Adverbs

Adverbes

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
  there   peu   few, little
partout   everywhere   très   very
quelque part    somewhere   trop   too much

Adverbs of Time

 

Exclamative Adverbs

bientôt   soon   ce que   how, so
déjà   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
  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 travaillé.   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 fatigué.   I’m very tired.
Je suis assez souvent fatigué.   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.

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French adverbs
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