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Formation of Adverbs

Notes:

  1. The written lesson is below.
  2. Links to quizzes, tests, etc. are to the left.

Adverbs are words that describe, or modify, verbs, adjectives or other adverbs.

He ran quickly.
(“quickly” describes how he “ran”)

She spoke more slowly than he.
(“slowly” describes how she “spoke”)
(“more” modifies “slowly”)

Most Spanish adverbs are formed by adding -mente to the feminine singular form of the adjective. This ending corresponds to -ly in English.

AdjectiveFem. FormAdverb
claroclaraclaramente
constanteconstanteconstantemente
difícildifícildifícilmente

Note: When an adjective has a written accent, the adverb retains it.

Another way to form an adverb is to use the preposition con + the singular form of the noun.

cuidadoso (carefully)
cuidadosamente or con cuidado

perfecto (perfectly)
perfectamente or con perfección

cariñoso (affectionately)
cariñosamente or con cariño

Some adverbs do not follow any pattern of origination, and must simply be memorized. Here is a list of some common ones:

bastante
quite
demasiado
too
mal
badly
mucho
a lot
muy
very
nunca
never
peor
worse
poco
little
siempre
always

When two adverbs modify the same verb, only the second one uses the -mente ending. Note that the first adverb is the same as the feminine singular form of the adjective.

Juan trabaja lenta y cuidadosamente.
Juan works slowly and carefully.

El chico le habló clara y cortésmente.
The boy spoke to him clearly and courteously.

El autor escribió rápida y fácilmente.
The author wrote quickly and easily.

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