Word Order with AdverbsIn English, adverb placement can be arbitrary: some adverbs may be found in front of or after the verb, or even at the beginning or end of the sentence. This is not often the case in French, which has much stricter rules about placement. The following rules apply to the majority of situations, but there are exceptions. For detailed information, see my lesson on the placement of French adverbs.
1. When a French adverb modifies a verb, it is placed after the conjugated verb.
Nous avons bien mangé.
We ate well.
Je regarde souvent la télé le soir.
I often watch TV in the evening.
Often, I watch TV in the evening.
I watch TV in the evening often.
2. When an adverb modifies an adjective or another adverb, it is placed in front of the word it is modifying.
Je suis profondément ému.
I am deeply moved.
Nous avons très bien mangé.
We ate very well.
Common French AdverbsNearly every French word that ends in -ment is an adverb, and its English equivalent almost always ends in -ly: généralement - generally. For more information, please see adverbs of manner.
Here are some of the most common French adverbs:
|Type of adverb|
|actuellement||currently||adverb of time|
|assez||quite, fairly||adverb of quantity|
|aujourd'hui||today||adverb of time|
|beaucoup||a lot||adverb of quantity|
|bien||well||adverb of manner|
|bientôt||soon||adverb of time|
|déjà||already||adverb of time|
|demain||tomorrow||adverb of time|
|enfin||finally||adverb of time|
|ensuite||next, then||adverb of time|
|heureusement||fortunately||adverb of manner|
|hier||yesterday||adverb of time|
|ici||here||adverb of place|
|là||there||adverb of place|
|là-bas||over there||adverb of place|
|longtemps||for a long time||adverb of time|
|maintenant||now||adverb of time|
|mal||poorly||adverb of manner|
|parfois||sometimes||adverb of frequency|
|partout||everywhere||adverb of place|
|peu||few, little||adverb of quantity|
|plus||more, ___-er||comparative adverb|
|quelque part||somewhere||adverb of place|
|rarement||rarely||adverb of frequency|
|souvent||often||adverb of frequency|
|tard||late||adverb of time|
|tôt||early||adverb of time|
|toujours||always||adverb of frequency|
|très||very||adverb of quantity|
|trop||too much||adverb of quantity|
|vite||quickly||adverb of manner|
Quiz: French adverbs