Italian adverbs: the complete guide

An adverb is a describing word used to add information about a verb, an adjective, a clause, or even another adverb. Unlike adjectives, which agree in gender and number with the noun they are describing, Italian adverbs are invariable.

Let me give you some examples to get an idea of how it works. Here is an Italian phrase where the adverb modifies the verb:

Example of an Italian adverb which modifies a verb

(Translation: “Francesco sings well”)

Note that the direction of the arrows goes from the head word to its dependent word.

Easy, right? Let's now look at an example phrase in which the adverb modifies the adjective:

Example of an Italian adverb which modifies an adjective

(Translation: “Very clear pronunciation”)

Now have a look at an Italian phrase where the adverb modifies another adverb:

Example of an Italian adverb which modifies another adverb

(Translation: “Giulio talks too fast”)

There are several different types of adverbs in Italian expressing different meanings. We’re going to look at the most common ones. Ready? Let’s get to it now!

Italian adverbs of frequency

Adverbs of frequency tell you how frequently an action takes place. Here is a list:

Table: Some of the most common Italian adverbs of frequency
Italian adverb translation
spesso often
sempre always
mai never
solitamente, di solito usually, habitually
raramente rarely, seldom
a volte at times
ogni tanto sometimes, every now and then
talvolta sometimes

Italian adverbs of degree

Adverbs of degree or quantity add information about an amount or measure. Here are some examples of Italian adverbs of degree:

Table: Some examples of Italian adverbs of degree
Italian adverb translation
molto a lot, much, very much
moltissimo very very much
poco a little, little, not much
abbastanza enough, sufficiently
piuttosto rather, quite
meno less
più more, most
soprattutto mostly, above all
quasi almost
tanto a lot, so much
troppo too much
un po’ a little bit
parecchio quite a lot
appena barely, hardly
leggermente slightly, mildly, lightly
per niente, per nulla at all
affatto at all
circa approximately, about
assai very, very much
totalmente totally
completamente completely
particolarmente particularly
interamente entirely, wholly
estremamente extremely
incredibilmente incredibly
notevolmente remarkably
straordinariamente extraordinarily
veramente truly
eccezionalmente exceptionally

“Molto”, “poco”, “troppo”, and “tanto” can also be used as adjectives in Italian. When you use them as adverbs, though, remember that they are invariable, and never change their form.

Italian adverbs of place

Adverbs of place tell us where something is, or where an action is performed. Here is a list of the most common adverbs of place in Italian:

Table: Some examples of Italian adverbs of place
Italian adverb translation
qui, qua here
lì, là there, in that place
intorno, attorno around
vicino near, close
lontano far away, distant
di fronte in front of
sopra on, above
su up, on
sotto under
giù below
davanti in front
avanti forward, onward
dietro behind
indietro backwards
dentro inside
fuori out, outside
a sinistra on the left
a destra on the right
oltre further, beyond
via away
dappertutto, ovunque everywhere
da qualche parte somewhere
da nessuna parte nowhere
altrove somewhere else, elsewhere
accanto nearby, next to

“Qui” and “qua” can be used interchangeably. The same goes with “lì” and “là.”

Italian adverbs of time

Adverbs of time tell you when an action takes place. Here is a list:

Table: Some examples of Italian adverbs of time
Italian adverb translation
ora now
adesso now, right now, in this instant
attualmente currently, at the moment
intanto in the meantime, meanwhile
infine in the end, ultimately
finora so far, till now
prima earlier, previously, before
tardi late
già already, yet
ancora still
nuovamente again
tuttora still
dopo after, afterwards, later
poi then, after that
subito immediately, as soon as possible
immediatamente immediately, right away
successivamente subsequently
presto soon, early
stavolta this time
ormai by this time
allora at that time, back then
ieri yesterday
oggi today
domani tomorrow
dopodomani the day after tomorrow
l’altro ieri the day before yesterday
ogni giorno every day
stamattina this morning
stanotte tonight
stasera this evening

The Italian adverb “presto” is identical to the Spanish adverb “presto,” but they have a completely different meaning. As mentioned previously, “presto” means “soon” in Italian, while the same word in Spanish means “quickly.”

Italian adverbs of manner

Simply put, adverbs of manner describe how an action is carried out. Check out the table below for a list of the most common Italian adverbs of manner:

Table: Some examples of Italian adverbs of manner
Italian adverb translation
bene well, good
male badly, wrongly
meglio better
peggio worse
volentieri with pleasure
apposta on purpose
meno less, fewer
così like this
praticamente practically
perfettamente perfectly
personalmente personally, in person
ufficialmente officially
esattamente exactly, precisely
diversamente differently, otherwise
direttamente directly
decisamente decidedly
esclusivamente exclusively
chiaramente clearly
principalmente primarily, mainly
fortunatamente luckily, fortunately
profondamente deeply
semplicemente simply
effettivamente actually
facilmente easily

As you can see from the above examples, most adverbs of manner end in “-mente” in Italian.

Italian adverbs of probability

Adverbs of probability are used to indicate how likely something is to happen. The table below shows some of the main Italian adverbs of probability:

Table: Some examples of Italian adverbs of probability
Italian adverb translation
probabilmente probably
forse perhaps, maybe, possibly
magari maybe
eventualmente possibly, potentially
possibilmente if possible, possibly
presumibilmente presumably
certamente certainly
sicuramente surely
ovviamente obviously
evidentemente evidently

Affirmation and negation adverbs in Italian

Affirmation and negation adverbs are used to accept or refuse something, and show your approval or disapproval. Here are some of the most common Italian affirmation adverbs:

Table: Some examples of Italian affirmation adverbs
Italian adverb translation
sicuramente surely
di sicuro for sure
certamente, di certo certainly
ovviamente obviously
davvero really, in fact
esattamente exactly
proprio exactly, precisely
indubbiamente undoubtedly
senza dubbio without a doubt, no doubt

Let’s now move on to negation adverbs. See some examples below:

Table: Some examples of Italian negation adverbs
Italian adverb translation
No no, no way
Non not, neither
Né... né neither... nor
Neanche, nemmeno, neppure not even

Interrogative adverbs in Italian

Interrogative adverbs introduce a question. Here they are:

Table: Some examples of Italian interrogative adverbs
Italian adverb translation
dove where
quando when
come how
perché why
come mai how come
quanto how much

Table: Some examples of Italian interrogative adverbs

Italian conjunctive adverbs

Conjunctive adverbs connect two clauses. We've gathered the main Italian conjunctive adverbs in the table below. Check it out!

Table: Some examples of Italian conjunctive adverbs
Italian adverb translation
invece instead
inoltre moreover, furthermore
purtroppo unfortunately, regretfully
altrimenti otherwise
cioè that is, that is to say
perché because
pure also, as well
anche also, as well, besides
comunque anyway, either way, in any case
piuttosto rather than, instead of, more likely
appunto precisely
innanzitutto first of all
dopodiché thereafter
insomma in short, in conclusion
finalmente at last
infine finally, eventually

Feeling overwhelmed by all these new little words and expressions? Study as much as you can until you feel more comfortable. With a little practice, Italian adverbs will begin to come naturally!