I need an adverb to show both surprise and fear. Can we use shockingly or worriedly? For example,

He asked shockingly.

  • 1
    he asked in shock – CowperKettle Dec 19 '15 at 6:41
  • If used adverbially, 'shockingly' / 'startlingly' / 'alarmingly' refer to the [typical] results of this asking, not the manner of the asking. If used as pragmatic particles, they add the reporter's opinion (It was shocking: he asked "..."). – Edwin Ashworth Dec 19 '15 at 16:48

I'd say "no," on shockingly, as it implies that he asked rudely.

And there is no inherent "surprise" in worriedly.

For both "surprise and fear" my first thought is startlingly. I like alarmingly, too.

I've been reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz recently and though I can't think of anything off the top of my head, it is definitely a study in adverbs of the type you seek, with a story that is many moments of surprise and fear.

Also: more context would help a lot.

  • Not alarmedly? – stevesliva Dec 21 '15 at 4:41
  • @stevesliva: I like that one! It's initially awkward but it makes sense. I guess it would get into the woods of the "-ed" vs. "-ing" adjective pattern though. Who was alarmed (a.k.a. surprised and fearful)? The person who was asked or the person asking? If the person asked I'd say he asked "alarmingly." If "he" was alarmed then he asked "alarmedly." But I think in the curious case of the OP the right word would be "alarmingly," as it seems the "asked" are who are surprised and fearful. – Jack Roy Dec 23 '15 at 15:26

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