Adverbs in Spanish
An adverb is a word that modifies other elements in a sentence:
Unlike Spanish adjectives, adverbs do not change according to the gender or number.
- Verb-modifier: Roberto camina lentamente. (Roberto walks slowly.)
- Adjective-modifier: ¡Habla más despacio! (Speak more slowly!)
- Adverb-modifier: Miguel toca muy bien el piano. (Miguel plays the piano very well.)
Formation of adverbs with -mente
Most Spanish adverbs are formed by adding the suffix -mente to the feminine form of adjectives.
When adjectives end in -e or a consonant, the suffix -mente is added in the singular form.
Types of adverbs
There are four types of adverbs:
- adverbs of frequency and time
- adverbs of place
- adverbs of quantity
- adverbs of manner
1. Adverbs of frequency and time
Adverbs of frequency and time (adverbios de tiempo) give information on time, duration and frequency.
They occur before or after the verb they modify.
- Anoche salí con mi novio. (Last night I went out with my boyfriend.)
- Amalia volvió a casa muy tarde. (Amalia went back home very late.)
2. Adverbs of place
Adverbs of place (adverbios de lugar) give information about the location of an action.
They occur after the verb they refer to.
- La peluquería está aquí. (The hairdresser is here.)
- Hay un anillo dentro de la caja. (There is a ring inside the box.)
- ¡Vamos afuera! (Let's go outside.)
3. Adverbs of quantity
Adverbs of quantity (adverbios de cantidad) are used to give information on quantity, number and degree.
They are generally placed
- after the verb they refer to
- before the adjective they refer to
- before the adverb they refer to
- Giulia no bebe mucho. (Giulia does not drink a lot.)
- Bautista es muy bajo. (Bautista is very short.)
- María camina menos rápido que tú. (María walks less slowly than you.)
4. Adverbs of manner
Adverbs of manner (adverbios de modo) describe how an action is being performed.
They occur after the verb they refer to.
- Michael habla muy bien el olandés. (Michael speaks Dutch very well.)
- No hables tan bajo, no se te oye. (Do not speak so quietly, we cannot hear you.)
- El profesor explicó claramente el ejercicio. (The professor explained the exercise clearly.)
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