The only pattern of morphological change for adverbs is the same as for adjectives, the degrees of comparison. The three grades are called positive, comparative, and superlative degrees.
Adverbs that are identical in form with adjectives take inflections following the same spelling and phonetic rules as for adjectives:
Several adverbs ending in -ly (quickly, loudly) form comparatives according to the same pattern, dropping their adverb-forming suffix. These adverbs acquired the form in -ly only recently and retained the older forms of the comparative and superlative:
However most disyllabic adverbs in -ly and all polysyllabic ones form the comparative and superlative analytically, by means of more and most:
- more wisely
- more softly
- more deeply
- most wisely - most softly- most deeply
The adverb often occurs with both types of comparison:
oftener more often
As with adjectives, there is a small group of adverbs with comparatives and superlatives formed from different stems (suppletive forms). These comparatives and superlatives are identical with those for the corresponding adjectives and can be differentiated from the latter only syntactically.
Which do you like best?
This is least painful for you.
Either farther (farthest) or further (furthest) are used when speaking of places, directions, or distance:
He is too tired to walk any farther (further).
But only further (furthest) is used with the meaning more, later:
Don’t try my patience any further.
Most of the adverbs, however, stand outside the degrees of comparison:
pronominal adverbs denoting place and time
(here, somewhere, there, sometimes, when),
(somehow, thus), and
adverbs of manner denoting gradation
(minimally, optimally, proximally - áëèæå ê öåíòðó).
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