Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs, and generally answer one of the following questions: who, what, when, where or why? Consult our post on adverbs if you need to review the grammar concepts behind French adverbs.

Many have familiar adjective beginnings in the feminine form, followed by –ment, which is the traditional suffix for French adverbs (and corresponds to the -ly ending that most English adverbs have).

However, there are other adverbs that do not have a single word translation like they do in English and are instead described with a preposition + an adjective to convey the same meaning, and there are other adverbs that do not take the -ment ending.

Finally, be careful when selecting which specific adverb to use in your communications and look up exact definitions to make sure that how you are applying the word matches with what you mean. Many adverbs, both in French and English, have several meanings depending on exactly the context (for example, “roughly” in English can mean both “abrasive, not smooth” and “approximately”, among others). Double check your translations whenever possible.

Below is a list of 45 common French adverbs.

slowly lentement
quickly rapidement
happily gaiement
sadly tristement
unfortunately malheureusement
gracefully avec grâce
clumsily maladroitement
generally généralement
specifically spécifiquement, précisément
accidentally accidentellement
intentionally intentionnellement
annually annuellement
weekly hebdomadaire
daily quotidiennement
badly mal
well bien
boldly audacieusement
luckily heureusement
cruelly sans pitié, cruellement
kindly gentiment
carefully prudemment
carelessly négligemment
gently doucement
forcefully brutalement
weakly faiblement
strongly vivement
more plus
soon bientôt
really vraiment
sometimes parfois
suspiciously avec suspicion
thoughtfully pensivement
tightly fermement
loosely lâchement
still/yet encore
truthfully honnêtement
unexpectedly à l’improviste
violently violemment
sleepily à moitié endormi
wearily avec lassitude
willingly volontiers
quietly en silence
loudly fort
mysteriously mystérieusement
successfully avec succès
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