Saturday, September 4, 2010

Forming Adverbs

The vast majority of adverbs in Spanish end in -mente, and correspond to the English suffix -ly. Spanish adverbs are relatively easy to form, and act similarly to their English counterparts.

An adverb or adverbial phrase is any member of a class of words that function as modifiers of verbs or clauses, as well as adjectives. Adverbs typically express some relation of place, time, manner, circumstance, etc.

To form them, we take their associative adjective and feminize it. This is only possible when the adjective being manipulated can either exist in a masculine or feminine form, which is usually a suffix of -o or -a, respectively. The table below shows the masculine singular adjective. You'll notice that prior to -mente being added, the adjective becomes feminine (by replacing the -o with an -a):













This adjective:
Forms this Adverb
intenso
intensamente (intensely)
profundo
profundamente(profoundly)
lento
lentamente(slowly)
histórico
históricamente(historically)
loco
locamente(crazily)
legítimo
legítimamente(lawfully)
serio
seriamente(seriously)




Now, when the adjective ends with an ambiguous suffix, then we simply just add -mente to the adjective:













This adjective:
Forms this Adverb
inteligente
inteligentemente(intelligently)
amable
amablemente(kindly)
fácil
fácilmente (slowly)
alegre
alegremente(happily)
triste
tristemente(sadly)
comprensible
comprensiblemente(understandably)



You'll notice in some of the above examples that if there is an accent found on the adjective form, then that accent is carried on to the formation of the adverb, as in the adjective rápido---->rápidamente.

The following adjective--->adverb transformations are irregular and need to be memorized. You'll notice that some of them are the same as their adjective counterparts:











This adjective:
Forms this Adverb
bueno/buena
bien(well)
malo/mala
mal(badly)
mejor
mejor(better)
peor
peor(worse)

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