Adverbs of time,frequency and place from BBC website
August 06, 2018
How to form adverbs
Adverbs are words that add meaning to the verb and describe actions. They usually tell you where, when or howsomething happened or how something is done.
Most French adverbs end in -ment, like -ly in English, for example:
- généralement - generally
To form an adverb, you need to add -ment to the feminine singular form of the adjective. For example:
- heureux (happy) changes to → feminine singular is heureuse (happy)
- then add -ment → heureusement (happily)
But when the masculine singular adjective ends in a vowel, simply add -ment straight onto the end:
- joli → joliment
- libre → librement
When the masculine adjective ends in -ent or -ant remove the -ent or-ant and add -emment or -amment:
- récent → réc(ent) → réc + -emment = récemment - recently
- constant → const(ant) → const + -amment = constamment- constantly
- lent → lentement slowly
- bref → brièvement - briefly
- gentil → gentiment - kindly/gently
Position of the adverb
Most of the time the adverb goes after the verb.
When using the past tense it usually goes between the auxiliary (the part of avoir or être) and the past participle unless it is a long one!
- il va fréquemment dans les magasins - he goes frequently to the shops
- elle a mangé lentement - she ate slowly
- il a vite mangé - he ate quickly
Adverbs of time and place
Adverbs of time and frequency
Adverbs of time usually come after the verb. They don’t always follow the regular pattern for formation but useful expressions include:
- elle arrive toujours en retard - she always arrives late
- nous travaillons quelquefois le dimanche - we sometimes work on Sundays
- il joue souvent au foot - he often plays football
Adverbs of place
Useful adverbs like là-bas (over there), ici (here) and quelque part (somewhere) usually follow the verb:
- le musée se trouve là-bas - the museum is over there
- c’est ici ! - it’s here!
- ton manteau est quelque part dans la maison – your coat is somewhere in the house
Resources others found helpful
To help students of Shakespeare understand the power of iambic pentameter.
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