Indefinite Adverbs

French indefinite adverbs
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Adverbes indéfinis

Talking about indefinite concepts can be tricky in a foreign language, yet indefinite adverbs are rarely covered as a specific topic in class. Instead, students tend to pick them up randomly here and there as needed. I think it’s more helpful to consider them as a group.

Notes

  • This is a list of English indefinite adverbs with their French translations; many of the latter are actually adverbial phrases.
  • Many of these terms are conjunctions as well, but the translations given here are only for adverbial meanings and usage.

Indefinite adverbs of frequency

always toujours
never ne … jamais
often souvent
once, twice, three times une fois, deux fois, trois fois
once or twice une ou deux fois
une fois ou deux
once in a while de temps à autre
de temps en temps
rarely rarement
sometimes parfois, quelquefois

Indefinite adverbs of manner

anyhow quand même, de toute façon
anyway (any old way)  n’importe comment
how else … comment … autrement
however n’importe comment
somehow (or other) d’une manière ou d’une autre
d’une certaine manière
je ne sais comment

Indefinite adverbs of place

anyplace, anywhere n’importe où
elsewhere ailleurs, autre part
everywhere partout
nowhere ne … nulle part
somewhere quelque part
somewhere else ailleurs, autre part
wherever je ne sais où, n’importe où

Indefinite adverbs of quantity

a lot beaucoup (de)
a number of un nombre de
a little peu (de)
about à peu près, environ
as many / much autant (de)
enough assez
few peu (de)
fewer moins (de)
less moins (de)
little peu (de)
how many / much combien (de)
more encore (de)
so many / much tant (de)
some quelque
somewhat un peu, quelque peu
too many / much trop (de)

Indefinite adverbs of time

any time n’importe quand
formerly, in the past autrefois
sometime un de ces jours
un de ces quatre (matins)
un jour ou l’autre
whenever n’importe quand

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French indefinite adverbs

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