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Formation of adverbs in Spanish (-mente)

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Spanish adverbs appear in a wide variety of forms: 

  1. adverbs with -mente
  2. adverbial expressions
  3. adverbs with no pattern of origination
  4. adjectives as adverbs

1. Adverbs with -mente

Most Spanish adverbs are formed by adding the suffix -mente to the feminine form of adjectives.

This ending corresponds to -ly in English.

AdjectiveFeminine formAdverbEnglish
lentolentalentamenteslowly
tranquilotranquilatranquilamentecalmly

enlightenedWhen adjectives end in -e or a consonant, the suffix -mente is added in the singular form. 

AdjectiveAdverbEnglish
tristetristementesadly
fácil*facilmenteeasily

*  If an adjective has an accent mark, the corresponding adverb retains the accent mark.

enlightenedWhen two adverbs modify the same verb, only the second one uses the -mente ending.

  Example:

Juan le habló clara y seriamente. (Juan talked to him/her clearly and seriously.)

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2. Adverbial expressions

In everyday language, -mente adverbs would be likely replaced by the following adverbial expressions: 

  • preposition + adjective 
  • preposition + noun
Adverbial expressionEnglish translation
a menudofrequently, often
a vecessometimes
al final in the end
al mismo tiempoat the same time
con alegríahappily
con facilidadeasily
con frecuenciafrequently
con rapidezquickly
con tristezasadly
de díain the daytime
de noche at night
de nuevoagain
de repentesuddenly
de verdadreally
por finfinally
por suertefortunately
por supuestoof course
por últimofinally
sin dudawithout a doubt
sin razónwithout (a) reason

Other adverbial expressions

Other adverbial expressions are formed with verb forms and other adverbs.

Adverbial expressionEnglish translation
aquí abajodown here
al atardecerat dusk
al frente de in front of
al parecerapparently
al salir el solat sunrise
allí arribaup there
cerca de near (to)
de ahora en adelantefrom now on
de verasreally, truly
de vez en cuandoonce in a while
desde aquífrom here
desde entoncessince then
hasta aquíup to here
por lo vistoapparently, evidently

3. Adverbs with no pattern of origination 

Some adverbs do not follow any pattern of origination, and need to be memorized.

AdverbEnglish translation
aquíhere
bastantequite
despacioslowly
muchomany
muyvery
nuncanever
siemprealways

4. Adjectives as adverbs

Some adjectives serve as adverbs as well. 

When used as adverbs, these forms do not change in gender and number.

Adjective as adverbEnglish translation
altoloudly
bajoquietly, softly
claroclearly
directodirectly
durohard, intensely
fatalbad(ly), terribly
fuerteloudly, strongly
malbad(ly)
rápidoquickly

Exercises

  1. Formation of adverbs with -MENTE practice quiz
  2. Formation of adverbs in Spanish - Quiz
  3. Formation of Spanish adverbs - Fill in the blanks

Formation of adverbs with -MENTE practice quiz


Formation of adverbs in Spanish - Quiz


Formation of Spanish adverbs - Fill in the blanks


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