- 1.What is an adverb?
- 1.1.How adverbs are used?
- 1.2.Characteristics of adverbs
- 2.The adverbs of time in French
- 3.The adverbs of place in French
- 4.The adverbs of manner in French
- 5.The adverbs of quantity in French
- 6.The adverb "bien" in French
- 6.1.Bien + verb
- 6.2.Bien expresses a quantity of things
- 6.3.Bien + adjective
What is an adverb?
An adverb (French: l'adverbe) is a word usually used with verbs, adjectives or other adverbs that gives more information about when, how, where, or in what circumstances something happens.
They are four types of adverbs in the French grammar:
How adverbs are used?
In general adverbs can be used together with verbs, adjectives or other adverbs. Adverbs can also relate to the whole sentence; they often tell you what the speaker is thinking or feeling.
|lire beaucoup (read much)||trés beau (very beautiful)||trop peu (too little)|
|dormir bien (sleep well)||plus grand (taller)||beaucoup mieux (much better)|
Please note that adverbs in French never change their form, no matter what they refer to.
Characteristics of adverbs
We have to differ between two kinds of adverbs in the French language:
- les adverbes simples which don't have a characteristic ending (alors, bien, comme, plus)
- les adverbes en -ment which end in -ment (longuement, franchement, naturellement)
Many English adverbs end in -ly, which is added to the end of the adjective. In French, many adverbs end in -ment.
This is usually added to the end of the feminine singular form of the adjective.
Only exception: If the masculine adjective ends in -e, -i or -u.
The adverbs of time in French
An adverb of time (French: adverbe de temps) is an invariable word that gives an indication of time (duration or chronology). It brings a nuance to the meaning of a noun, an adjective, a verb or another adverb.
|Ils partiront demain matin.||(They will leave tomorrow morning)|
|Autrefois, il était interdit de divorcer sans raison valable||(In the old days, it was prohibited to divorce without any valid reaseon)|
The adverbs of place in French
An adverb of place (French: adverbe de lieu) is an invariable word that indicates the place where the action takes place. In general, it answers the question "Where ?". Often he accompanies and precedes a nominal group.
|Je m'installe derrière la scène||(I will sit behind the scenes)|
|Les toilettes d'en bas sont occupés||(The toilets downstairs are occupied)|
The adverbs of manner in French
A adverb of manner (French: adverbe de manière) is an invariable word that indicates how the action unfolds. In general, it helps answer the question "how ?"
- Tu récites ta leçon rapidemment. (You are repeating your lesson quickly)
- Ton frère courrait tellement vite comme un lynx. (Your brother was running so fast like a lynx)
The adverbs of quantity in French
An adverb of quantity (French: adverbe de quantité) is an invariable word that gives information on quantity. It brings a nuance to the meaning of a noun, an adjective, a verb or another adverb. When it specifies a name, it is followed by the preposition "de" or "d" and answers the question: "How much ?".
|C'est très facile||(It's very easy)|
|Il a trop mangé||(He ate a lot)|
|J'ai assez d'argent pour acheter une voiture||(I have enough money to buy a house)|
The adverb "bien" in French
The meaning of the adverb "bien" (good) depends on the word (or words) it accompanies.
Bien + verb
When accompanying a verb, it has the same meaning as:
- Effectivement (effectively)
- Idéalement (Ideally)
- De manière satisfaisante (satisfactorily)
|Je travaille bien à l'école||Je travaille de manière satisfaisante à l'école||(I am a good student)|
|Je l'aime bien||Je l'aime idéalement||(I do like him)|
Bien expresses a quantity of things
When he accompanies a name, he expresses a quantity of things. It is followed by the preposition de, du or des and means beaucoup (a lot).
|Bien des mois ont passé avant qu'il ne revienne||Beaucoup de mois ont passé avant qu'il ne revienne||(Lot of month passed before he comes back)|
|Bien des enfants ont travaillé dans cette ferme||Beaucoup d'enfants ont travaillé dans cette ferme||(Lot of kids worked in this farm)|
Bien + adjective
When accompanying an adjective it means très (very) or vraiment (really). It marks a strong intensity.
|Je suis bien fatigué||Je suis très fatigué||(I am very tired)|
|Tu peux dire que je suis bien maladroit||Je suis vraiment maladroit||(You can say that I am really clumsy)|
Learn more about the adverbs in our subpages !
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