The full guide to over 200 French adverbs

In contrast to adjectives which modify nouns, adverbs can be used to modify verbs, adjectives and even other adverbs.

Examples of French adverbs used to modify verbs

The two diagrams below show examples of French phrases where the adverb modifies the verb:

Example of a French adverb which modifies a verb Example of a French adverb which modifies a verb

Remark about the direction of the arrows: These diagrams are dependency trees which show the syntactic structure of a sentence. The direction of the arrows goes from a head word to its dependent word.

When an adverb modifies a word, the adverb is a dependent of that word. Hence the direction of the arrow is from the word being modified to the adverb.

Examples of French adverbs used to modify adjectives

Here is an example where the adverb (“plus”) modifies the adjective (“joli”):

Example of a French adverb which modifies an adjective

Here is another example of an adverb (“relativement”) used to modify an adjective (“intuitif”):

Example of a French adverb which modifies an adjective

Examples of French adverbs used to modify other adverbs

Here is an example where the French adverb (“très”) modifies another adverb (“rapidement”):

Example of a French adverb which modifies another adverb

Here is another example of an adverb (“encore”) used to modify another adverb (“mieux”):

Example of a French adverb which modifies another adverb

French adverbs which end in -ment

In the same way that many English adverbs are formed by adding the suffix “-ly” to an adjective, many French adverbs are formed by adding the suffix “-ment” to an adjective.

Although the rule is simple, there are two special cases to this pattern of forming adverbs from adjectives. These concern adjectives ending in “-ent” and in “-ant”.

French adverbs formed from adjectives ending in “-ent”

French adverbs which are formed from adjectives ending in “-ent” replace that ending with “-emment”. Here are some examples:

French adverb formation
évidemment (evidently) évident + -emment
récemment (recently) récent + -emment
apparemment (apparently) apparent + -emment
impatiemment (impatiently) impatient + -emment
différemment (differently) différent + -emment
précédemment (before now) précédent + -emment
prudemment (carefully) prudent + -emment
fréquemment (often) fréquent + -emment
violemment (violently) violent + -emment
pertinemment (pertinently) pertinent + -emment
décemment (decently) décent + -emment
consciemment (consciously) conscient + -emment

An exception to this pattern is the adverb “lentement” (lente + ment).

French adverbs formed from adjectives ending in “-ant”

French adverbs which are formed from adjectives ending in "-ant" replace that ending with “-amment”. Here are some examples:

French adverb formation
suffisamment (sufficiently) suffisant + -amment
couramment (fluently or commonly) courant + -amment
indépendamment (independently) indépendant + -amment
abondamment (abundantly) abondant + -amment
constamment (constantly) constant + -amment
brillamment (brilliantly) brillant + -amment
étonnamment (surprisingly ) étonnant + -amment
bruyamment (noisily) bruyant + -amment
incessamment (unceasingly) incessant + -amment

French adverbs formed from adjectives which do not end in “-ent” or “-ant”

When forming French adverbs from these adjectives, in most cases it is the feminine form of the adjective which is used.

For some French adverbs, an acute accent is added to the ‘e’ in order to facilitate the pronunciation. For example:

French adverb formation
précisément (precise) précise + -ment
énormément (enormously) énorme + -ment
profondément (deeply) profonde + -ment
conformément (accordingly) conforme + -ment
intensément (intensely) intense + -ment
communément (commonly) commune + -ment

Here is a list of the most common French adverbs which are formed simply by adding the suffix -ment to an adjective.

In most cases the feminine form of the adjective is used. In the table we have sometimes indicated the masculine form of the adjective even in cases when the feminine form is used to create the adverb.

French adverb formation
éventuellement (possibly) éventuel + -ment
entièrement (entirely) entier + -ment
seulement (only) seule + -ment
actuellement (currently) actuelle + -ment
également (also / equally) égal + -ment
simplement (simply) simple + -ment
vraiment (truly) vrai + -ment
nécessairement (necessarily) nécessaire + -ment
facilement (easily) facile + -ment
probablement (probably) probable + -ment
lentement (slowly) lente + -ment
parfaitement (perfectly) parfait + -ment
absolument (absolutely) absolu + -ment
doucement (softly) douce + -ment
rapidement (speedily) rapide + -ment
exactement (exactly) exact + -ment
complètement (completely) complet + -ment
immédiatement (immediately) immédiate + -ment
clairement (clearly) clair + -ment
rarement (rarely) rare + -ment
malheureusement (unfortunately) malheureux + -ment
particulièrement (particularly) particulier + -ment
totalement (totally) totale + -ment
généralement (generally) générale + -ment
heureusement (luckily) heureux + -ment
autrement (otherwise) autre + -ment
naturellement (naturally) naturel + -ment
strictement (strictly) stricte + -ment
sûrement (surely) sûre + -ment
typiquement (typically) typique + -ment
tellement (so much) telle + -ment
volontairement (intentionally) volontaire + -ment
prochainement (soon) prochain + -ment
relativement (relatively) relatif + -ment
finalement (finally) finale + -ment
uniquement (uniquely) unique + -ment
directement (directly) direct + -ment
extrêmement (extremely) extrême + -ment
partiellement (partially) partiel + -ment
personnellement (personally) personnel + -ment
proprement (properly) propre + -ment
quotidiennement (daily) quotidien + -ment
librement (freely) libre + -ment
décidément (obviously) décidé + -ment
exclusivement (exclusively) exclusif + -ment
traditionnellement (traditionally) traditionnel + -ment
essentiellement (essentially) essentiel + -ment
certainement (certainly) certaine + -ment
soigneusement (carefully) soigneux + -ment
brutalement (brutally) brutal + -ment
légèrement (lightly) légère + -ment
progressivement (progressively) progressif + -ment
fortement (strongly) fort + -ment
effectivement (indeed) effectif + -ment
régulièrement (regularly) régulier + -ment
largement (mostly) large + -ment
principalement (mainly) principal + -ment
spontanément (spontaneously) spontané + -ment
franchement (frankly) franc + -ment
nettement (neatly) net + -ment
efficacement (efficiently) efficace + -ment
vraisemblablement (probably) vraisemblable + -ment
réellement (really) réel + -ment
officiellement (officially) officiel + -ment
sensiblement (sensitively) sensible + -ment
grièvement (seriously) grief + -ment
quasiment (practically, almost) quasi + -ment
respectivement (respectively) respective + -ment
correctement (correctly) correcte + -ment
simultanément (simultaneously) simultané + -ment
individuellement (individually) individuel + -ment
préalablement (beforehand) préalable + -ment
économiquement (economically) économique + -ment
définitivement (definitively) définitif + -ment
forcément (inevitably) forcé + -ment
lourdement (heavily) lourd + -ment
difficilement (difficultly) difficile + -ment
systématiquement (systematically) systématique + -ment
habituellement (usually) habituelle + -ment
normalement (usually) normal + -ment
gratuitement (for free) gratuit + -ment
aisément (easily) aisé + -ment
activement (actively) actif + -ment
majoritairement (mostly) majoritaire + -ment
pleinement (completely) pleine + -ment
potentiellement (potentially) potentiel + -ment
pratiquement (practically) pratique + -ment
longuement (for a long time) longue + -ment
contrairement (contrarily) contraire + -ment
durablement (durably) durable + -ment
gravement (seriously) grave + -ment
justement (precisely) juste + -ment
véritablement (really) véritable + -ment
sérieusement (seriously) sérieux + -ment
spécialement (especially) spécial + -ment
globalement (overall) global + -ment
considérablement (considerably) considérable + -ment
automatiquement (automatically) automatique + -ment
purement (purely) pure + -ment
résolument (resolutely) résolu + -ment
littéralement (literally) littéral + -ment
visiblement (visibly) visible + -ment
annuellement (annually) annuel + -ment
massivement (massively) massif + -ment
théoriquement (theoretically) théorique + -ment
spécifiquement (specifically) spécifique + -ment
politiquement (politically) politique + -ment
logiquement (logically) logique + -ment
obligatoirement (obligatorily) obligatoire + -ment
initialement (initially) initial + -ment
vivement (forcefully) vif + -ment
manifestement (obviously) manifeste + -ment
ouvertement (openly) ouverte + -ment
anciennement (formerly) ancienne + -ment
parallèlement (parallelly) parallèle + -ment
formellement (formally) formel + -ment
successivement (successively) successive + -ment
durement (sternly) dure + -ment
ultérieurement (eventually) ultérieure + -ment
hautement (highly) haut + -ment
conjointement (jointly) conjoint + -ment
explicitement (explicitly) explicite + -ment
localement (locally) local + -ment
financièrement (financially) financier + -ment
publiquement (publicly) publique + -ment
concrètement (concretely) concrète + -ment
grandement (greatly) grand + -ment
fermement (firmly) ferme + -ment
étroitement (narrowly) étroit + -ment
significativement (significantly) significatif + -ment
nouvellement (newly) nouveau + -ment

French adverbs which do not end in -ment

There are also many French adverbs which are not produced from adjectives. Here are some examples of these: