Learn English – Clear vs. Clearly

word-choice

I am confuse which one is correct? Both the words sounds natural in the given sentence.

Try to speak as ____ as you can. [Clear, Clearly]

Referring to Oxford

Clear means Easy to perceive, understand, or interpret

and

Clearly means In a clear manner; with clarity.

Both the words fits in the given blank. Which one is correct?

Best Answer

'Clearly' is the word you need. It describes how you are advised to speak. 'Speak' is a verb, so you need an adverb to modify it. 'Clearly' is an adverb. ['Clear' is an adjective and is used to qualify a noun – but that's not what you're trying to do here.]

Having just given you the official grammatical story, I have to admit that adverbs are gradually going out of fashion, in the UK at least. There is a tendency to use the related adjective instead. But "Try to speak as clear as you can." still sounds wrong to me.

[One adverb that is almost never used these days is "regularly". People say "on a regular basis" instead. Similarly "on a daily basis" is used instead of just "daily". These strike me as weird circumlocutions; they always amuse me.]