Adverbs in Spanish

Adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives, other adverbs or even entire sentences. They indicate circumstances such as time, place, mood, quantity, affirmation, negation, among others. Learn the types of adverbs with this list from Sprachcaffe and improve your fluency in Spanish.


Adverb formation

Spanish adverbs can be formed in different ways, and their construction depends on the type of adverb being formed. The common ways of forming adverbs in Spanish are:

From adjectives: The general rule is to add "-mente" to the feminine singular of

  • Ejemplo: Rápido → Rápidamente
  • Ejemplo: Fácil → Fácilmente
  • Ejemplo: Claro → Claramente

From nouns: Occasionally, nouns are used to form adverbs by adding "-mente".

  • Ejemplo: Paz → Pazmente (poco común y poético).

From other words: Some adverbs are formed from other words, such as prepositions, conjunctions, etc.

  • Ejemplo: Adelante → Adelante
  • Ejemplo: Después → Después
  • Ejemplo: También → También

Other types of adverbs:

  • Invariable adverbs:
    • There are adverbs that do not change their form and remain the same in different circumstances.
    • Ejemplo: Aquí, pronto, nunca, siempre
  • Compound adverbs:
    • They are formed by combining two or more words.
    • Ejemplo: Ahora mismo, muy bien, así también
  • Adverbs derived from adverbs:
    • Some adverbs are formed from other existing adverbs.
    • Ejemplo: Rápidamente → Rapidísimamente
    • Ejemplo: Frecuentemente → Frecuentísimamente
  • Adverbs with prefixes:
    • Adverbs can be formed by adding prefixes to existing words.
    • Ejemplo: Bien → Mal (opuesto)
    • Ejemplo: Apropiado → Inapropiadamente
      Remember: Not all adverbs follow a specific rule for their formation. Some adverbs are irregular and must be learned by heart.

Types of adverbs

Type Explanation Examples
De modo Expresan la forma en que se realiza la acción del verbo. Rápidamente, bien, mal, así.
De lugar Indican dónde se lleva a cabo la acción del verbo. Aquí, allí, cerca, lejos.
De tiempo Se refieren a cuándo ocurre la acción del verbo. Hoy, mañana, ayer, temprano.
De cantidad Expresan en qué medida se realiza la acción del verbo. Mucho, poco, bastante, más.
De afirmación Confirmación de la acción o situación. Sí, ciertamente, exactamente.
De negación Niegan la acción o situación. No, jamás, tampoco.
De duda o interrogativos ¿Dónde?, ¿cómo?, ¿cuándo?, ¿por qué?, ¿cuánto? ¿Dónde?, ¿cómo?, ¿cuándo?, ¿por qué?, ¿cuánto?
De exclamación Expresan emoción o exclamación sobre la acción. ¡Qué bonito!, ¡cómo!, ¡cuánto!
De orden o secuencia Indican el orden en que ocurren las acciones. Primero, luego, después, finalmente.
De inclusión y exclusión Indican si algo está incluido o excluido de la acción. Incluso, también, solo.
De afirmación indirecta Indican que se hace referencia a algo sin expresarlo directamente. Aparentemente, supuestamente, quizás.
De afirmación condicional Posiblemente, seguramente, probablemente. Posiblemente, seguramente, probablemente.

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Position of adverbs in the sentence

The position of adverbs in Spanish can vary according to the type of adverb and the context of the sentence. The main positions of adverbs in the sentence are:

  1. Before the main verb:
    Adverbs are usually placed before the main verb in the sentence.
    Example: I speak clearly.
  2. After the main verb:
    Sometimes adverbs are placed after the main verb.
    Example: I speak Spanish well.
  3. At the beginning of the sentence:
    Adverbs can begin the sentence to emphasize a circumstance.
    Example: I am always on time.
  4. At the end of the sentence:
    Adverbs can be placed at the end of the sentence, especially if you want to give emphasis to the circumstance.
    Example: He studies Spanish every day.
  5. Before the verb in a compound form:
    In compound constructions with auxiliary verbs (such as haber), adverbs are usually placed before the auxiliary verb.
    Example: I have never been there.
  6. Between the auxiliary verb and the main verb in compound tenses:
    In compound tenses, adverbs are placed between the auxiliary verb and the main verb.
    Example: I have spoken clearly.
  7. Depending on the adverb:
    Some adverbs have a fixed position in the sentence, independent of the main verb.
    Example: It is always hot here.

The position of the adverb in the sentence can change depending on the intention of the speaker, the emphasis that is intended to be given to the circumstance or the specific grammatical structure of the sentence. It is important to practice and observe how adverbs are used in different contexts in order to better understand their position in a Spanish sentence.


Conclusion

It is important to become familiar with these types of adverbs in order to be able to accurately express the circumstances related to the verbal action in different contexts. To learn adverbs in sprachcaffe we recommend that you do specific grammar exercises and study the list of adverbs classified by categories (manner, place, time, etc.) for better organization and understanding.


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