Overall, an adverb is a word that complements or can modify a verb, an adjective or even other adverbs. Adverbs are divided according to the change they perform in a sentence. In the following lesson, you will learn about the different types of adverbs in Spanish and how to use them properly.
In previous lessons you learned how to describe people, places and things through the use of descriptive words called adjectives. These include words like bonito (pretty), lento (slow), gordo (fat), etcétera.
You can also describe actions in a similar way. Instead of adjectives, you will use adverbs. Examples of adverbs include rápidamente (quickly), lentamente (slowly), suavemente (softly), et cetera. These words describe how an action is taking place and may refer to a variety of characteristics.
The majority of adverbs in English end in –ly. Think of words like loudly, roughly, carefully, completely, or hastily.
Fortunately, Spanish has an equivalent of the –ly ending in English:
It is easier to use adverbs than adjectives in Spanish. Why? Well, while adjectives change according to the gender and quantity of the noun they describe, adverbs don’t change at all. The same adverb form applies to all verbs, indiscriminately!
You can form an adverb from almost any adjective in Spanish. All you have to do is take the feminine form of the adjective and add –mente to the end. Here are some examples.
absoluto - absolute
lento – slow
rápido – fast
suave – soft
Adverbs that Describe How an Action Occurs
You will find some adverbs in Spanish that don’t look much like their English equivalents, but are used quite frequently. You need to memorize the following adverbs, because you will hear them often.
Adverbs that Describe When an Action Occurs
If you wish to describe how often or when an action occurs, you may wish to use one of the following adverbs.
a menudooftenal finat last, in the end, finallya tiempoon timede díaduring daytimea vecessometimesde nocheduring nighttimeal anochecerat nightde vez en cuandoonce in a while
Adverbs that Describe Where an Action Occurs
If you wish to describe where an action occurs, you may wish to use one of the following adverbs.
a la derechato the righten ninguna partenowherea la izquierdato the leften otra parteelsewhere, somewhere elsede arriba a bajofrom top to bottomen todas parteseverywhereen casaat homepor aquíaround here, this way
For more on Spanish grammar check out these lessons!
- Making comparisons is something we do all the time. Let's take a look at understanding Spanish Comparatives and Superlatives .
- Wanting to create more complete sentences? You need to be able to use the Spanish Conjunctions.
- Spanish Definite and Indefinite Articles.