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
insistently
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
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

 Related lessons

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French adverbs of manner

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