Many adverbs do not end in -ly. Examples include always, soon, today, ever, yet, away, here, so, too.
One unusual adverb is hard, as in They fought hard. It contrasts with the semi-negative adverb hardly, meaning scarcely. Other cases where the adverb has the same form as the adjective include fast (He drives fast) and straight (It flew straight at me). There are no such words as X. fastly and X. straightly, despite the existence of slowly, quickly, crookedly, and the like. Notice the adverbial use of fast, sound, and wide before certain adjectives:
I was fast/sound asleep. (Contrast: I was sleeping soundly.) The baby’s wide awake.
Some -ing words are used similarly: spanking new, hopping mad, raving mad, and boiling hot. You cannot speak of a X. spankingly new car.
Adverbs follow rather different rules. Some short ones take -er -sooner, soonest including many that are identical with adjectives: earlier, earliest; faster, fastest; and later, latest.
Most adverbs, however, even those of two syllables, take more and most: more fully, most wisely.
Remember that when only two things are under consideration, the adjective should take the comparative (-er, more) form rather than the superlative (-est, most): X. Of her two novels, the second is surely best. A few idioms do allow this oddity May the best man win but avoid it elsewhere.
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