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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