Learn French Adverbs Describing the Manner of an Event

People dine on a cafe terrace in Paris

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Adverbs of manner explain how something happens.

Overview and Conugations

The majority of French adverbs of manner end in -ment, which is usually equivalent to the English ending -ly. These adverbs are formed from French adjectives, as follows:

If the French adjective ends in a vowel, add -ment to form the adverb:

Adjective French adverb English translation
absolu
admirable
nécessaire
passionné
poli
rude
vrai
absolument
admirablement
nécessairement
passionnément
poliment
rudement
vraiment
absolutely
admirably
necessarily
passionately
politely
roughly
truly

If the French adjective ends in a consonant, add -ment to the feminine form:

Masculine adj Feminine adjective French adverb English translation
amical
éventuel
franc
normal
premier
rapid
sérieux
vif
amicale
éventuelle
franche
normale
première
rapide
sérieuse
vive
amicalement
éventuellement
franchement
normalement
premièrement
rapidement
sérieusement
vivement
in a friendly way
possibly
frankly
normally
firstly
rapidly
seriously
sharply, deeply
Exceptions:
bref
gentil
brève
gentille
brièvement
gentiment

briefly
kindly

Rules I and II ensure that French adverbs have a vowel immediately preceding the -ment ending. The following adverbs follow one of the above rules, but require an acute accent on this vowel:

aveugle
commun
conforme
énorme
aveuglément
communément
conformément
énormément

blindly
commonly
in accordance
enormously
intensely

intense
obscur
précis
profond
uniforme
intensément
obscurément
précisément
profondément
uniformément
intensely
obscurely
precisely
profoundly
uniformly

If the French adjective ends in -ant or -ent, remove the ending and add -ammentor -emment:

Adjective French adverb English translation
apparent
bruyant
constant
intelligent
patient
suffisant
apparemment
bruyamment
constamment
intelligemment
patiemment
suffisamment
apparently
loudly
constantly
intelligently
patiently
sufficiently
Exception:
lent lentement slowly

Irregular Adverbs:

bref -> brièvement -> briefly

gentil -> gentiment -> kindlyExeptions

There are a few French adverbs of manner that don't end in -ment:

ainsi thus
bien well
debout standing up
exprès on purpose
mal poorly, badly
mieux better
pire worse
vite quickly
volontiers gladly