How to Transform Spanish Adjectives Into Adverbs
Transforming adjectives into adverbs in Spanish is an easy topic to master. It won’t take you long to grasp the rules and start forming adverbs in Spanish yourself!
Read this article to learn how to create adverbs in the Spanish language from adjectives with specific endings. I’ll show you many examples and you’ll see the adverb placement in Spanish in context.
Adjectives and Adverbs in Spanish Grammar
Let’s quickly review the difference between adjectives and adverbs in Spanish, as most adverbs in Spanish are formed from adjectives.
Both adjectives and adverbs belong to the 9 parts of speech, along with nouns, verbs, and others.
Adjectives describe nouns and give you more information about them, such as their size, color, and origin. Here are some examples of adjectives in Spanish:
- big – grande
- pink – rosado/a
- Mexican – Mexicano/a
To learn more, check out A Comprehensive Guide To Spanish Adjectives.
Adverbs, on the other hand, modify and describe verbs, adjectives, and other verbs. For example:
- professionally – profesionalmente
- quickly – rápidamente
- wrong – mal
How to Form Adverbs in Spanish
As I mentioned, you usually need an adjective to form adverbs in Spanish. (I’ll get to the exceptions later on.)
I’ll show you two types of adverbs in Spanish, the ones you make by adding an ending and others that don’t follow the rule.
Adverbs in Spanish with the Suffix –mente
In English, you form adverbs by adding “-ly” to adjectives: “quick” changes to “quickly.” In Spanish, you add -mente.
However, before you do it, you need to check the adjective ending; whether it finishes with o, e, or a consonant. Let’s see what you have to do in each of the three cases.
1. Adjectives Ending in –o
To add the suffix -mente to an adjective that ends in -o, you need to change its form to the feminine one first. It means the adjective needs to finish in letter –a, before you add -mente.
Es un hombre sincero.
He is an honest man.
Sincero is the male form of the adjective. To get its feminine form, you need to change the -o to -a: sincera.
Es una mujer sincera.
She is an honest woman.
Now, you can add -mente: sinceramente (honestly).
Lo confesó sinceramente.
He confessed it honestly.
Other adjectives like these include the following:
|abierto – abierta – open||abiertamente – openly|
|cansado – cansada -tired||cansadamente – wearily|
|equivocado – equivocada – mistaken||equivocadamente – mistakenly|
|feo – fea – ugly||feamente – horribly|
|justo – justa – fair, just||justamente – fairly, justly, exactly|
|lento – lenta – slow||lentamente – slowly|
|rápido – rápida – quick||rápidamente – quickly|
|raro – rara – weird||raramente – weirdly|
|seco – seca – dry||secamente – coldly, referring to behavior|
|tonto – tonta – stupid||tontamente – stupidly|
Example Sentences in Spanish
It rarely happens.
Se sentó cansadamente en una piedra.
He sat down wearily on a stone.
Antes, Plutón fue considerado equivocadamente un planeta.
Pluto was once mistakenly considered a planet.
Es aquí justamente donde vivían mis abuelos.
This is exactly where my grandparents lived.
Drink it slowly.
La actriz sonreía tontamente ante las cámaras.
The actress smiled foolishly in front of the cameras.
2. Adjectives ending in –e
When an adjective ends in the letter -e, it’s even easier because it has the same form whether it’s masculine or feminine. You don’t need to make any changes; just add -mente to change it into a Spanish adverb.
|brillante – brilliant||brillantemente – brilliantly|
|constante – constant||constantemente – constantly|
|dulce – sweet||dulcemente – sweetly|
|frecuente – frequent||frecuentemente – frequently|
|fuerte – strong||fuertemente – strongly|
|inteligente – intelligent||inteligentemente – intelligently|
|pobre – poor||pobremente – poorly|
|simple – simple||simplemente – simply|
|triste – sad||tristemente – sadly|
Example Sentences in Spanish
El candidato respondió brillantemente a las preguntas.
The candidate answered the questions brilliantly.
El nivel de agua en los océanos crece constantemente.
The water level in the oceans is constantly rising.
Sus hijas siempre se abrazan dulcemente.
His daughters always hug each other sweetly.
Mi profesor utiliza esta frase frecuentemente.
My teacher uses this phrase frequently.
Criticaron las medidas fuertemente.
They criticized the measures strongly.
El congreso fue pobremente organizado.
The congress was poorly organized.
3. Adjectives Ending in a Consonant
If an adjective ends in a consonant, again, simply add the suffix -mente.
|cortés – polite||cortésmente – politely|
|débil – weak||débilmente – weakly|
|dificil – difficult||difícilmente – with difficulty|
|fácil – easy||fácilmente – easily|
|feliz – happy||felizmente – happily|
|feroz – ferocious||ferozmente – ferociously|
|final – final||finalmente – finally|
|particular – particular||particularmente – particularly|
|puntual – punctual, on time||puntualmente – punctually|
|radical – radical||radicalmente – radically|
Example Sentences in Spanish
Cortésmente me estrechó la mano.
He politely shook my hand.
Hago amigos fácilmente.
I make friends easily.
Tienes que cortarlo radicalmente.
You have to cut it radically.
Difícilmente podrás mejorar si no estudias.
You can hardly improve if you don’t study.
Pues finalmente parece que lo has logrado.
Well, it looks like you’ve finally made it.
Es una situación particularmente difícil.
It’s a particularly difficult situation.
Con el aparato puedo captar débilmente lo que dice la gente.
With the device, I can faintly pick up what people say.
Now you know how to form adverbs in Spanish by adding -mente. Just remember that if the adjective has a written accent, the adverb will also have it.
If you need to use two or more adverbs that end in -mente in the same sentence, you’ll use it just in the last adverb.
Mi hijo escribe lenta y difícilmente.
My son writes slowly and with difficulty.
How to Form Other Types of Adverbs
Other adverbs in Spanish are not formed by adding -mente. The following adverbs keep the same form as adjectives and adverbs:
mucho – much
Me divierte mucho. (adverb)
I enjoy it very much.
Tengo muchos libros. (adjective)
I have many books.
poco – little
Esto es poco últil. (adverb)
It’s not very useful.
Comes pocas verduras. (adjective)
You eat few vegetables.
demasiado – too much
Hablas demasiado. (adverb)
You talk too much.
Tenemos demasiado calor. (adjective)
We are too hot.
tanto – so much
Te quiero tanto. (adverb)
I live you so much.
¡Lees tantos libros! (adjective)
You read so many books!
más – more
Estudias más que yo. (adverb)
You study more than I do.
Tengo más paciencia. (adjective)
I have more patience.
menos – less
Esto cuesta menos. (adverb)
This costs less.
Tienes menos fiebre. (adjective)
You have less fever.
Fast, Slow, and Loud
There are also some adjectives that can work as adverbs even though they have separate adverbial forms. The most common are rápido, lento, and duro.
Corre rápido / rápidamente.
She runs fast.
Habla duro / duramente.
He talks loudly.
Come lento / lentamente.
She eats slowly.
Some adjectives have totally different adverbial forms:
Bueno/a (good) changes into bien (well). Malo/a (bad) changes into mal.
Corre bien rápido.
He runs very fast.
She dances badly.
Practice Forming Adverbs in Spanish
Great job! As you can see, forming adverbs in Spanish is an easy grammar topic. The rest is just a question of practice. The more you use adverbs in Spanish, and the more you practice forming them, the easier they become.
Remember that while you’re studying Spanish and working on your bilingual skills, you’re also working on and improving your cognition and decision-making abilities, so you’re killing two birds with one stone.
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