Proper Use of Adverbs  

Spanish Adverbs

ADVERBS

GENERAL OVERVIEW

Adverbs are words and expressions that 'modify' verbs, adjectives and other adverbs. That is, they 'add information' about actions/events (verbs), descriptions of things (adjectives) or descriptions of events (adverbs).

Form: Like adjectival phrases, adverbial expressions can take various forms

1. Simple Adverbs: ahora = 'now', apenas = 'hardly', etc.

2. Prepositional Phrases: para siempre = 'forever', con cuidado = 'carefully', etc.

3. Present Participle Phrases express the "manner" in which an action takes place:

Los niños salieron corriendo y gritando. = 'The kids left running and screaming.'
Entraron rompiendo la ventana. = 'They entered (by) breaking the window.'

4. Adverbial Clauses are introduced by adverbial conjunctions and express many meanings
(space, time, manner, cause/purpose/reason, condition/circumstance, etc.)

Se van porque están aburridos. = 'They are leaving because they are bored.'
Te ayudo para que pases el examen. = 'I help you so that you pass the test.' [reason]

Meaning

Adverbial expressions fall into a number of identifiable meaning classes. The next section presents a few examples in each of the major meaning categories.

Hacer + time expressions are an important adverbials, so they receive some special attention below.
[TOP]

ADVERBIAL MEANING CLASSES

When adverbs modify 'verbs', they usually give one of the following types of information about the action or event. We can give here only a few examples of each class:

1. Space/Location/Direction:

aquí = 'here', allí = 'there', acá = (to/over/around) here', allá = '(to/over) there'arriba = 'above', overhead, upstairs', abajo = 'below, down (there), downstairs', adentro = 'inside / within, 'indoors', afuera = 'outside, outdoors', cerca = 'nearby', lejos = 'far way.

2. Time:

a. Calendar time:

hoy = 'today', esta mañana = 'this morning', esta tarde = 'this afternoon', esta noche = 'this evening/tonight', ayer = 'yesterday', ayer por la manana/tarde/noche = 'yesterday morning/afternoon/evening', anoche = 'last night', anteayer = 'yesterday', pasado mañana = 'the day after tomprrow', la semana entrante = 'next week'/'the coming week', el mes/año que viene = 'next month/year' / 'the coming month/year', de hoy/mañana en ocho = 'a week from today/tomorrow'

b. Immediacy/Timeliness:

ahora = 'now', ahorita = 'right now (speech), ahora mismo = 'right away', enseguida = 'right away', pronto = 'soon', temprano = 'early', tarde = 'late', a tiempo = 'on time', antes = 'earlier/before'

c. Frequency:

(casi) siempre = '(almost) always', frecuentemente = 'frequently', a menudo = 'often', a veces = at times/sometimes, de vez en cuando = 'from time to time', rara vez = 'seldom/rarely', (casi) nunca = '(almost) never, dos veces a la semana/al mes = 'two times a week/month'.

d. Duration:

para siempre = 'forever', de hoy en adelante = 'from today on', durante various años = 'for/during several years', por dos días = 'for two days, a lo largo del día = 'throughout the day, a través de los años = 'throughout the years', hace mucho tiempo que [+present/imperfect] = '[present/imperfect] for a long time'.
[TOP]

3. Manner: An important meaning class indicates how an action/event takes place. Many manner adverbs are derived from adjectives by adding -mente = '-ly'.

Adjective: El caballo es rápido. = 'The horse is fast.'
Adverb: Corre rapidamente. = 'It runs fast/quickly.'
Adjective: Los accidentes son frecuentes. = 'Accidents are frequent.'
Adverb: Ocurren frecuentemente. = 'they occur often/frequently.'
Adjective: El examen fue fácil. = 'The test was easy.'
Adverb; Lo pasamos fácilmente. = 'But we passed it easily.'

Note the change of vowel in the first example [rapido  rapidamente].

4. Cause/Reason/Purpose/End/Result

Lo hicimos por miedo. = 'We did it out of fear.'
Se van porque están aburridos. = 'They are leaving because they are bored.'
Te ayudo para que pases el examen. = 'I help you so that you pass the test.' [reason]
Llegaron, de modo que pudimos irnos. = 'They arrived, so we could leave.'

5. Condition/Proviso/Circumstance

Vamos a menos que llueva. = 'We are going unless it rains.'
Trabajaremos con tal de que nos paguen. = 'We will work provided that they pay us.'

6. Degree: When adverbs modify adjectives or other adverbs, they do so in terms of "degree"; that is, they answer the question 'how big/fast/etc.' A useful set of 'degree' adverbs are presented on the following scale:

demasiado caliente = 'too hot, sumamente pelogroso = 'highly dangerous', extremadamente difícil = 'extremely difficult', muy interesante = 'very interesting', bastante rico = 'quite/rather rich' / 'rich enough', un poco testarrudo = 'a little/somewhat stubborn', más o menos honesto = more or less honest', algo curioso = 'somewhat odd'/strange, poco útil = of little use', muy poco trabajador = 'not very hardworking' , demasiado poco frecuente = "too infrequently'. Note that, although the adverbs demasiado/muy can modify poco; they can never modify mucho: muy mucho, demasiado mucho.

7. Limit: Some adverbs imply the presence of a limit:

casi = 'almost', apenas = 'hardly'

8. Phase/Aspect:

ya = 'already', ya no = 'no longer/not any more', ahora = 'now', ahora no = 'not now', todavía = 'still', todavía no = 'not yet'.




http://www.NuLengua.com



Popular Phrase: sentences with time | Spanish for Kids | Conjugated Verb: fundir - to melt [ click for full conjugation ]