50 Common Spanish Adverbs to Start Using Today
Adverb? What’s that?
Don’t worry, it’s normal if you are not sure what adverbs are or what they do. Sure, the term rings a bell but it’s hard to define it, right?
Adverbs have a bad reputation. They give a lot of information, are essential to the meaning of their sentences, and still, many people don’t know how to use them. And I’m not even talking about adverbs in a new language! Adverbs are often understood (or misunderstood) in our own native language.
Now, what about Spanish adverbs? If adverbs are complicated in English, odds are that they will be even harder in Spanish. However, that is a fallacy. Adverbs aren’t that hard; actually they are pretty useful to learn a new language.
This post is a beginner’s guide to Spanish adverbs. It includes a handy outline of the 50 most common adverbs in the Spanish language.
What’s an Adverb?
Adverbs are one of the eight parts of speech. We use them to express where, when, how, how long, and how often an action takes place. Although sometimes it’s said that Spanish adverbs “are to verbs what adjectives are to nouns,” they can also modify adjectives and other adverbs.
Learning how to use Spanish adverbs is a big step in your understanding of the language, so much that it’s recommended as a “language hack.” The truth is that they are everywhere. Adverbs give extra details about what’s taking place, and they actually have the power to completely change the meaning of sentences.
Characteristics of Spanish Adverbs
A good thing about Spanish adverbs is that they don’t change. Once you learn the adverbs, you won’t need to deal with conjugations as with verbs, or gender and number modifications as with nouns and adjectives.
Another cool characteristic of Spanish adverbs is that many of them are easy to identify. If a word ends in -mente, it’s an adverb. Just like in English with the -ly ending. However, not all Spanish adverbs end in -mente, as we’ll see.
Actually, you can create your own adverbs, and there is even a formula for this. Most adjectives are useful for this purpose. The secret is to take the feminine form of a Spanish adjective and add the ending -mente:
adjective in feminine form + -mente = Spanish adverb
Adjective: definitivo (definitive)
Feminine form: definitiva
Spanish adverb: definitivamente (definitely)
Placement Rules for Spanish Adverbs
Spanish adverbs follow specific placement rules, and it’s important to learn how they work.
1. An adverb usually comes after the verb it modifies.
Corres rápido. – You run fast.
Estoy bien. – I’m well.
2. An adverb always comes before the adjective it modifies.
Buenos Aires es muy bonito. – Buenos Aires is very beautiful.
Este restaurante es bastante caro. – This restaurant is quite expensive.
3. An adverb always comes before the adverb it modifies.
Caminas algo despacio. – You walk somewhat slowly.
No hice casi nada. – I did almost nothing.
Types of Spanish Adverbs
Spanish adverbs can be classified according to different criteria. There are adverb classifications by form, function, or meaning. Here, we are going to use the last one, types of adverbs by meaning, which includes seven categories: place, time, quantity, manner, affirmative, negative, and doubt.
Adverbs of Place
cerca – near
lejos – far
aquí – here
allí – there
allá – over there
arriba – above
debajo – below
dentro – inside
fuera – outside
La universidad está lejos de aquí. -The university is far from here.
Mi casa está allá. – My house is over there.
El libro está debajo de la cama. – The book is under the bed.
Adverbs of Time
luego – later
ahora – now
antes – before
después – after
ayer – yesterday
hoy – today
mañana – tomorrow
entonces – then
tarde – late
pronto – early
El partido se jugará mañana. – The match will be played tomorrow.
Llegaste tarde. – You’re late.
Queremos comer ahora. – We want to eat now.
Adverbs of Quantity
más – more
menos – less
poco – a little
mucho – a lot
suficiente – enough
bastante – quite
muy – very
demasiado – too much
apenas – hardly
casi – almost
nada – nothing
algo – something
Esto es demasiado para mí. – This is too much for me.
Le ayudaste mucho. – You helped him a lot.
Necesito más de ti. – I need more from you.
Adverbs of Manner
bien – well
mal – wrong
así – about
despacio – slowly
deprisa – quickly
Most Spanish adverbs ending in -mente belong to this category.
suavemente – softly
curiosamente – curiously
claramente – clearly
Estoy muy bien, gracias. – I’m very well, thank you.
Here, you can see an example of an adverb, muy, modifying another adverb, bien.
Está claramente en lo correcto. – You’re clearly right.
Eso está mal. – That’s wrong.
sí – yes
ciertamente – certainly
también – too
desde luego, por supuesto – of course
en efecto – indeed
Ellos fueron elegidos también. – They were chosen, too.
Por supuesto que tienes razón. – Of course you are right.
Esa es, en efecto, una gran pregunta. – That’s a great question indeed.
no – no
nunca, jamás – never
tampoco – neither
Carlos nunca se casó. – Carlos never got married.
Tampoco ella se casó. – She did not marry either.
Al final, no se casaron. – At the end of the day, they didn’t get married.
Adverbs of Doubt
tal vez, acaso – perhaps
quizá – maybe
probablemente – probably
Tal vez esta sea tu última oportunidad. – Perhaps this is your last chance.
Este es probablemente el mejor de mis dibujos. – This one is probably the best of my drawings.
Es quizá el mejor libro que he leído. – It’s maybe the best book I’ve ever read.
Practice Your Spanish Adverbs!
There you have it, 50 of the most common Spanish adverbs out there! Study and practice them at home. Make the most of these adverbs, include them in real-life conversations, and start getting comfortable using them.
Did you like today’s lesson? What else should we have included in this post? Leave a comment below and start a conversation with Spanish students around the world!
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