're interested in learning more -ly rules check out my Spelling Rules Workbook

Or for more in-depth spelling rules lessons go to my online video course The Rules of English Spelling at curious.com -
click here to go to Curious.com/howtospell

spelling rules course