Adverbs

Adverbs are words that modify a verb, adjective, or another adverb. Adverbs usually describe the "why", "when", or "where" of a sentence, or under what conditions something happened.


Placement of Adverbs

1. Adverbs occur in one of three places in a French sentence. The preferred position for adverb placement in French is after the first verb. Although adverbs occur in three positions, not every adverb may occur in all three positions.


Initially:


Généralement, il arrive à l'heure.     Generally, he arrives on time.


Post verbally:


Il arrive généralement à l'heure.     He arrives generally on time.


Finally:


Il arrive à l'heure, généralement.   He arrives on time, generally.


2. In compound tenses, adverbs ending in "-ment" are often placed between the auxiliary and the verb:

J'ai complètement oublié de le faire.     I completely forgot to do it.


3. Some adverbs will normally be at the end of the sentence.

Elle a mangé lentement   She ate slowly.



Forming Adverbs


Adverbs that can be formed by adding "-ment"

Most adjectives have "-ment" added to the feminine form of the adjective. The "-ment" usually parallels "-ly" in English.

ADJECTIVE ADVERB
Masculine Feminine  
complet
facile
final
fort
heureux
parfait
rapide
complète
facile
finale
forte
heureuse
parfaite
rapide
complètement
facilement
finalement
fortement
heureusement
parfaitement
rapidement


Completely Irregular Adverbs

Some adverbs are completely different from their corresponding adjective.

ADJECTIVE ADVERB
Masculine Feminine  
bon
mauvais
meilleur
petit
moindre
bonne
mauvais
meilleure
petite
moindre
bien
mal
mieux
peu
moins

 


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