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Most Common and Useful Adverbs in Spanish

What’s in store for you today: Adverbs

Today’s goals are:

Expanding on our knowledge of adverbs

Learning more of the most common and useful adverbs in Spanish

Listen to track 4.3.1

María: Vaya. ¿Has visto a Pablo en la piscina? Nada muy bien.

Wow. Have you seen Pablo in the pool? He swims very well.

Juan: Sí. Es muy impresionante. Tiene que practicar con mucha frecuencia.

Yes, he’s very impressive. He has to practice frequently.

María: Va a la piscina diariamente.

He goes to the pool every day.

Juan: No me sorprende nada. Nada muy rápidamente.

I’m not surprised at all. He swims very fast.

María: ¿Hay algo que puedes hacer bien?

Is there something that you can do well?

Juan: Bueno, dibujo bastante bien.

Well, I draw pretty well.

María: Es verdad. He visto tus pinturas. Son muy buenas.

That’s true. I have seen some of your paintings. They are very good.

Juan: ¿Y tú? ¿Tienes algún talento?

And you? Do you have a talent?

María: Recientemente estoy intentando aprender a cantar.

Recently, I am trying to learn to sing.

Juan: Siempre es difícil aprender a hacer algo nuevo al principio. Pero seguro que cantas estupendamente.

It’s always hard to learn something new in the beginning. But I’m sure you sing wonderfully.

María: Tal vez te deje oírme cantar algún día.

Maybe I’ll let you hear me sing one day.

Juan: Eso me gustaría mucho.

I would like that a lot.

Adverbs are a part of speech that we all use every day. They tell us additional information about the verb (or an adjective) and answer the questions: 

  • How?
  • When?
  • Where? 

He ran quickly. She will be there tomorrow. They live far away. 

Today, let’s talk more about using adverbs in Spanish. There are a few important rules to keep in mind, but generally speaking, they’re not too complicated. And being able to use them will spice up your speech in no time! 

Adverbios – Una introducción

Before we get into the different types of adverbs and how / when to use them, let’s talk about how they are formed. In English, we form a lot of our adverbs by adding an -ly to the end of an adjective.


In Spanish, we can do the same thing. We will use the ending -mente. We will need to follow a few simple steps, though: 

  • Identify your adjective
  • Put it in its singular, feminine form
  • Add -mente

Listen to Track 4.3.2

AdjetivoAdjetivo en femeninoAdverbioEn inglés

This isn’t always the case, as some adverbs will not be directly derived from an adjective. Don’t worry, though. We’ll talk about all the different adverbs you’ll need in the next sections. We’ll look at five different types of adverbs, where they will be located in the sentence, and give some examples of the most common adverbs that fall into those groups. 

In the additional vocabulary section at the end, you’ll find more of each type of adverb. 

Note: While we will discuss different “types” of adverbs, it’s not overly necessary that you memorize which adverbs fall into what groups. We are going to divide them up mainly so that you can understand better what adverbs add to a sentence. In addition, we will look at where they go in the sentence, and that is something worth noting. 

1) Adverbs of manner

Adverbs of manner are the most commonly used adverbs. They tell us how something is done. 

Listen to track 4.3.3

They will follow the verb they modify: 

Él conduce mal.He drives poorly.
Ellos hablan mucho.They talk a lot.
Nosotros estudiamos español cuidadosamente.We study Spanish carefully.

Common adverbs of manner: 

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2) Adverbs of quantity / degree

Adverbs that fall into this category will add or diminish the intensity of an adverb or adjective. 

Listen to track 4.3.5

These adverbs will generally come before they words they modify:

Hoy estoy muy cansada.Today, I am very tired.
Anoche comí demasiado.Last night, I ate too much.

Common adverbs of quantity / degree: 

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3) “Point of view” adverbs

These adverbs can affect the meaning of an entire sentence. They tell the listener what “point of view” the speaker is taking toward the statement. 

These will generally go at the beginning of the sentence:

Personalmente, no me lo creo.Personally, I don’t believe it.
Quizás debemos ir por esta calle. Maybe we should go along this street.
Evidentemente, no has estudiado. Evidently, you haven’t studied.

The three adverbs we just looked at will be the most commonly used for this group: 

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4) Adverbs of Time

Adverbs of manner tell us how something is done. Adverbs of time, on the other hand, tell us when something happened. 

Listen to track 4.3.8

These will often, but not always, come after the verb they modify: 

Mañana vamos a ir al zoo. Tomorrow, we will go to the zoo.
Necesito comer ya. I need to eat now.
Salimos pronto.We will leave soon.

Common adverbs of time:  

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Be careful with this word! It is a false cognate (false friend). It doesn’t mean “actually.” It means “currently”! “En realidad” would be the equivalent of the English “actually.” 

5) Adverbs of place

These adverbs will tell us where an action takes place. 

Listen to track 4.3.10

These can go before or after the verb they modify. The important thing is that they are close to the verb: 

Mis padres duermen arriba. Nosotros dormimos abajo.My parents sleep upstairs. We sleep downstairs.
Ellos viven lejos.The live far [away].
Los libros están aquí. The books are here.

Most common adverbs of place: 

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Adverbial Expressions

In addition to the adverbs we just looked at, there are other ways that we can say “how,” “when,” or “where” something happened. We can use adverbial expressions! These will consist of a preposition and a noun (i.e. a prepositional phrase). 

Let’s look at some of these!  

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A Quick Recap of this Lesson

You can now say how, when, and where something is done! That’s because you now know how to use adverbs. It was a vocabulary heavy day today. Here are some of the words you learned: 

Bien Well
Mal Badly
Mejor Better
Rápidamente Quickly
Claramente Clearly
Fácilmente Easily
Cuidadosamente Carefully
Inteligentemente Intelligently
Despacio Slowly

And some phrases:

Por fin Finally
Al finalIn the end
Al principioIn the beginning
De inmediatoImmediately
De prisa Quickly

Sharpen Your Knowledge with Exercises

Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 3

Exercise 4

Exercise 5