People studying English dialects are constantly faced with, even if they are just starting out in learning English. We’ve already covered the topic of adverbs in the article «Speech in the English language», which determined their value in the speech, familiarized with the categories and degrees of comparison. Today, we will answer very burning question for those who are enthusiastically learning English and is tormented by doubts: how to drive slow or drive slowly?
Adjectives and adverbs
We know that the adjective defines the noun or pronoun. For example, in the sentence «It’s a wide road» word wide — adjective, a noun that defines the road. A couple more examples of adjectives:
I saw her happy face and smiled. — I saw her happy face and smiled. (adjective happy)
We hoped for equal time to finish the test. — We were hoping for the same for all time to complete the test. (adjective equal)
Adverb, in turn, defines a verb, adjective, adverb, or other. Very often adverbs ending in — ly. They are formed by means of appropriate adjectives by adding — ly.
They happily greeted the participants. — They joyfully welcomed the participants. (adverb happily)
He quickly opened the door before the lady. — He quickly opened the door to the girl. (adverb quickly)
What is a flat adverbs?
Have you ever paid attention to the phrase Drive slow, which can be seen on some road signs abroad? Is it correct? Indeed, in this case, we need a word that defines the action, not the subject. It would be logical to say Drive slowly. But the first option is also not an error, because this type of adverbs, which is called in the English flat adverb.
Flat adverbs, they also bare adverbs or adverbs without a grammatical indicator — a dialect, the shape of which coincides with the appropriate adjectives. Some of them: clean, close, deep, early, far, fast, fine, hard, high, long, low, near, quick, slow, straight and so forth.
Let’s look at the most common examples of flat adverbs with translations.
- Bright (light, light). It has also shape brightly, you can also eat in the proposals.
The night stars were shining bright in the sky. — The stars shone brightly in the night sky.
- Clean (pure, completely). In this case, the value differs from the form — ly.
I’ve clean forgotten about it. — I completely forgot about it.
Come cleanly shaved. — Come clean-shaven.
There is also an idiom come clean (split confess).
- Close (close). This form is no indicator of grammatical and ordinary form with — ly similar, but have different values: keep close (to hide, to keep secret), but keep somebody closely informed (someone provide detailed information).
- Deep (deep). This form works closely with — ly form: take in deep (breathe deeply) and take in deeply (inhale deeply) are identical in value. However, there are idiomatic form: still waters run deep (still waters run deep).
- Far (far). This dialect has no form — ly.
You will go far in your career. — You’ll go far in his career.
- Fast (fast). Another flat adverb no equivalent to the usual — ly: drive fast (quick drive).
- Flat (straight, strongly). Both forms are similar, but separated:
I was turned down flat. — I flatly refused.
I was flatly refused. — I categorically refused.
- Hard (hard, hard). It is an adverb and its shape — ly quite different in meaning:
He hit him hard. — It is strongly hit him.
He hardly hit him. — He almost hit him.
- Kind (gently, with kindness). Kind and kindly are slightly different in meaning:
Be kind. — Be kind / kind.
Think kindly of them. — Think about them favorably.
- Quick (fast). This adverb interchangeably with his form — ly: some quick and some quickly mean the same thing (coming soon).
- Right (right, right). Right and rightly differ in meaning.
Do right. — Paid tribute, to do right.
Stay right there. — Stay right here.
They aimed right for the target. — They are aimed directly at the target.
He was rightly upset. — It has been rightly upset.
- Sharp (sharp, fashionable, cool). Sharp and his familiar form with — ly interchangeable. Dress sharp or dress sharply mean «dress fashionably.» However, there is one value from this flat adverb:
Be at your lesson at eight o’clock sharp. — Be in class at eight o’clock sharp.
- Smart (quickly, deftly). It has the form of a — ly. The values are slightly different forms.
Kids like to play smart now and choose transformers. — Today’s children love to play with the mind and choose the transformers.
He loves dressing smartly. — He likes to dress elegantly.
- Slow (slowly). Slow and slowly interchangeable: drive slow and drive slowly mean the same thing.
- Soon (soon, soon). This dialect has no form with — ly:
Please, come again soon. — Please, come again soon.
- Tough (tough, hard). This is not equivalent to an adverb — ly:
Do not talk so tough. — Do not talk so rudely.
A little history
In everyday life we encounter such adverbs often: drive safe, take it easy, go slow. Moreover, before they had even more popularity, and in the XVIII century grammarians did not consider flat adverbs adverbs. They were conventional adjectives! In the Middle Ages such adverbs had case endings, that distinguished them from the corresponding adjectives. However, over time they were replaced by modern man accustomed to dialect — ly.
Here are a few examples taken from the classics: even in 1719, Daniel Defoe wrote in his immortal «Robinson Crusoe»: «… the weather was so violent hot …». Samuel Pepys, the author of the popular diary of the daily life of Londoners times Styuartovskoy restoration, wrote in 1667: «… I was horrid angry …». Today, not all dare to say so, because it sounds strange when — ly cut off.
And now let’s look at the examples in the video, recorded by native speakers. The author of the video is the assistant editor of the authoritative edition of the Merriam-Webster, Inc. — A subsidiary of Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
At the beginning of this article, we doubt whether it is possible to speak drive slow? Of course you can! And we can say drive slowly. For flat adverbs — a kind of adverbs. Just make sure you are using genuine dialect of this type does not exclude — ly in those dialects where it is needed. I wish you all good luck and inspiration to learn English!