French Grammar Guide for non-francophones

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

In this section: Description, Questions, Exercises


Questions about French Adverbs

Q: Why is it vraiment beaucoup and NOT très beaucoup?

The words très and vraiment both mean "really", but they cannot always be used interchangeably. For example, while both can be used to modify adjectives (e.g.: très bon, vraiment bon) and many adverbs (e.g.: très loin, vraiment loin, très tard, vraiment tard), only vraiment is used to modify quantitative words like beaucoup and trop. Another context where only vraiment is possible is when a noun follows, e.g: C'est vraiment un bon film (and NOT c'est très un bon film, though one does write c'est un très bon film). On the other hand, vraiment cannot be used before un or une, e.g.: un vraiment bon film.

Q: Why is it beaucoup de personnes and NOT beaucoup des personnes?

Words that indicate a quantity are usually followed by de (or d'), not by des.

Q: Why is it Elle court vite and NOT Elle court vitement?

To say "quickly" in French, simply write vite (or rapidement). The word vitement, while logical, is not used in French.

Q: Why is it j'ai peu de problèmes and NOT j'ai peu problèmes?

Adverbs that indicate a quantity are followed by de.

Q: Why is it j'en ai assez and NOT j'ai assez?

When nothing follows assez, you need to use en before it (en replaces the combination "de + noun"). This same pattern is found with other adverbs of quantity, e.g.: beaucoup, peu, etc.

Q: Why is it une mauvaise chose and NOT une mal chose?

The adverb mal describes actions, not things.

Q: Why is it Ils sont partis ensemble and NOT Ils sont partis ensembles?

The adverb ensemble is invariable. Only the noun can be written with "-s", par ex.: Les ensembles.

Tags: Prepositions verbs time cities
In this section: Description, Questions, Exercises
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