I am not sure if I should use an adjective or an adverb in the following sentences.

  • The returns are normal distributed.
  • The returns are normally distributed.

Also see this example:

  • The most famous approach assumes the returns to be normal distributed.
  • The most famous approach assumes the returns to be normally distributed.

Which is correct?

  • "Returns" is probably not the right word to use here; "results" or "values" might be better. Commented Aug 20, 2013 at 16:15

1 Answer 1


Distributed is a past participle and it is used as a verb.

For this reason, in both sentences you should use normally, which is an adverb, instead of normal which, being an adjective, generally accompanies a noun.

  • oh really, so "The returns are normally distributed" I expected that normal would be correct, but ok, thanks!
    – Jen Bohold
    Commented Aug 18, 2013 at 9:11
  • Yes, and we say normal distribution for the same reason (i.e., we use the adjective, because distribution is a noun). Have a look.
    – J.R.
    Commented Aug 18, 2013 at 9:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .