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14.8: Some Changes with -ly

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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Some Changes with -ly

1. Usually when the suffix -ly is added to a stem, it just adds on, by simple addition, with no changes. You only need remember that when the stem ends with an <l>, since -ly begins with an <l>, there will be an <ll> in the new word: careful + ly = carefully, illegal + ly = illegally, cruel + ly = cruelly.

2. But there are two cases in which changes do occur when -ly is added to stems. First, if the stem ends in the letter <c> - especially if it ends in the suffix-ic- and if we were to add the stem and suffix through simple addition, we would get a misspelling, as in: basic + ly = basicly.

What we have to do is insert the suffix -al between the stem and the -ly: basic + ly = basic + al + ly = basically. We insert this -al even if we do not have a word that ends in -al, such as *basical.

3. Analyze the following adverbs, to show this insertion, as we've done with the first one:

Adverb = Stem ending in <c> + -al + -ly
basically = basic + al + ly
athletically = + +
democratically = + +
scientifically = + +
characteristically = + +
sympathetically = + +
artistically = + +
heroically = + +
ecstatically = + +
patriotically = + +
enthusiastically = + +
electrically = + +

Notice the <ll>'s in all of these words: one <l> for the -al, one for the -ly. The only known holdout to this -al insertion is publicly.

4. Look at the italicized words in this sentence: “The babies cried all during the trial.”

Then fill in the blanks:

The <y>-to-<i> Rule: When you add a suffix to a stem that ends with a <y> that has a consonant letter right in front of it, you change the _______ to _______.

5. Each of the following adverbs has been made by adding -ly to an adjective that ended in <y>. In each case when the -ly was added, the <y> at the end of the adjective changed to an <i>. Analyze each adverb and show the way the <y> was changed to an <i>, as we've done with he first one:

Adverb = Adjective that ends in <y> + Suffix -ly
merrily = merry + i + ly
angrily = +
busily = +
extraordinarily = +
uneasily = +
icily = +
hastily = +
satisfactorily = +
readily = +
heartily = +
steadily = +
heavily = +
necessarily = +
ordinarily = +
temporarily = +

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1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5
Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012
Last Modified:
Jan 16, 2015
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