A kid is playing a game interestingly. His dad/mom asks him to stop the game immediately and read books. The kids says "Okay..,I'm coming" but with little bit upset and frustrate. What are the adverbs to describe the way the responds. Which is best? Can I use frustratingly or irritatingly?

"Okay, I'm coming" the boy said frustratingly.

"Okay, I'm coming" the boy said irritatingly.

"Okay, I'm coming" the boy said ???ly.

  • If you say said irritatingly, it means he said something in a irritating way (irritating for the others); if you mean the boy was irritated, you should use irritated.
    – apaderno
    May 20, 2013 at 7:54
  • @kiamlaluno but I believe I can't write "Okay, I'm coming" the boy said irritated".
    – T2E
    May 20, 2013 at 9:18
  • "OK, I am coming," said the irritated boy.
    – apaderno
    May 20, 2013 at 9:21
  • 1
    You can write this, though: "Okay, I'm coming", the boy said, irritated. This is usually considered poor narrative style, however. It's probably better to use a different verb or slightly change the wording, eg: "Okay, okay, I'm coming", the boy said or "Okay, I'm coming", the boy {whined / groaned / snapped / moaned}.
    – user264
    May 20, 2013 at 9:29
  • 1
    "said irritably" would be better than "said, irritated". May 20, 2013 at 10:07

1 Answer 1


Adverbs modify the verb. Adverbs ending in -ingly denote the manner in which something is done not how the subject feels while doing something, so double check that this is, in fact, your intention with each of these sentences.

A kid is playing a game interestingly.

This means that the way in which the kid is playing is interesting. It does not mean that the kid is playing the game with great interest.

...the boy said frustratingly/irritatingly

Likewise, the adverbs here imply not that the boy is frustrated or irritated, but that the manner in which he is saying something is irritating or frustrating (presumably to his parents as they are the people to whom he is speaking).

If you want to describe that the boy is irritat*ed* or frustrat*ed* (as opposed to irritat*ing*- making others feel irritated) you could say frustratedly- though it would not be particularly eloquent to do so. As others have suggested in comments your best bet would be to switch the order of words: ... the boy said, irritated (or frustrated).

Or, you could choose a verb that means to say something in an irritated or frustrated manner (e.g. whined, groaned etc.).

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