Italian Adverbs

An adverb (avverbio) is a word that modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. An adverb can be compared to an adjective but instead it says something about a verb or an adjective instead of a noun.
  • Luciano agisce lentamentes  »  Luciano acts slowly.
  • Leonardo viene tardi  »  Leonardo comes late.
  • Usciamo adesso  »  We're leaving now.
  • Ci andiamo a giugno   »  We are going there in June.

In English, adverbs are often formed by adding the suffix -ly to adjectives: slowly, softly, surely. Adverbs often answer the question: come? (how?), quando? (when?), or dove? (where?)

In Italian, many adverbs are formed by adding the ending -mente (which corresponds to the suffix -ly) to the feminine form of the adjective:

Adjective (masc.) Adjective (fem.) Adverb

felice (happy) felice (happy) felicemente (happily)
vero (true) vera (true) veramente (truly)
lento (slow) lenta (slow) lentamente (slowly)
stanco (tired) stanca (tired) stancamente (tiredly)

Examples:

  • Lui corre rapidamente  »  He runs fast
  • Parlo lentamente  »  I speak slowly
  • Parla Italiano fluentemente  »  He/She/It speaks Italian fluently

If the adjective ends in -le or -re, the final vowel e is dropped before adding the suffix -mente:

Adjective (m. or f.) Adjectival root Adverb

esemplare(exemplary) esemplari- esemplarmente(exemplarily)
gentile (kind) gentil- gentilmente(kindly)
speciale(special) special- specialmente(especially)
generale (general) general- generalmente(generally)
regolare (regular) regolar- regolarmente(regularly)

Not all Italian adverbs are formed from adjectives. Below we have a list of those adverbs.

ITALIAN ENGLISH   ITALIAN ENGLISH


ancora still   già already
attorno around, about   inoltre moreover
bene well   insieme together
contro against   male badly
dentro in, inside   (non)...mai never
dietro behind of   (non)...più not anymore
dopo then, afterwards   oltre beyond
fuori outside   sempre always

Examples:

  • Beve sempre la birra  »  He always drinks beer.
  • Sono arrivato tardi al museo  »  I arrived late at the museum.
  • Non ci sei più andata  »  You don't go there anymore.
  • Enzo è sempre venuto in orario  »  Enzo always came on time.
  • Non ho ancora finito i miei compiti  »  I still hadn't finished my homework.



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