Unit 6: Pronouns (Part 1), imperfect tense, adverbs

6.7 Adverbs

Many Spanish adverbs, as you have already seen, are formed by adding the suffix -mente to the feminine form of the adjective.

Cristina habla rápidamente. Cristina speaks quickly.
Iban a comer inmediatamente. They were going to eat immediately.
Hacen el trabajo cuidadosamente. They do the work carefully.

As in English, many times the adverbs in -mente (corresponding to those in English -ly) are avoided by the use of prepositional phrases.

por lo general generally, in general
por fin finally
con esperanza hopefully, with hope
sin duda doubtless(-ly), without a doubt
por suerte luckily, with luck
por desgracia unfortunately

When two or more adverbs ending in -mente are used together, the suffix is dropped on all but the last:

Milagros hablaba clara, rápida y precisamente. Milagros spoke clearly, quickly and precisely.

Especially in speech, in both Spanish and English the adjective form (masculine singular) in Spanish may be used instead of an adverb (Como rápido, I eat quick[ly]), though this is not an impediment to comprehension.


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