In the following sentence, does it make sense to use "repulsively" as an adverb?

the most repulsively nationalistic sporting event.

Generally, what is the best way to find out if an adjective could be converted to adverb by adding -ly at the end of it?

I guess it does not work for all adjectives. For example the word "weirdly" seems a little bit weird to me! It exists in the dictionary but I feel like I have never heard it. (I am not a native english speaker but I watch a fair share of movies and TV programs)

  • 1
    Really? You checked online with a search??? Commented Oct 19, 2020 at 4:13
  • Well, honestly I just searched in Cambridge online dictionary and I didn't find there. But it exists in longman dictionary.
    – a.toraby
    Commented Oct 19, 2020 at 5:03
  • 1
    Yes, if you mean 'nationalistic in a repulsive (disgusting) way'. Weirdly is a perfectly good adverb. Commented Oct 19, 2020 at 8:12
  • "Weirdly" in the wild
    – user33415
    Commented Oct 19, 2020 at 21:05

1 Answer 1


"the most repulsively nationalistic sporting event" does make sense. As does: "the most repulsive nationalistic sporting event."

The difference is slight. In the first sentence, you are saying that the nationalistic aspect is what is repulsive. In the second, you are saying the sporting event is most repulsive.

It would work the same with "weirdly." That "ly" in this usage moves the target to the adjective, away from the noun.

Another example:

"She has the most annoyingly cute red sweater." "She has the most annoying cute red sweater."
First case, the cuteness is annoying. Second case, the sweater is, for reasons unstated.

You can add that -ly to most adjectives for this effect. But there are random exceptions to the rule, such as "crowded" or "curly."

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