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Grammar Tip – Spanish Adverbs

Spanish Grammar Tip

Los adverbios

Los adverbios (adverbs) are a group of words that are invariable, whose purpose is that of modifying the meaning of several other grammatical categories, mainly a verb, an adjective, a whole sentence even or a word of the same type, that is, another adverb.

Spanish adverbs are usually classified into several categories depending on their meaning:

CANTIDAD QUANTITY
mucho much
poco a little bit
muy very
casi almost
todo all
nada nothing
algo some
demasiado too
bastante quite
también as well

 

LUGAR PLACE
aquí here
ahí there
cerca near
lejos far
fuera outside
dentro inside
alrededor (de) around
aparte apart
encima over
debajo under
delante (de) in front of
detrás behind

 

NEGACIÓN NEGATION
no (do) not
tampoco neither
jamás / nunca never

 

AFIRMACIÓN AFFIRMATION
yes
también as well
asimismo likewise

 

TIEMPO TIME
ahora now
antes before
después after
tarde late
luego then
ayer yesterday
temprano early
ya already
todavía still
anteayer the day before yesterday
pronto soon
hoy today

 

DUDA INCERTAINTY
acaso perhaps
quizá (-s) maybe
tal vez perhaps
a lo mejor maybe

 

MODO MANNER
bien well
mal badly
despacio slowly
rápido / deprisa quickly

 

With regards to adverbs of manner, most adjectives can become adverbs following the rules below based on the adjective ending:

– the feminine form of a qualifying adjective is taken and the ending -mente is added.

E.g.: silencioso → silenciosa → silenciosamente (silently)

tranquilo → tranquila → tranquilamente (quietly)

– if the adjective ends in -e or in a consonant, the ending -mente is simply added.

E.g.: amable → amablemente (kindly)

normal→ normalmente (normally)

Generally, the position of the adverb within the sentence can vary without substantially affecting its meaning. However, the negation adverb no must always precede the verb.

Let’s look at some examples:

Antes había una calle allí. → Before, there used to be a road there.

El sofá era muy caro. → The couch was very expensive.

La bailarina baila graciosamente. → The dancer moves graciously.

No quieren que vayas con ellos. → They do not want that you go with them.

Mi abuela nunca vio un tren tan rápido. → My granny never saw such a fast train.


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