Grammar Tip – Spanish Adverbs

Spanish Grammar Tip

Los adverbios

Los adverbios (adverbs) are a group of words that are invariable, whose purpose is that of modifying the meaning of several other grammatical categories, mainly a verb, an adjective, a whole sentence even or a word of the same type, that is, another adverb.

Spanish adverbs are usually classified into several categories depending on their meaning:

CANTIDADQUANTITY
muchomuch
pocoa little bit
muyvery
casialmost
todoall
nadanothing
algosome
demasiadotoo
bastantequite
tambiénas well

 

LUGARPLACE
aquíhere
ahíthere
cercanear
lejosfar
fueraoutside
dentroinside
alrededor (de)around
aparteapart
encimaover
debajounder
delante (de)in front of
detrásbehind

 

NEGACIÓNNEGATION
no(do) not
tampoconeither
jamás / nuncanever

 

AFIRMACIÓNAFFIRMATION
yes
tambiénas well
asimismolikewise

 

TIEMPOTIME
ahoranow
antesbefore
despuésafter
tardelate
luegothen
ayeryesterday
tempranoearly
yaalready
todavíastill
anteayerthe day before yesterday
prontosoon
hoytoday

 

DUDAINCERTAINTY
acasoperhaps
quizá (-s)maybe
tal vezperhaps
a lo mejormaybe

 

MODOMANNER
bienwell
malbadly
despacioslowly
rápido / deprisaquickly

 

With regards to adverbs of manner, most adjectives can become adverbs following the rules below based on the adjective ending:

– the feminine form of a qualifying adjective is taken and the ending -mente is added.

E.g.: silencioso → silenciosa → silenciosamente (silently)

tranquilo → tranquila → tranquilamente (quietly)

– if the adjective ends in -e or in a consonant, the ending -mente is simply added.

E.g.: amable → amablemente (kindly)

normal→ normalmente (normally)

Generally, the position of the adverb within the sentence can vary without substantially affecting its meaning. However, the negation adverb no must always precede the verb.

Let’s look at some examples:

Antes había una calle allí. → Before, there used to be a road there.

El sofá era muy caro. → The couch was very expensive.

La bailarina baila graciosamente. → The dancer moves graciously.

No quieren que vayas con ellos. → They do not want that you go with them.

Mi abuela nunca vio un tren tan rápido. → My granny never saw such a fast train.


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