Confusing Adjectives With Adverb Forms – English Grammar Lesson

Michael Confusing Words, Grammar 1 Comment


When I moved in to my new office, it was pretty bare. There was just a desk, table, and two chairs. I didn’t waste any time to decorate it. I was barely there a week and had put up the Happy English sign, a clock, and a nice poster on the wall. Lately, I’ve been thinking of how else I can decorate it. I stopped by the poster shop on the way in, but I didn’t have much time to look. I didn’t want to be late for class so I thought I could go back another day.

Yesterday, we had a look at hard and hardly, the adjective and adverbs that are formed with the same word, but have different meanings. For today’s English lesson, I would like to show you three other common adjectives that take on a different meaning when they become adverbs. Have a look at the paragraph above once more and then check out the lesson.

Bare is an adjective which means simple or without any decoration. As well, the adjective bare means naked or unclothed.

  • The room was bare when I moved in to the office.
  • I put a poster on the bare wall to decorate it.
  • I like to walk on the beach in my bare feet.

Barely is an adverb and means only just a littleor just a short while ago.

  • When I first lived in Japan, I was barely able to communicate in Japanese.
  • I barely noticed that Jane colored her hair.
  • I barely started working when my computer broke down.

Late is an adjective which means not on time or after the expected time.

  • The trains and busses in NYC are often late.
  • I was late this morning
  • Don’t be late. The boss will get angry.

Lately is an adverb and means recently.

  • Lately, the weather has been getting warmer.
  • I haven’t see Jack lately. I guess he’s been busy at work.
  • I haven’t eaten sushi lately. Let’s have it for lunch!

Short is an adjective which means not long enough or small in height.

  • I am too short to reach the top shelf. Can you hand me that book?
  • I was surprised that the actor is short. He looks tall on TV.
  • This USB cable is short, so I need to move the printer closer to the PC.

Shortly is an adverb and means in a little while or soon.

  • I’ll be finished with this phone call shortly and then we can chat.
  • The taxi should be here shortly, so put on your jacket and get ready.
  • Here is your table. The waiter will be with you shortly.

If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!


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