What Are Common French Adverbs? Adverbs In French and What They Mean.

Often, it is difficult to find a great list of French adverbs alongside their definitions to look over and practice when learning the French language. On top of this, it can be difficult to know where to place these adverbs in a sentence. That is where we come in, at italki.com, we are experts in helping those tackle their difficulties in learning French, and have the compiled a helpful guide on French adverbs for you to help you get started. In this guide you will:
  • Learn more about how to form French adverbs
  • Understand where to place them in a sentence
  • Find a list of common French adverbs and their translations
By learning this vital information, you will be able to understand French further, making it easier to master the language and add these adverbs to your everyday French conversation. Let’s get started.

What are French adverbs

Adverbs in any language are words that describe or change verbs, other adverbs or adjectives to give further detail or context. It can change any kind of word apart from nouns. They can change the meaning of entire sentences with their addition, and this is the same in the French language. While in English, many verbs will end with the letters ‘ly’, the most common French adverbs will end in the phrase ‘ment’, but there are also other examples to look for.

How to form a normal French adverb from an adjective

As we mentioned above, the most common French adverbs end in ‘ment’, so let’s take a look at the basic rules. If the adjective you are looking to form an adverb from ends with a vowel, then ‘ment’ can be added directly to the end. For example, absolu becomes absolument. If, however, the word ends in a consonant, then an ‘e’ should be added to the end of the world, changing it to the feminine form, before adding ‘ment’ on the end. An example of this is normal, which becomes normalement. Within the French language, there are some adjectives that have a silent ‘e’ at the end of the word – for example, intense. In these cases, an accent should be placed on top of the ‘e’ before adding ‘ment’ onto the end of the world – therefore, intense becomes intensément. Any French adjectives that end in either ‘ent’ or ‘ant’ have different endings when they become adverbs. The letters ‘amment’ and ‘emment’ should be added to these words respectively. For example, courant becomes couramment, and evident becomes evidemment.. Finally, there are some adverbs that do not follow any of the rules above, and instead, have to be remembered. See the table below for some examples of these:
Adjective Adverb
bon bien
mauvais mal
meilleur mieux
petit peu
There are many different types of French adverbs, each with its own way of changing a sentence. In the next section below is a table of some of the most common adverbs within the French language.

List of French Adverbs

There are many different adverbs within the French language, with many sharing similar endings as discussed above. Below is a list of French adverbs that are commonly used, as well as their English translation to help you get started. The list is in alphabetical order for your convenience. You will notice that many of the adverbs end in the phrase ‘ment’, and this can help you identify them when reading French text or practising speaking in French.
French Adverb English Translation
absolument absolutely
actuellement currently
ailleurs elsewhere
alors so
ainsi thus; so
après after
assez quite, fairly
aujourd’hui today
aussi as; as well
aussitôt immediately
autant as much
autrefois in the old days
autrement differently
autour around
avant before
avant-hier on the day before yesterday
avec With
beaucoup a lot
bas low
bien well
bientôt well
bientôt soon
brusquement Abruptly
cependant nonetheless
certes admittedly
certainement certainly
ci here
combien how much/many
comme as
comment how
complètement Completely
d’abord first
davantage more
debout standing
dehors dehors
déjà already
delà beyond
beyond tomorrow
depuis since
dernièrement lately
désormais from now on, henceforth
dessus dessus
devant in front of
doucement Doucement
également également
encore again/still
enfin finally; eventually
ensemble together
ensuite next, then
énormément enormously
environ About
facilement easily
franchement Frankly
gentiment kindly
guère Hardly
haut high
heureusement fortunately
hier yesterday
ici here
immédiatement Immediately
jamais Never
là-bas over there
là-dedans in here, in there
là-dessus on here; on there
largement greatly; well
légèrement lightly; slightly
lentement slowly
loin far
longtemps for a long time
lors when
lors de During
maintenant now
mal poorly; badly
même even
moins less
mieux Better
naturellement naturally
ne not
non no; not
oui Yes
parfois sometimes
partout everywhere
pas not
parfaitement perfectly
peu few, little
peut-être perhaps
plutôt rather
plus more, ___-er
point hardly any; almost no
pourquoi why
pourtant yet
précédemment previously
précisément precisely
premièrement firstly
près near
presque nearly
profondément profoundly
puis Then
quelque some
quelque part Somewhere
rapidement rapidly
rarement Rarely
seulement only
sérieusement seriously
simplement simply
si as/so
soudain suddenly
souvent often
surtout Especially
tant so much
tantôt sometimes
tard late
tellement so (much)
tôt early
toujours always
tout all
très very
trop too much
vite quickly
vraiment really

Common French Adverbs Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions on French adverbs, and the answers that you need to know from our expert French teacher online. Where do adverbs fit in French sentences? Within the French language, the adverb is added to a sentence after the verb, with its purpose being to change the meaning of the verb by adding more detail. If the adverb is in the sentence to change another adverb or an adjective, then it should instead go before the word in question. Are there any patterns to the formation of French adverbs and their spelling? If the adjective that the adverb is attached to ends with a letter that is a vowel, then the adverb is likely to end in the phrase ‘ment’. On the other hand, if it ends in a consonant, you will firstly need to add an ‘e’ by changing it to the feminine form, before adding ‘ment’ on the end. What about if the sentence in French is describing a time? If the sentence in French is describing when an action happened, or how often or how long it lasts, then the adverb should be added after both the object and the verb within the sentence. Where do I put the adverb in a negative form French sentence? When you are writing or speaking a sentence that is in the negative form, the adverb itself should be added into the sentence after the phrase ‘pas’.

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To sum it up, adverbs can be used within the French language to change different types of words such as verbs and adjectives to give more detail. They cannot, however, be used on nouns. Within French, adverbs can be used to describe a number of different things, such as the frequency, the manner, or the place in which something happened. We hope that our list of French adverbs will help you get started. You will notice a lot of the words on our list end in the phrase ‘ment’ and this is a great way to start to identify them within French writing. To learn more about French grammar, and to master more of the language, why not learn French online today, by booking a lesson with italki.com.