Spanish Adverbs


An adverb is a word that complements or can modify a verb, an adjective or even other adverbs. Adverbs are divided according to the change they perform in a sentence. In the following lesson, you will learn about the different types of adverbs in Spanish and how to use them properly.

She is faster then wind

An adverb is a word that complements or modifies the verb, an adjective or another adverb. They are similar to adjectives, however, adverbs describe how an action is taking place if it is slow, or with difficulty, or fast. Examples of Adverbs are quickly, softly. Notice that most of them end in“Ly.” In Spanish, the ending for the adverb is “mente.”

First you change the adjective to the feminine form of the word, and simply add “mente,” to the end of the word.

Adjective                            Feminine                    Add “mente”
Rápido   – fast                        Rápida                        Rapidamente
Lento     – slow                      Lenta                            Lentamente
Suave   – soft                        Suave                        Suavemente
Absoluto – definitely                Absoluta                      Absolutamente

There are other adverbs which describe how an action occurs and that are unique to Spanish:

Me lo sé de memoria – I know it by heart

Lo hicimos a escondidas – We did it secretly

De repente salimos a correr – Suddenly we went out running

If you want to describe to someone the manner in which something took place, you will use an adverb. They are written in the same form and do not change according to gender or number because they modify adjectives not nouns. Adverbs are placed after the verb.

It is easy to identify an adverb in a sentence because all you have to do is ask yourself questions like: when, how, when, where, how long, how often; and look at your sentence for the answer. Your word which tells you how things happened, is your adverb.

If you want to let someone know when or how often an action occurs, you can use these adverbs:

A menudo – Often

Ella se tarda a menudo – She is late often

Al final – At the end

Encontrarás una maleta al final de la calle –

De día – During the day 

You will find a suitcase at the end of the street.

De noche – At night

Voy a la tienda de noche- I go to the store at night

De vez en cuando – Once in a while

Yo voy a la playa de vez en cuando.

Adverbs that describe where an action occurs:

A la derecha – To the right

En ninguna parte – Nowhere

A la izquierda – To the left

En otra parte – In another part

De arriba a abajo – Up and down

En casa – At home

Por aquí – This way

Hay parques en todas partes. There are parks everywhere.

Vamos al cine después de estudiar. Let’s go to the movies after studying.

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:

Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

Specific Capabilities at this Level

I can write short, simple notes and messages relating to matters in areas of immediate needs. I can write a very simple personal letter, for example thanking someone for something.
Spoken Production:
I can use a series of phrases and sentences to describe in simple terms my family and other people, living conditions, my educational background and my present or most recent job.
Spoken Interaction:
I can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar topics and activities. I can handle very short social exchanges, even though I can’t usually understand enough to keep the conversation going myself.
I can read very short, simple texts. I can find specific, predictable information in simple everyday material such as advertisements, prospectuses, menus and timetables and I can understand short simple personal letters.
I can understand phrases and the highest frequency vocabulary related to areas of most immediate personal relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local area, employment). I can catch the main point in short, clear, simple messages and announcements.