Adverbs with the ending -ment



Function of Adverbs


Adverbs are words or phrases which modify a verb or an adjective, giving information about place, time, manner, degree or frequency.


Check the two examples below to understand what this means:

  1. He is really kind. Il est vraiment gentil.

  2. We regularly go to the swimming-pool. Nous allons régulièrement à la piscine.

Here, really and regularly are adverbs. In the first example, the adverb modifies the adjective by giving information about the degree. In the second example, the adverb modifies the verb by giving information about frequency.


Note that adverbs are invariable. This means that their form does not change, no matter what they refer to.


In this article, we will focus on French adverbs ending in -ment



Formation of Adverbs ending in -ment


Just as many English adverbs end in -ly (clearly, gently), many French adverbs end in -ment.


To structure this type of adverbs in French, take the feminine singular form of an adjective and add -ment at the end.


See the table below for examples:


  1. Il l'a clairement fait. He clearly did it.

  2. Ils vont au restaurant quotidiennement. They go to the restaurant daily.


In most instances, adverbs can be structured from the feminine form of the adjective, but there are variations depending on the adjective. We will cover these below.


Adverbs in -ment derived from the masculine adjective form


When an adjective ends in -i, -é or -u, the adverb is structured using the masculine form of the adjective (instead of the feminine form seen above).


For example:

absolu becomes absolument

aisé becomes aisément

vrai becomes vraiment


Exception for gai, which becomes gaiement.



Adverbs ending in -emment and -amment


When an adjective ends in -ent and -ant, the adverb ends in -emment and -amment respectively.


For example:

constant becomes constamment

apparent becomes apparemment

abondant becomes abondamment


Exception for lent, which becomes lentement.


Note that for adverbs ending in -emment, the -e is pronounced like an -a.



Adverbs ending in -ément


A small number of adjective ending in -e (either from the feminine form or because they always end in -e), lead to adverb ending in -ément.


For example:

énorme becomes énormément

intense becomes intensément

précis, which is précise in the feminine form becomes précisément



Position of adverbs in -ment


In both English and French, if the adverb modifies an adjective, it is placed before the adjective itself.


However, when an adverb modifies a verb, the adverb can have several locations.


  • Manner, time, frequency and degree adverbs are usually located after the conjugated verb.

Examples:

  1. Tu dors profondément toute la nuit. You sleep soundly all night long.

  2. Elle a soigneusement complété ses devoirs. She carefully completed her homework.

However, they can also appear at the end of a sentence.

  1. Tu dors toute la nuit profondément.

  2. Elle a complété ses devoirs soigneusement.


  • Adverbs which modify a sentence usually appear at the beginning.

Examples:

  1. Malheureusement, elle n'a pas réussi. Unfortunately, she didn't succeed.

  2. Soudainement, ils nous ont attaqué. Suddenly, they attacked us.



Not all adverbs end in -ment and these will be covered in a separate article.



Recommendation:



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