An adverb is a part of speech that modifies a verb, an adjective, another adverb, a phrase, or a clause. In English, many adverbs are derived from adjectives by the suffix -ly, as seen in the following examples:
- quickly from quick
- cheerily from cheery (note the orthographic change in the original adjective)
The suffix -ly, or the similar German, Dutch, Danish and Norwegian suffixes, derive from the Germanic word lich, meaning "body", "shape". "Quickly" could therefore be interpreted as meaning "with a quick body". By comparison, the Romance suffixes -mente, -ment, or -mense come from the Latin mente, which is the ablative case of mens, meaning "mind." That is, the adverb came from a construction that literally meant "with an [adjective] mind."