Welcome to
ESL Printables, the website where English Language teachers exchange resources: worksheets, lesson plans,  activities, etc.
Our collection is growing every day with the help of many teachers. If you want to download you have to send your own contributions.





ESL Forum:

Techniques and methods in Language Teaching

Games, activities and teaching ideas

Grammar and Linguistics

Teaching material

Concerning worksheets

Concerning powerpoints

Concerning online exercises

Make suggestions, report errors

Ask for help

Message board


ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > A CONFUSION CASE OF ADVERBS     



            Hi colleagues,
        I have a confusion about the usage of easy as an adverb.In some grammar sources on internet easy is among the adverbs and adjectives with the same form . For example: It is easy - adjective here
                                 Relax and take it easy-adverb here.
         The confuson is that in other sources  it is among the adjectives ending with consonant and y ,omitted -y and added -ily to be changed into adverb.
           For example: I found my way easily.
         Which one is correct? I m really confused and need help especially from native teachers?
                                                                                            Thanks is advance

4 Nov 2010      


Hello, well... I am not a native speaker, I hope it does not disappoint you, but I can answer your question.  When you find the word "easy" as a modifier of the verb and not as the modifier of a noun, then it is an adverb.

This exam was easy. (Easy exam) adjective + noun

She takes it easy. (How does she take it?) adverb modifying verb

Now, the grammatically correct form of the adverb is easily:  She can skate easily.  He can easily travel there every moth.   I could do that easily.   All of the "easy" modify the verb.

You can always go to Wordreference to understand this grammar points more easily!  http://www.thefreedictionary.com/easy   Big smile

4 Nov 2010     

United States

Agree with everything olgumco said, but will just add one more thing to note. In the USA (and perhaps other English-speaking countries) we say "take it easy" to mean "have an easy rest," hence the usage of "easy" to modify "rest." Though the grammar form of "take it easy" is not technically correct, it is a common saying that everyone uses. We would never say, "take it easily."

4 Nov 2010     


    Initially ,thanks a lot for your neat attention. Actually ,I have no hesitation about the usage of adverbs and adjectives. I just want to learn why we use easy  with the same form in some phrases as an adverb but why don t we use easily if the correct form is this?I have just wondered what is the little discrimination ? The reason can be because of the formal and informal speech ?I m not sure!!! I guess so!I ll check there.

4 Nov 2010     

United States

As arlissa said, "take it easy" is a fixed expression, but you re right that "easily" is usually the form as an adverb.

4 Nov 2010     


            By the way,I have just seen your description ,Arlissa.Thank you, too. You say it is because of the informal speech of the community .I think there are other phrases like that.
I will highlight this information to my students because the example was a confusing case for me opposited to what I have known so far.

4 Nov 2010     


"take it easy"  is an expression that can be parted into verb, noun or adjective. Syntactically and semantically speaking, you can t assign roles to each element in the expression. If you draw a tree diagram, then where is the subject, the verb, the object, and the adverb?
You take it easy: you: subject, take: transitive verb, it : direct object, easy: adverb? adverbs answer the questions  how where when . For me it is an adj which is inflected to the verb. You can t seperate the two. It has no meaning or reference without the context where it exists and the same thing for "easy". The verb "take" is the head of the whole phrase.

What can u say about "take it for granted"  For granted: prepositional phrase which functions as adverbial. That s not the case because for granted is inflected to the verb. They are one unit. "For granted" does not modify anything. it is part of the verb.

4 Nov 2010     

tropic of cancer

Good reply Mourad; essentially its a kind of three-part phrasal verb. Consider a phrase like: she takes it easy generally .
To the OP my response is: don t get too hung up on grammar; as long as the meaning is understood it will be communicated effectively.

5 Nov 2010