French Grammar Guide for non-francophones

ADVERBS (e.g.: très, rapidement, bien, quand, comment, mal)

An Overview of French Adverbs

The category of words known as "adverbs" includes a wide range of words. You need to be familiar with the most common adverbs. You also need to be aware that adverbs are "invariable". That is, even though they modify other words (verbs and adjectives), they don't change their shape according to gender and number.

Common adverbs

The following table presents common adverbs with which you should be familiar:

English French Notes
"often" souvent  
"never" jamais -used in conjunction with ne
"sometimes" parfois  
"quickly" vite -the form vitement does not exist
"slowly" lentement  
"well" bien -used with actions, not things
"poorly" mal -used with actions, not things
"enough" assez -followed by de, not des
"far" loin  
"near" proche  
"next" ensuite -followed by a comma at the beginning of a sentence
"maybe" peut-être -make sure this is written with a circumflex accent
"soon" bientôt  
"early" tôt  
"late" tard  
 "now" maintenant  
"always" toujours  
"almost" presque -changes to presqu' before vowels
"many" beaucoup -followed by de, not des.
"finally" enfin -followed by a comma at the beginning of a sentence
"few" peu -followed by de, not des.
"less" moins  
"more" plus -don't use before bon; use meilleur/mieux instead.
"too much/many" trop -followed by de, not des.
"very" très  
"better" mieux -don't use mieux before nouns (use meilleur)

 

  • the word actuellement means "currently" or "presently". If you mean "actually", write en fait or à vrai dire.
  • beaucoup, trop, peu and assez are followed by de, not by des, e.g.: J'ai beaucoup de livres.
  • nouns following beaucoup, trop, peu and assez should end in "-s", e.g.: J'ai trop de problèmes.
  • adverbs that precede adjectives don't change according to number and gender, e.g.: ils sont fort intéressants; elle est tout aussi bonne.

 

Verb conjugation:
 
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