Adverbs of Manner

les adverbes de manière qui se terminent en ment

Adverbs are words that describe how other words in a sentence are done, giving more information about the verbs mentioned in a sentence. “She speaks quickly”, “They give generously”. These are adverbs of manner, which end in -ly in English and mostly commonly by -ment in French.

examples of sentences with adverbs

  • Il parle honnêtement avec sa femme. He speaks honestly with his wife.
  • Je pose la question poliment. I ask the question politely.
  • Elle parle lentement. She speaks slowly.
  • C’est exactement ce que je veux dire! That’s exactly what I want to say!

french adverb lists

Many French adverbs are formed by adding -ment to the feminine form of adjective.

MASCULINE ADJECTIVEFEMININE ADJECTIVEFRENCH ADVERBENGLISH
ameramèreamèrementbitterly
brefbrèvebrièvementbriefly
cherchère chèrementdearly, at a price
curieuxcurieusementcurieusementstrangly, oddly
douxdoucedoucement
durduredurement strongly, severely
fierfièrefièrementproudly
finfinefinementfinely, thinly
fortfortefortementvery much, a lot
foufollefollementcompletely, madly
heureuxheureuseheureusementfortunately
moumollemollementgently, half-heartedly
naïfnaïvenaïvementnaively, innocently
netnettenettementclearly
nulnullenullementin no way, by no means, not at all
sainsainesainementhealthily, well, properly
secsèchesèchementcurtly, coldly
seulseuleseulementonly
sûrsûresûrementmost likely, very probably
teltelletellementso, so much
vainvainevainementin vain, to no avail
vifvivevivementlively
égalégaleégalementequally

When a adjective ends in a vowel in the masculine form the adverb is formed simply by adding -ment.

MASCULINE ADJECTIVEFRENCHENGLISH
absoluabsolumentabsolutely, completely
ampleamplementlargely, abundantly
avareavarementmiserly
bravebravementbravely, courageously
calmecalmementcalmly
carrécarrémentstraight, squarely
difficiledifficilementwith difficulty
drôledrôlementamusingly, strangely, extremely, very
facilefacilementeasily, with ease
fermefermementfirmly, solidly, steadfastly
forcéforcémentnecessarily, surely, certainly, inevitably
gaigaimenthappily, joyfully
honnêtehonnêtementhonestly
goulûgoulûmentgreedily, voraciously
gravegravementseriously, critically
jolijolimentprettily, nicely
justejustementexactly, precisely, justly, rightly
largementlargementto a great extent
librelibrementfreely
lâchelâchementin a cowardly way
noblenoblementnobly
polipolimentpolitely
quasiquasimentnearly, almost, practically
rarerarementrarely
ruderudementharshly, roughly
sincèresincèrementsincerely, genuinely, honestly
sobresobrementin moderation, modestly
tièdetièdementhalf-heartedly, unenthusiastically, tepidly
utileutilementusefully, helpfully
vaguevaguementindistinctly, vaguely
vraivraimenttruly, actually, really

When a masculine adjective ends in -ant or -ent, -ant gets replaced by -amment and -ent gets replaced by -emment.

MASCULINE ADJECTIVEADVERBENGLISH
abondantabondammentabundantly, plentifully
brillantbrillammentsuperbly
conscientconsciemmentconsciously, knowingly
constantconstammentconstantly
courantcourammentflunetly
diligentdiligemmentexpeditiously
dégoûtantdégoûtammentdisgustingly
excellentexcellemmentexcellently, very well
flagrantflagrammentobvious, evident, clear
fréquentfréquemmentfrequently
innocentinnocemmentinnocently
méchantméchammentspitefully, maliciously, badly
négligentnégligemmentcarelessly
patientpatiemmentpatiently
pesantpesammentheavily
plaisantplaisammentpleasantly
prudentprudemmentcarefully
précédentprécédemmentpreviously, earlier
puissantpuissammentpowerfully
ravissantravissammentdelighfuly
récentrécemmentrecently
savantsavammentwisely
suffisantsuffisammentenough
violentviolemmentviolently
étonnantétonnammentamazingly, astonishingly, surprisingly

Some adverbs are formed by adding -ément ot the end of the adjective.

  • aisé -> aisément easily, comfortably
  • sacré -> sacrément bloody (slang)
  • précis -> précisement exactly
  • énorme -> énormement enormously
  • privé -> privément privately
  • aveugle -> aveuglément blindly
  • décidé -> décidément resolutely

There are some very common adverbs which we use all the time that are irregular.

  • Elle parle bien. She speaks well.
  • Je chante mal. I sing poorly.
  • Je me sens mieux. I feel better.

where to place the adverb

Generally speaking, adverbs usually following the verb they modify.

  • Je fais du ski fréquemment. I often ski.
  • Je travaille assidûment. I work diligently.
  • Je réponds intelligemment aux questions de mes étudiants. I answer my students’ questions intelligently. 

In the passé comosé short adverbs (e.g. bien, mal) come after the auxiliary verb and long adverbs follow the past participle.

  • J’ai bien joué la chanson. I played the song well.
  • Elle a mal chanté la chanson. She sang the song poorly.
  • J’ai couru rapidement cet apres-midi. I ran fast this afternoon.
  • J’ai appris les adverbes français facilement! I learned the French adverbs easily!
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