French Adverbs

French adverbs are words used to modify a verb, an adjective, or even another adverb, by offering additional information related to it. The most common adverbs refer to manner, point in time, frequency, location, and degree.


Bien (well), complètement (completely) Adverbs that refer to manner
Actuellement (currently), bientôt (soon) Adverbs that refer to point in time
Toujours (always), rarement (rarely) Adverbs that refer to frequency
Ici (here), partout (everywhere) Adverbs that refer to location
Beaucoup (a lot), légèrement (lightly) Adverbs that refer to degree

Pierre est entièrement occupé (Pierre is completely busy) Adverb modifying an adjective
Doris écrit très vite (Doris writes very fast) Adverb modifying another adverb

Mon frère marche lentement (My brother walks slowly).
Le bébé pleure souvent (The baby cries often).
Steve n'aime pas la pizza (Steve doesn’t like pizza)
Je ne fume plus (I don’t smoke anymore) Additional adverb = “plus” (anymore)
Elle n'est pas toujours danser (She doesn’t always dance) Additional adverb = “toujours” (always)
  1. Comparative, interrogative, indefinite and negative adverbs are further popular categories in the French Language.
    As shown above, most French adverbs –particularly those that refer to manner- are constructed by adding the ending “-ment” to their roots, in the same fashions as the ending “-ly” is used to form adverbs in English. The placement of the word itself follows certain specific rules:1. An adverb is placed BEFORE the word it will modify when the latter is either an adjective or another adverb.

  2. Examples:

  3. An adverb is always placed AFTER a conjugated verb

  4. Examples:

    * The only exception to this rule occurs in the case of negative constructions, which are generally formed by preceding the conjugated verb by the word “ne” and following it by the word “pas” (which can in turn be followed by any other available adverbs in the sentence).


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