Los adverbios or adverbs are the most common words in the Spanish language. They’re of paramount importance so as to enrich your speech and get your message across properly. Adverbs are used to modify an action and to explain how something was done. They can also be used to modify a whole sentence or idea, adjectives or other adverbs.
It’s quite common to leave adverbs aside since most people don’t know how to use them, where to use them in a sentence or what’s their purpose. However, they’re powerful words since they add extra information to what we want to communicate.
We use adverbs in any language all the time to indicate where something is, when something happened, how something is done, how often an action takes place, how much something costs, among other things.
Generally speaking, adverbs are formed by adding -ly to an adjective in the English language. Whereas in the Spanish language, you simply add -mente to an adjective to form adverbs. However, the most common adverbs in both languages don’t follow this rule. You basically need to learn them by heart according to the category they belong.
There are plenty of one-word adverbs that answer the question ¿Dónde….? or Where….? These kinds of adverbs indicate where something or someone is or where something has taken place.
You can use them on their own or as part of a sentence. Its placement is quite important in the Spanish language. They commonly go after the verb they modify.
|Está sobre la mesa||It’s on the table|
|Sucedió cerca de mi casa||It happened near my house|
|El libro está dentro de mi mochila||The book is in my backpack|
|Me quedé detrás en la fila||I stayed behind at the queue|
|La escuela queda lejos. Tomemos el autobús||The school is far away. Let’s take the bus|
|El baño está arriba||The bathroom is upstairs|
Other common one-word adverbs are related to when or how something happened or how frequently an action takes place. Those adverbs that tell you how something is done are known as adverbs of manner or adverbios de modo. Adverbs that indicate how often something takes place are called adverbs of frequency or adverbios de frecuencia. Adverbs that indicate when something happened are called adverbs of time or adverbios de tiempo.
|Hoy fue al supermercado||She went to the supermarket today|
|Jamás asistió temprano a clases||He never was early to classes|
|Cocinó rápido||She cooked fast|
|A lo mejor mañana voy a visitar a mi abuela||I may visit my granny tomorrow|
|Lo hizo muy bien||She did it quite well|
|Siempre dice la verdad||She always says the truth|
There are some words such as bastante, demasiado, tanto, mucho, poco which means enough, a lot, so much, a lot, a little than can behave as adjectives and adverbs.
When these words are used before a noun, they function as adjectives. In that case, they should match in number and gender the noun. Whereas, they’re used after a verb to modify an action when functioning as an adverb.
|Hay bastante comida en el plato||There’s enough food on the plate||Comiste bastante hoy||You ate too much today|
|Hace demasiado calor||It’s too much hot||Me he ejercitado demasiado||I’ve exercised too much|
|No hay tanto jugo en la jarra||There’s no much juice in the jug||No sabe tanto de inglés||He doesn’t know much of English|
|Tengo muchas manzanas||I’ve got a lot of apples||No escribe mucho||He doesn’t write a lot|
|Hay poca agua||There isn’t much water||Habla muy poco inglés||He speaks a little of English|