Adjectives Ending in LY with Example Sentences

Apr 25, 2021

Build Your Vocabulary!

When thinking about English grammar, I guess that most people consider words ending in LY to be adverbs. And in many cases that's true. You can say that someone walks slowly or talks quickly. However, did you know that not all words that end in LY are adverbs? In fact, there are a good number of adjectives that also end in LY. This is especially good to know when taking English exams like TOEIC, TOEFL, and IELTS.

Here is a list of adjectives ending in LY with some example sentences to help you get to  understand how they are used.

bubbly elderly holy lonely silly
chilly friendly jolly lovely smelly
costly heavenly likely oily timely
curly hilly lively only ugly
  • bubbly: I don't really like bubbly drinks.
  • chilly: It was a chilly day in October.
  • costly: For Hank, quitting the company was a costly mistake.
  • curly: That little girl with the curly red hair is so cute.
  • elderly: Elderly people in our society deserve to be treated with respect.
  • friendly: Kate lives in a place with very friendly neighbors.
  • heavenly: The dessert is a heavenly chocolate cake.
  • hilly: We are going to be hiking in a hilly area.
  • holy: Mecca is known as the Holy City.
  • jolly: My uncle Tony has a jolly laugh.
  • likely: The police are looking for the most likely suspects.
  • lively: Dennis always has lively parties in his backyard.
  • lonely: It was a lonely town, with just one or two small shops and a restaurant.
  • lovely: We sent her a lovely bouquet of flowers for her birthday.
  • oily: You should reduce your consumption of oily food.
  • only: This is the only pen I have. You can borrow it, but please return it.
  • silly: The kids like to watch those silly cartoons.
  • smelly: Some smelly cheese is actually quite delicious.
  • timely: This website provides timely information about fashion trends.
  • ugly: The Ugly Duckling is a famous Danish fairy tale.

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This next group of words ending in LY can be used as both adjectives and adverbs. You'll notice that these words relate to time:

daily hourly nightly weekly
early monthly quarterly yearly
  • daily (adjective): We review the daily sales figures every evening.
  • daily (adverb): You should eat three healthy meals daily.
  • early (adjective): We usually have an early dinner on Sundays.
  • early (adverb): Gloria always wakes up early.
  • hourly (adjective): The app on my phone displays the hourly weather forecast.
  • hourly (adverb): The patient’s vital signs are recorded hourly.
  • monthly (adjective): Our monthly meetings are held on Fridays.
  • monthly (adverb): He visits his grandparents monthly.
  • nightly (adjective): Watching NetFlix is part of my nightly routine.
  • nightly (adverb): I call her nightly, usually after dinner.
  • quarterly (adjective): Can you send the quarterly marketing report to Henry?
  • quarterly (adverb): The board of directors meets quarterly.
  • weekly (adjective): Don’t you think weekly doctor visits are a bit too much?
  • weekly (adverb): We go to the country house weekly.
  • yearly (adjective): My yearly physical exam is on Monday.
  • yearly (adverb): I take a vacation yearly.

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