Special uses of some adverbs

Short and shortly

Short is used as an adverb in expressions like stop short (= stop suddenly) and cut short (= interrupt)

Shortly means ‘soon’.

  • You will hear from us shortly.

Slow and slowly

Slow is an adjective; slowly is an adverb. However, slow can be used as an adverb after verbs like go and drive.

  • Go slow.

Sound and soundly

Sound is used as an adverb in a few expressions. Example: sound asleep.

  • The baby is sound asleep.

In other cases we usually use soundly.

  • The baby is sleeping soundly.


Straight is used both as an adjective and as an adverb.

  • A straight road goes straight from one place to another.

Tight and tightly

Tight is an adjective; tightly is an adverb. After certain verbs, tight can also be used as an adverb.

Common expressions are: hold tight and packed tight. Note that before a verb, we always use tightly.

Tightly held

Tightly packed

Wrong and wrongly

The normal adverb is wrongly. In an informal style, wrong can be used instead of wrongly after a verb.

  • I wrongly believed that I was going in the right direction.
  • You guessed wrong.