Going Over Adverbs in Italian

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 12:43

Adverbs - avverbi in Italian - are used to modify a verb, an adjective or another adverb.There are different types of adverbs. 


Adverbs of time describe when an action takes place, such as ieri (yesterday), più tardi (later) and subito (straight away). There are called avverbi di tempo:


Ogni tanto leggo un giornale- I read a newspaper sometimes

Usciamo adesso- We are going out now


Adverbs of place describe where an action takes place, such as qui (here), fuori (outside), lì (there). These are called avverbi di luogo:

Ci sono le zanzare ovunque- There are mosquitos everywhere

Ci vediamo dentroil bar- See you insidethe bar


Adverbs of manner describe how an action is done, such as rapidamente (quickly), lentamente (slowly) and bene (well). These are called avverbi di modo:

Ballano male- They dance badly

Ha lavorato attentamente- She worked carefully


Adverbs of quantity describe how much, for example abbastanza (enough), troppo (too much), quasi (almost). These are called avverbi di quantità:

Ho dormito poco- I didn’t sleep much

Abbiamo studiato molto- We studied a lot


Adverbs of frequency describe how frequently an action takes place, such as spesso (often), sempre (always), mai (never), a volte (sometimes). These are called avverbi di frequenza:

Vado raramente al cinema- I rarely go to the cinema

Di solito andiamo in pizzeria- We usually go to the pizzeria


Adverbs of judgement are used when expressing an opinion or belief, such as forse (maybe), certamente (certainly) and probabilmente (probably). These are called avverbi di valutazione:

Senza dubbio Margherita è una persona fantastica - Margherita is without a doubt a fantastic person

Di sicuro veniamo con te - Of course we are coming with you


Some adverbs are formed by adding -menteto the singular feminine form of the adjective:

lenta / lentamente - slow / slowly

sicura / sicuramente- sure / surely

perfetto - perfettamente- perfect / perfectly


If the adjective ends in -e, you just add the -mente ending to the end: 

veloce / velocemente- quick / quickly

forte / fortemente- strong / strongly

felice / felicemente- happy / happily


But if the last syllable of these adjectives is -le or -re the final e is removed: 

gentile / gentilmente- kind / kindly

generale / generalmente- general / generally

facile / facilmente - easy / easily


There are also many adverbs that do not derive from adjectives and have to be learnt. They can be just one word, such as ieri (yesterday), sopra(above), più(more). They can also be made up of two or more words such as in fretta(in a hurry), all’improvviso(suddenly), la prossima settimana(next week), per fortuna (luckily). 

In terms of where adverbs go in a sentence, they usually precede the adjective or adverb that they modify:

Luigi è molto divertente- Luigi is very funny

Parli troppo velocemente - You speak too fast

They also generally follow a simple verb form:

Bevete sempre il vino - You always drink wine

Studiamo gli avverbi insieme- We are studying adverbs together

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