Spanish language Adverbios ~ Spanish Adverbs

An adverb is an invariable word that modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. Adverbs can provide additional information about manner, quantity, frequency, time, or place. Adverbs explain when, how, where, how often, or to what degree something is done.

Some common Spanish adverbs:

MANNER QUANTITY
bien well bastante quite, enough
mal poorly mucho  a lot
mejor better poco few, little
peor worse demasiado too much
alto loudly muy very
bajo softly tanto so/as much/many
-mente* -ly más more
   menos less

FREQUENCY

  
a veces sometimes

TIME

frecuentemente often hoy today
siempre always mañana tomorrow
raramente rarely ayer yesterday
nunca never ahora now
   tarde late

PLACE

temprano early
aquí here ya already
allí there por fin finally
allá over there actualmente   currently
todas partes everywhere pronto soon
alguna parte somewhere entonces next, then

*Nearly every Spanish word that ends in -mente is an adverb, usually of manner. Its English equivalent ends in -ly:

  • rápidamente - rapidly

  • posiblemente - possibly

  • tristemente - sadly

The placement of Spanish adverbs can be difficult. Whereas in English their placement is sometimes arbitrary (they might be found before or after the verb, or even at the beginning or end of the sentence), the placement rules for Spanish adverbs are much stricter.

1. When a Spanish adverb is modifying a verb, it is placed after the verb.

Comimos bien este mañana. We ate well this morning.
Los libros llegaron afortunadamente. Fortunately the books arrived. OR The books arrived, fortunately.

2. An adverb cannot be placed in between two verbs or between an auxiliary verb and main verb; it is placed after both of them.

Vamos a comer bien. We're going to eat well.
Has aprendido rápidamente You have learned quickly OR You have quickly learned.

3. When an adverb is modifying an adjective or another adverb, is is placed in front of the word it is modifying.

Comimos muy bien.  We ate very well.
Sus ideas son completamente locas. His ideas are completely crazy.

There are more rules to the placement and uses of Spanish adjectives, but these three apply to the majority of situations. An upcoming lesson will have more details.

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