French For Football/Grammar/Adverbs

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French adverbs, like their English counterparts, are used to modify adjectives, other adverbs, and verbs or clauses. They do not display any inflection; that is, their form does not change to reflect their precise role, nor any characteristics of what they modify.

Formation[edit]

In French, as in English, many adverbs are derived from adjectives. In most cases, this is done by adding the suffix -ment (English "-ly") to the adjective's feminine singular form. For example, the feminine singular form of lent ("slow") is lente, so the corresponding adverb is lentement ("slowly"); similarly, malheureuxmalheureusement ("unhappy" → "unhappily").

As in English, however, the adjective stem is sometimes modified to accommodate the suffix:

  • If the adjective ends in an i, then -ment is added to the masculine singular (default) form, rather than to the feminine singular form:
    • vraivraiment ("real" → "really")
    • impoliimpoliment ("rude" → "rudely")
  • If the adjective ends in -ant or -ent, then the corresponding adverb ends in -amment or -emment, respectively:
    • constantconstamment ("constant" → "constantly")
    • récentrécemment ("recent" → "recently")
  • Some adjectives make other changes:
    • précisprécisément ("precise" → "precisely")
    • gentilgentiment ("nice" → "nicely")

(Look out though, as the -ment suffix is also used to create nouns from verbs where it then corresponds with English -ing.)

Some adverbs are derived from adjectives in completely irregular fashions, not even using the suffix -ment:

  • bonbien ("good" → "well")
  • mauvaismal ("bad" → "badly")
  • meilleurmieux ("better"-adjective → "better"-adverb)
  • pirepire ("worse"-adjective → "worse"-adverb)

And, as in English, many common adverbs are not derived from adjectives at all:

  • ainsi ("thus" or "thusly")

Placement[edit]

The placement of French adverbs is almost the same as the placement of English adverbs.

An adverb that modifies an adjective or adverb comes before that adjective or adverb:

  • complètement vrai ("completely true")
  • pas possible ("not possible")
  • tellement discrètement ("so discreetly")

An adverb that modifies an Infinitive (verbal noun) generally comes after the infinitive:

  • marcher lentement ("to walk slowly")

But negative adverbs, such as pas ("not"), plus ("not any more"), and jamais come before the infinitive:

  • ne pas s'affoler ("don't panic")

An adverb that modifies a main verb or clause comes either after the verb, or before the clause:

  • Lentement il commença à marcher or Il commença lentement à marcher ("Slowly, he began to walk" or "He began slowly to walk").

Note that, unlike in English, this is true even of negative adverbs:

  • Jamais je n'ai fait cela or Je n'ai jamais fait cela ("Never have I done that" or "I've never done that")

List of common adverbs[edit]

Adverb English French Example English Translation
actuellement currently le club évolue actuellement en deuxième division the club currently plays in the second division
ainsi thus deux défenseurs ont été expulsés ainsi que le gardien de but two backs were sent off as well as the goalkeeper
après afterwards On va au bar après We'll go to the bar afterwards
assez enough le jeu est assez ouvert the game is fairly open
aussi also j'ai aussi joué dans la même équipe I also played in the same team
aussitôt straight away il récupère aussitôt la balle he recovers the ball straight away
autant as many / as much six matchs et autant de victoires six matches and as many victories
autrefois in the past son niveau d'autrefois his former level
autrement differently, otherwise Et autrement, comment ça va ? How's it going, otherwise?
avant-hier on the day before yesterday la contre-performance d'avant-hier the poor performance of the day before yesterday
beau, bel, belle nicely (in expressions) bel et bien battu well and truly beaten
beaucoup (de) much, many beaucoup d'occasions lots of chances
bien well il est bien marqué he is well marked
bientôt soon à tres bientôt see you very soon
cependant however Cependant, il y a un risque de blessures. However, there is a risk of injuries.
certainement certainly ce sera certainement un grand match this will certainly be a big match
certes admittedly, of course leur tâche est certes plus difficile their task is admittedly more difficult
ci-dessous below Rédigez votre message ci-dessous Write your message below
combien (de) how much, many un succès, ô combien mérité a success, oh how deserved
comment how Comment allez-vous aborder le match ? How are you going to approach the match?
complètement completely il se troue complètement he screws up completely
davantage more, longer ils ont davantage besoin de points they have greater need of points
debout standing, up un match à dormir debout a match to send you to sleep
dedans inside ils se sont rentrés dedans they crashed into each other
en dehors de outside, apart from la faute était en dehors de la surface the foul was outside the area
déjà already des spectateurs quittent déjà le stade some spectators are leaving the stadium already
au delà de beyond au delà de 35 ans over 35 years old
demain tomorrow demain soir tomorrow evening
désormais from now on Les deux équipes sont désormais à égalité de points The two teams are now level on points
devant ahead, in front ils manquent de créativité devant they lack creativity at the front
doucement gently, quietly le match débute doucement the match starts quietly
également also, equally on pourrait également citer un autre match one could also cite another match
encore again, still Ben Arfa encore ménagé Ben Arfa dropped again
enfin at last, finally ils gagnent enfin un match they finally win a match
ensemble together on joue ensemble depuis longtemps we have been playing (lit. play) together for a long time
ensuite then, next Ensuite, cela devenait très compliqué Then it became very difficult
environ about il va être absent environ un mois he will be off for about a month
facilement easily Le Cameroun a facilement battu la Zambie Cameroon have easily beaten Zambia
fort strongly il a démarré très fort he started very strongly
heureusement fortunately il n'a heureusement aucune blessure Fortunately he does not have any injury
hier yesterday le résultat d'hier soir the result of yesterday evening
ici here, now la saison commence ici the season starts here
there ce joueur- a du talent that player has some talent
là-dedans in here, in there il n'y a rien de mystère là-dedans there is no mystery in it
là-dessus on here, on there on reste là-dessus we stay where we are
largement greatly, well le ballon s'envole largement au-dessus du but the ball soars well over the goal
légèrement lightly, slightly un joueur légèrement blessé a slightly injured player
lentement slowly lentement mais sûrement slowly but surely
loin far le match est loin d'être fini the match is far from over
longtemps a long time tenir le plus longtemps possible hold on as long as possible
lors de during le nombre de buts marqués lors de cette 8ème journée de Ligue 1 the number of goals scored during the eigth match day of Ligue 1
maintenant now Et maintenant on fait quoi? And now, what do we do?
mal badly, wrongly un ballon mal dégagé a badly cleared ball
malheureusement unfortunately Malheureusement, nous avons encaissé un but Unfortunately we conceded a goal
même even il a même séché l'entraînement cette semaine he even skipped training this week
moins less, least un match en moins a match in hand
néanmoins nevertheless Formé arrière droit, il peut néanmoins rendre des services dans l'axe de la défense. Trained as right back, he can nevertheless render service in the centre of the defence.
parfois sometimes Le football est parfois cruel Football is sometimes cruel
partout everywhere le score est de deux buts partout the score is two all
peu little on peut respirer un peu mieux we can breathe a little easier
peut-être perhaps la prochaine fois, peut-être next time, perhaps
plus more nous sommes plus que jamais déterminé we are more determined than ever
plutôt rather des matchs plutôt lents some rather slow matches
pourquoi why Pourquoi le PSG sont-ils sifflés ? Why are Paris St. Germain whistled at?
pourtant yet Si près, et pourtant si loin ! So near, and yet so far!
près close une tentative de près a attempt at short range
presque almost il joue presque tout le temps en défense he plays in defence almost all the time
puis then Ce jeu est diffusé à 12h30 puis rediffusé à 19h30 This game is broadcast at 12.30 p.m. and then rebroadcast at 7:30 p.m.
quelque approximately on supporte l'équipe quelque soit le score we support the team whatever the score
quelquefois sometimes je joue quelquefois au football I sometimes play football
récemment recently ils ont joué du bon football récemment they played some good football recently
seulement only à seulement 17 ans, il a joué en équipe première at only 17 years old, he played in the first team
si yes, so, however, as ils ne méritent pas d'être en si bonne position they don't deserve to be in as good a position
souvent often il est souvent en position de hors-jeu he is often in an offside position
surtout above all on était pauvre défensivement surtout we were poor, above all in defence
tant so much un match tant attendu a much awaited match
tantôt sometimes, this afternoon tantôt à gauche, tantôt à droite sometimes on the left, sometimes on the right
tard late le gardien recule, mais trop tard the keeper falls back, but too late
tellement so much, so many le football c'est tellement imprévisible football is so unpredictable
tôt soon, early les billets ont été épuisés plus tôt que prévu the tickets were sold out earlier than expected
toujours still, always ils sont toujours invaincus chez eux they are still unbeaten at home
tout very, quite tout à fait justifié totally justified
très very le gardien est très sollicité the keeper is very much in demand
vite quickly On va vite rebondir We will bounce back quickly
vraiment really, truly ils n'ont jamais vraiment brillé they never really shone
y to it, there il y a une faute flagrante there's an blatant foul

Adverbs Expressing Degree[edit]

  • assez - rather, enough
    • Il est assez prometteur. - He is quite promising.
  • très - very
    • Il est trèszprometteur.[1] - He is very promising.
  • vraiment - truly, really
    • Il est vraiment prometteur. - He is really promising.

Comparative[edit]

Grammar
The Comparative · Le Comparatif
Adverbs
Sub. + Verb Comparative Adverb Comparative Object
Je cours plus/aussi/moins vite que toi.
I run more
as
less
quickly than
as
than
you.

Acknowledgements[edit]

This page is based on original text from French/Grammar/Adverbs dated 29 October 2009.