spanish adverbs

Spanish Adverbs: An Introductory Guide Plus 50 Common Adverbs

Spanish adverbs aren’t too difficult to understand, especially if you already know a bit about Spanish adjectives.

Adverbs are words that describe verbs or adjectives. For example, in the sentence “She walked very slowly past the house,” both “very” and “quickly” are adverbs.

Learning about adverbs will let you understand more details and descriptions in Spanish sentences, and also help you communicate with more nuance in your own Spanish speech and writing.

Contents

What Are Adverbs?

Adverbs are the words that are used to modify other words in a sentence, usually verbs (action words), adjectives (descriptive words) and sometimes other adverbs.

In Spanish, just like in English, there are dozens of adverbs that come in a variety of categories. An adverb can be used to define the frequency, speed, style, intensity or perspective of something. Adverbs also let you describe where something is or the direction it’s moving in.

Many of these adverbs are formed in a similar pattern to words you probably already know, which will make them fairly easy to recognize.

How Adverbs Are Created in Spanish

In English, adverbs frequently are created by ending a word in “-ly.”

In Spanish, adverbs are created by ending a word with “-mente.

Here are a few examples:

  • accidentalmente (accidentally)
  • hermosamente (beautifully)
  • constantemente (constantly)

So Spanish adverbs can often just be created by taking an adjective, changing it to feminine if it’s masculine and adding “-mente“.

Remember that not all adjectives have an exclusively feminine form, so sometimes it will just remain as it is.

For example, claro (clear) will change to clara but alegre (happy) will not have to change:

  • claramente (clearly)
  • alegremente (happily)

This cannot be done with every adjective in Spanish.  just as it cannot be done with every one in English. For example, you wouldn’t say something is “purple-ly” or “fun-ly.” But it will work with a substantial portion of them. 

Some adverbs are not in this format, but these are usually such common words that you’ll pick them up quickly.

100 of the Most Common Adverbs in Spanish

There are quite a few reasons you will need adverbs in a sentence, so there are many different categories that they fall under.

Here are some adverbs that will help you describe the place, the frequency, the manner, the degree and the time of an occurrence.

While you can find more outside of these categories, these include many adverbs that are very frequently used and that you may encounter in almost every sentence in Spanish!

Adverbs of place

aquí (here)

Mi novia está aquí.

My girlfriend is here.

allí (there)

Siempre olvido mis gafas allí.

I always forget my glasses there.

en algún lugar (somewhere)

Recuerda que en algún lugar del mundo hay alguien que te piensa.

Remember that somewhere in the world there’s someone who thinks about you.

en ninguna parte (nowhere)

Ya no venden esta sopa en ninguna parte.

They don’t sell this soup anywhere anymore.

en todas partes (everywhere)

“No he estado en todas partes, pero está en mi lista.” (Susan Sontag)

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” (Susan Sontag)

cerca (close, around)

¿Sabe si hay un banco cerca?

Do you know if there’s a bank around?

lejos (far)

No me gusta viajar lejos de casa.

I don’t like traveling far from home.

arriba (up)

Melissa está arriba en su recámara.

Melissa is upstairs in her bedroom.

abajo (down)

Espera abajo mientras termino de vestirme.

Wait downstairs while I finish getting dressed.

enfrente (in front)

El teatro está enfrente de la tienda de juguetes.

The theater is in front of the toy store. 

detrás (behind)

¿Querés saber qué hay detrás de la cortina?

Do you want to know what’s behind the curtain?

alrededor (around)

Me encantaría hacer un crucero alrededor del mundo.

I’d love to take a cruise around the world.

Adverbs of frequency

siempre (always)

María siempre llega tarde los lunes.

María is always late on Mondays.

nunca (never)

Nunca en mi vida había visto un edificio tan enorme.

Never in my life had I seen such a huge building.

a veces (sometimes)

A veces pienso que nunca compraré el carro de mis sueños.

Sometimes I think I’ll never buy the car of my dreams.

usualmente (usually)

Usualmente comemos en ese restaurante, pero hoy hemos decidido cocinar.

We usually eat in that restaurant, but we’ve decided to cook today.

rara vez (rarely)

Rara vez escucho música, pero cuando lo hago, siempre es pop.

I rarely listen to music, but when I do, it’s always pop.

a menudo (often)

Juan y yo nos encontramos a menudo porque vivimos en el mismo pueblito.

Juan and I meet often because we live in the same small town.

constantemente (constantly)

No tienes que estar enojado constantemente. ¡Sonríe de vez en cuando!

You don’t have to be constantly mad. Smile from time to time!

diariamente (daily)

Luisa entrena diariamente, incluso si está enferma.

Luisa works out daily, even if she’s sick.

semanalmente (weekly)

Veo esta serie semanalmente, ¿y tú?

I watch this series weekly. What about you?

mensualmente (monthly)

¿Es cierto que debemos pagar la subscripción mensualmente?

Is it true that we have to pay the subscription monthly?

anualmente (annually)

El festival se celebra anualmente cerca de la laguna.

The festival is held annually near the lagoon.

 


16 Spanish Adverbs of Frequency You’ll Always Remember

Learn to use 16 Adverbs of Frequency that’ll get you out of a bind when you need to express how often something happens.

Adverbs of manner

solo (alone)

No me gusta vivir solo en esta casa.

I don’t like living alone in this house.

juntos (together)

¿Podemos ir juntos al doctor mañana?

Can we go together to the doctor’s tomorrow?

bien (well)

A Juan le gusta dormir bien la noche antes de un examen.

Juan likes to sleep well the night before an exam.

mal (badly)

Juan durmió mal anoche, así que hoy se siente muy cansado.

Juan slept badly last night, so he feels very tired today.

Adverbs of degree

más (more)

Llueve más en agosto que en febrero.

It rains more in August than in February.

menos (less)

Quedan menos de tres horas para que termine el año.

There are less than three hours left until the end of the year.

poco (little)

Su enamorada está comiendo muy poco porque no le gusta la sopa.

His girlfriend is eating very little because she doesn’t like soup.

poquito (little bit)

No me gusta bailar, pero ayer bailé un poquito en la fiesta.

I don’t like dancing, but yesterday I danced a little bit at the party.

mucho (a lot)

Ana ha estado pensando mucho sobre lo que dijiste en la reunión.

Ana has been thinking a lot about what you said at the meeting.

demasiado (too)

La casa es demasiado cara y no podemos permitírnosla.

The house is too expensive and we can’t afford it.

muy (very)

Antes era muy perezoso, pero ahora soy muy activo.

I used to be very lazy, but now I’m very active.

mejor (better)

Hiciste un buen trabajo, pero creo que puedes hacerlo mejor.

You did a good job, but I think you can do it better.

peor (worse, worst)

Nuestro equipo jugó peor que nunca durante el partido del domingo.

Our team played worse than ever during Sunday’s match.

bastante (enough, quite, quite a lot, plenty of)

La comida de este restaurante es bastante buena.

The food in this restaurant is quite good.

casi (almost)

La caja está casi llena porque tienes muchos juguetes.

The box is almost full because you have a lot of toys.

Adverbs of time

aún (still)

Aún recuerdo el primer oso de peluche que me compraste.

I still remember the first teddy bear you bought me.

ya (already)

Ya hemos recibido la postal que mandaste desde Ipanema. 

We’ve already received the postcard you sent from Ipanema.

hoy (today)

Aunque no lo creas, hoy hemos entrenado durante tres horas.

Believe it or not, today we trained for three hours. 

ayer (yesterday)

Llevo enfermo desde ayer. Creo que tengo gripe.

I’ve been sick since yesterday. I think I have the flu.

mañana (tomorrow)

Queremos ir a la playa mañana. ¡Venga con nosotros!

We want to go to the beach tomorrow. Come with us!

ahora (now)

Ahora solo debes añadir un poco de agua y esperar 24 horas.

Now you just have to add a bit of water and wait for 24 hours.

pronto (soon)

Tan pronto como llegue a casa, me daré un baño de agua caliente.

As soon as I arrive home, I’ll take a hot bath. 

temprano (early)

Debo levantarme temprano mañana porque quiero repasar antes del examen.

I have to get up early tomorrow because I want to review before the exam.

tarde (late)

Se está haciendo tarde. ¿Quiere que la lleve a casa?

It’s getting late. Do you want me to take you home?

entonces (then)

Desde entonces, Miguel no ha vuelto a ver a su padre.

Since then, Miguel hasn’t seen his father again.

esta noche (tonight)

No me espere levantado esta noche porque llegaré tarde.

Don’t wait up for me tonight because I’ll be late.

anoche (last night)

Anoche se oyó un fuerte ruido al final de la calle.

Last night there was a loud noise at the end of the street.

Adverbs of affirmation

 (yes)

Person 1: ¿Has llamado ya a mamá? Person 2: , la llamé ayer en la mañana.

Person 1: Have you already called Mum? Person 2: Yes [I have]. I called her yesterday morning.

también (also)

Me dijeron que ellos también llegaron tarde porque no podían encontrar las llaves del coche.

They told me they also arrived late because they couldn’t find the car keys.

cierto (true)

Person 1: Recuerda invitar a Susana a la fiesta. Person 2: Cierto, casi lo olvido.

Person 1: Remember to invite Susana to the party. Person 2: True, I almost forget it.

obvio (obviously, of course)

Person 1: ¿Ya tienes licencia de conducir? Person 2: Obvio, aquí está.

Person 1: Do you already have a driver’s license? Person 2: Of course, here it is.

claro (sure)

Claro, puedes venir a visitarnos cuando tú quieras.

Sure, you can come to visit us whenever you want.

seguro (sure, certainly)

Seguro que no habrá una segunda temporada de esa serie.

There certainly won’t be a second season of that series. 

asimismo (likewise)

Asimismo, no está permitido fumar en los pasillos.

Likewise, smoking is not allowed in the corridors.

efectivamente (indeed)

Efectivamente, la última vez que vine fue antes del accidente de Marcela.

Indeed, the last time I came was before Marcela’s accident.

indudablemente (undoubtedly)

Indudablemente, eres uno de los mejores estudiantes de la universidad.

Undoubtedly, you’re one of the best students in the university.

realmente (really, actually)

Person 1: ¿Vienes por aquí seguido? Person 2: No realmente.

Person 1: Do you come around here often? Person 2: Not really.

Adverbs of negation

no (no, not)

¡No me puedo creer que hayas ganado la lotería otra vez!

I can’t believe you’ve won the lottery again!

ni (neither, nor)

Ni lo sé, ni me importa.

I neither know nor care.

tampoco (either, neither)

Mi papá no vino tampoco porque tenía que trabajar.

My dad didn’t come either because he had to work.

en absoluto (at all, not at all)

No estamos contentos en absoluto con los resultados de la última encuesta.

We’re not happy at all with the results of the last poll.

nunca (never)

Nunca querés ayudarme cuando lo necesito.

You never want to help me when I need it.

jamás (never, ever)

Jamás olvidaré la primera vez que vi la nieve.

I’ll never forget the first time I saw snow.

ni siquiera (not even)

“No es el fin. Ni siquiera es el principio del fin.” (W. Churchill)

“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end.” (W. Churchill)

nada (next to nothing, not at all)

Ese chico no es nada inteligente.

That guy isn’t intelligent at all.

de ninguna manera (by no means, in any way)

No voy a aceptarlo de ninguna manera.

By no means am I going to accept that.

en ningún caso (under no circumstances)

En ningún caso debemos tomar una decisión precipitada.

Under no circumstances should we make a hasty decision.

Adverbs of doubt

quizá/quizás (perhaps)

Quizá tenga que volver a casa porque no logro encontrar mi teléfono.

Perhaps I’ll have to go back home because I can’t find my phone.

tal vez (maybe)

Tal vez nuestro amor es imposible, pero no me rendiré.

Maybe our love is impossible, but I won’t give up.

acaso (perhaps, by any chance)

¿Acaso pensás que soy un cajero automático? ¡No te daré más plata!

Do you think I’m an ATM, by any chance? I won’t give you any more money!

igual (perhaps)

Igual tenemos que trabajar el domingo.

Perhaps we’ll have to work on Sunday.

a lo mejor (maybe)

A lo mejor Alfonso no sabe que estamos aquí.

Maybe Alfonso doesn’t know we’re here.

lo mismo (maybe)

Lo mismo vuelvo cansado y me voy a la cama.

Maybe I’ll come back tired and go to bed.

al parecer (apparently)

Al parecer, necesito un permiso de obra para renovar la cocina.

Apparently, I need a construction permit to renovate the kitchen.

aparentemente (apparently)

Aparentemente, no todo lo que brilla es oro.

Apparently, all that glitters isn’t gold.

posiblemente (possibly)

Posiblemente te elija a ti porque tienes más tiempo libre.

I’ll possibly choose you because you have more free time.

probablemente (probably)

Probablemente no es nada serio, pero necesito confirmarlo.

It’s probably nothing serious, but I need to confirm it.

Adverbs of question and exclamation

qué (so)

¡Qué guapa estás, Maricruz!

You’re [looking] so pretty, Maricruz!

cómo (how)

¿Cómo es posible que siempre tengas razón?

How is it possible for you to always be right?

dónde (where)

¿Sabés dónde dejé mis libros? No logro encontrarlos.

Do you know where I left my books? I can’t find them.

a dónde (where to)

No dijo a dónde quería ir, así que no podemos ayudarle.

He didn’t say where he wanted to go [to], so we can’t help him.

de dónde (where from)

¿De dónde es tu novia? Habla muy bien español.

Where’s your girlfriend from? She speaks Spanish very well.

hasta dónde (how far)

¿Hasta dónde estás dispuesto a llegar para conseguir el premio?

How far are you willing to go to win the prize?

cuándo (when)

¿Cúando fue la última vez que hablaste con Sarita?

When was the last time you spoke to Sarita?

desde cuándo (since when, how long)

¿Desde cuándo vives en México?

How long have you been living in Mexico?

cuánto (how)

¡Cuánto me gustaría ir de vacaciones a Argentina!

How I’d like to go on vacation to Argentina!

cuán (how)

No supe entender cuán ciego estuve todo ese tiempo.

I couldn’t understand how blind I was all that time.

Relative adverbs

donde (where)

Esta es la cafetería donde Juana y yo nos conocimos.

This is the cafeteria where Juana and I met.

hacia donde (to where, to which)

Aquella es la tienda hacia donde se dirigen todos los niños.

That’s the shop to which all the children are headed.

desde donde (from where, from which)

Esta es la ciudad desde donde se expandió el virus.

This is the city from where the virus spread.

al/a la que (to which)

Ese es el gimnasio al que siempre voy.

That’s the gym (which) I always go to.

en el/la que (where, in which)

Por favor, muéstreme la universidad en la que estudió medicina.

Please, show me the university where you studied medicine.

del/de la que (from where, from which)

Esta es la ciudad de la que vengo.

This is the city (where) I come from.

por el/la que (through which)

¿Me podés mostrar la ventana por la que lanzaste la pelota?

Can you show me the window through which you threw the ball?

cuando (when)

Cuando deje de llover, iremos a la biblioteca.

When it stops raining, we’ll go to the library.

como (as, like, the way)

Debemos hacerlo como nos dijo mamá.

We should do it the way Mum told us.

cuanto (as much as, all)

Coman y beban cuanto quieran.

Eat and drink as much as you want.

If that feels like a lot, it can help to split up words by themes (like we did) and try to find the English words hiding inside them (like the word “annual” in anualmente). 

Another great way to learn adverbs is through authentic videos, and you can find plenty of these on FluentU. It’s a program based entirely on authentic Spanish videos, so you can hear how natives really use their language (adverbs included) then commit lessons to memory with active learning tools like quizzes and SRS flashcards.

How to Use Adverbs in Sentences

Using adverbs in Spanish is actually not very much different than using them in English.

Adverbs are used for modifying other words in the sentence, so naturally they almost always are located next to the word in the sentence that they are modifying.

Here are the three situations in which adverbs are used in Spanish and how they are used to make sentences:

First is perhaps the most common way adverbs are used, which is to modify verbs.

These adverbs describe how an action is being done, and are usually located directly before or after the verb itself.

  • Él corre rápidamente. (He runs quickly.)
  • Ella pacientemente esperó. (She patiently waited.)

Adverbs are also used to modify adjectives, which modify nouns. They most often tell us about the frequency or degree of the adjective, and are usually located directly before the adjective they are modifying.

  • El servicio es usualmente bueno. (The service is usually good.)
  • El norte es increíblemente frío. (The North is incredibly cold.)

And what is the third part of speech adverbs can modify? Other adverbs!

Adverbs that complement other adverbs are usually located directly before the adverb they are modifying.

  • La mujer sonrió muy alegremente. (The woman smiled very happily.)
  • El lugar está bastante lejos. (The place is quite far.)

Extra notes:

If you want to use two adverbs to describe a verb, only the second one will use the standard form for adverbs.

The first adverb in the sentence will remain an adjective (in its feminine form) and only the second will use the “-mente” suffix.

  • Ella habla lenta y suavemente. (She speaks slowly and gently.)

Adverbs that show point of view usually go at the beginning of a sentence. Just remember that it is the same as the way we do it in English.

  • Personalmente, no lo disfruto. (Personally, I don’t enjoy it.)

Additional Resources and Practice

There are tons of resources available for you to further your knowledge and comprehension of Spanish adverbs.

And the best part is most of them are free and online right now!

Here are a few suggestions to get started:

Watch lectures online.

  • The YouTube channel Butterfly Spanish gives you the classroom vibe and teaches a wide variety of topics in Spanish, including adverbs. It even accepts suggestions from its viewers for what to teach next!

Quiz yourself.

  • Study Spanish has some adverb quizzes available, not only for reading and writing but also for listening and speaking.

Read short stories or passages in Spanish.

  • The website Cuentos Breves (Short Stories) is a great place to find a wide variety of short and sweet stories in Spanish.
  • There is also a free online international library of lower-level books of all types in both in Spanish and English.

Well done on getting this far! Hopefully now you can use adverbs in Spanish easily and correctly. Happy studies and buena suerte! (Good luck!)

Enter your e-mail address to get your free PDF!

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe

Close