Understanding and Using Latin Adverbs

latin script engraved on marble

 Giuseppe Zanoni/Getty Images

Adverbs as Particles

Adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections are called particles. Adverbs in Latin, as in English, modify other words in the sentence, especially verbs. Adverbs also modify adjectives and other adverbs. In English, the ending "-ly," added to an adjective, makes it easy to identify many adverbs: He walked slowly—where slowly modifies the word walked, and where slow is the adjective. In Latin, adverbs are mainly formed from adjectives and participles.

Latin adverbs provide information in a sentence about manner, degree, cause, place, or time.

Regular Formations of Adverbs From Adjectives

In Latin, some adverbs are formed by adding an ending to an adjective.

  • For first and second declension adjectives, a long -e replaces the ending. Instead of the adjective carus, -a, -um (dear), the adverb is care.
  • To adjectives from the third declension, -ter is added. From the adjective fortis 'brave', the adverb form is fortiter.
  • The neuter accusative of some adjectives is also the adverb. Multum 'many' becomes multum 'much' as an adverb.
  • The formation of other adverbs is more complicated.

Some Adverbs of Time

  • quando? when?
  • cum when
  • tum then
  • mox presently, soon
  • iam already
  • dum while
  • iam pridem long ago
  • primum first
  • deinde next after
  • hodie today
  • heri yesterday
  • nunc now
  • postremo finally
  • postquam as soon as
  • numquam never
  • saepe often
  • cotidie every day
  • nondum not yet
  • crebro frequently
  • pridie the day before
  • semper always
  • umqam ever
  • denique at last

Adverbs of Place

  • hic here
  • huc hither
  • hinc from here
  • ibi there
  • eo thither, to there
  • illic there
  • quo whither
  • unde whence
  • ubi where
  • undique from everywhere
  • ibidem in the same place
  • eodem to the same place
  • quovis anywhere
  • usque all the way to
  • intro inwardly
  • nusquam nowhere
  • porro further on
  • citro to this side

Adverbs of Manner, Degree, or Cause

  • quam how, as
  • tam so
  • quamvis however much
  • magis more
  • paene almost
  • valde greatly
  • cur why
  • quare why
  • ergo therefore
  • propterea because, on this account
  • ita so
  • sic so
  • ut as, how
  • vix hardly

Interrogative Particles

  • whether: an, -ne, utrum, utrumne, num
  • whether not nonne, annon
  • whether at all numquid, ecquid

Negative Particles

  • not non, haud, minime, ne, nec
  • lest ne
  • nor neque, nec
  • not only ... but also non modo ... verum/sed etiam
  • not only not ... but not even non modo ... sed ne ... quidem
  • not even ne ... quidem
  • if not si minus
  • so as not quo minus, quominus
  • why not? quin

Comparison of Adverbs

To form the comparative of an adverb, take the neuter accusative of the adjectival form.

  • clarus, clara, clarum, clear (adjective, m, f, and n)
  • clarior, clarius, clearer (adjective in the comparative, m/f and n)
  • clare, clearly (adverb)
  • clarius, more clearly (adverb in the comparative)

There are also irregular comparative forms. The superlative is formed from the superlative of the adjective, ending in -e.

  • clarissimus, -a, -um, most clear (superlative adjective, m, f, and n)
  • clarissime, most clearly (superlative adverb)


Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Gill, N.S. "Understanding and Using Latin Adverbs." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, thoughtco.com/latin-adverbs-112175. Gill, N.S. (2023, April 5). Understanding and Using Latin Adverbs. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/latin-adverbs-112175 Gill, N.S. "Understanding and Using Latin Adverbs." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/latin-adverbs-112175 (accessed June 1, 2023).