French adverbs
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One of the eight parts of speech, adverbs are descriptors: they can modify several different parts of speech, including themselves. Virtually every French word that ends in -ment is an adverb, equivalent to -ly in English. But there are also many adverbs that don’t end in -ment.

Characteristics of French Adverbs

  1. May modify verbs, adjectives, prepositions, or other adverbs
  2. Are invariable
  3. Are categorized according to type of modification
  4. Follow specific placement rules

Types of French Adverbs

Here are the different types of French adverbs with a few examples of each. Click the titles for detailed lessons on each type.

Adverbs of Frequency


Adverbs of Manner

jamais ever bien well
parfois sometimes heureusement fortunately
rarement rarely mal poorly
souvent often poliment politely
toujours always vite quickly

Adverbs of Place


Adverbs of Quantity

dehors outside assez quite, fairly
ici here beaucoup   a lot
lĂ  there peu few, little
partout everywhere très very
quelque part  somewhere trop too much

Adverbs of Time


Exclamative Adverbs

bientĂ´t soon ce que how, so
dĂ©jĂ  already combien (de) so much/many
hier yesterday comme how, so
longtemps for a long time que (de) how, so
maintenant   now qu’est-ce que how, so

Interrogative Adverbs


Negative Adverbs

combien how much/many ne … guère hardly
comment how ne … jamais never
oĂą where ne … pas not
pourquoi why ne … plus not any more
quand when ne … que only

Comparative Adverbs


Superlative Adverbs

moins less le moins the least
plus more, ___er le plus the most, the ___est
aussi as    

Pronominal Adverbs

en of it    
y there    

French Adverbs and Word Order

Very generally speaking, when adverbs modify verbs, they are placed after the (first) verb.

Je travaille beaucoup. I work a lot.
J’ai beaucoup travaillĂ©. I worked a lot.
Je dois beaucoup travailler. I have to work a lot.

When adverbs modify any other part of speech, they precede it.

Je suis très fatiguĂ©. I’m very tired.
Je suis assez souvent fatiguĂ©. I’m tired fairly often.
Il habite tout près de moi. He lives quite near me.

Word order with adverbs will be addressed in more detail in a future lesson.

 Related lessons

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French adverbs

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