Adverbs of Manner

French adverbs of manner
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Adverbes de manière

Adverbs of manner express how the action of a verb occurs. In English, the vast majority of adverbs of manner end in -ly, whereas in French, they mostly end in –ment. In French (and English), these adverbs are created from adjectives, as follows.

1) French adjective ends in vowel: add –ment

Adjective   Adverb   Translation
bête
erroné
joli
résolu
timide
vrai
  bêtement
erronément
joliment
résolument
timidement
vraiment
  stupidly
mistakenly
nicely
resolutely
timidly
truly, really
Exceptions
gai
mou
nouveau
  gaiement
mollement
nouvellement
  gaily
softly
newly

2) Adjective ends in consonant*: make feminine, then add –ment

Adjective   Feminine   Adverb   Translation
actuel
certain
décisif
frais
heureux
premier
  actuelle
certaine
décisive
fraîche
heureuse
première
  actuellement
certainement
décisivement
fraîchement
heureusement
premièrement
  currently
certainly
decisively
freshly
fortunately
firstly
Exceptions
bref
gentil
  brève
gentille
  brièvement
gentiment
  briefly
kindly

* Except –nt, see 3, below.

  Some adverbs follow the above rules with an additional requirement: the e in front of –ment takes on an acute accent.

Adjective   Adverb   Translation
confus
dense
énorme
obscur
précis
profond
  confusément
densément
énormément
obscurément
précisément
profondément
  confusedly
densely
enormously
obscurely
precisely
profoundly

3) Adjective ends in –ant or –ent**: replace this ending with –amment or –emment.

Adjective   Adverb   Translation
apparent
fréquent
instant
méchant
récent
suffisant
  apparemment
fréquemment
instamment
méchamment
récemment
suffisamment
  apparently
frequently
instantly
spitefully
recently
sufficiently
Exception
lent   lentement   slowly

** These are usually present participles.

Some French adverbs of manner aren’t derived from adjectives:

ainsi   thus, so
aussi   also
bien   well
comme   as, like
debout   standing up
ensemble   together
exprès   on purpose
mal   poorly, badly
mieux   better
néanmoins   nevertheless
pire   worse
vite   quickly
volontiers   gladly

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French adverbs of manner

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