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), and gordo (fat).
Resources for further reading:
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.
|Adjective||Feminine form||add -mente = adverb|
|absoluto - absolute||absoluta||absolutamente = absolutely|
|lento - slow||lenta||lentamente = slowly|
|rápido - fast||rápida||rápidamente = quickly|
|suave - soft||(no change)||suavemente = softly|
You will find some adverbs in Spanish that don’t look much like their English equivalents, but are used quite frequently. You should memorize the following adverbs, because you will hear them often.
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Me lo sé de memoria.
I know it by memory.
El terremoto sucedió de golpe.
The earthquake happened suddenly.
Carmen se puso la camiseta al revés.
Carmen put her t-shirt on backwards.
Lo hicimos a escondidas.
We did it secretly.
De repente sonó la alarma.
Suddenly, the alarm rang out.
If you wish to describe how often or when an action occurs, you may wish to use one of the following adverbs:
Comemos carne de vez en cuando.
We eat meat once in a while.
A veces vamos a la playa después de estudiar.
Sometimes we go to the beach after studying.
Al fin podía entrar en la universidad.
At last, I was able to enter the university.
If you wish to describe where an action occurs, you may wish to use one of the following adverbs:
Hay bancos en todas partes.
There are banks everywhere.
No se encuentran tantas cascadas en ninguna otra parte.
So many waterfalls can't be found anywhere else.
Check out Spanish grammarfor more useful info! Here are some recommended lessons:
Mauricio Evlampieff: Rocket Spanish
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