Word order with adverbs - Easy Learning Grammar French
1 Adverbs with verbs
- In English, adverbs can come in different places in a sentence.
- I’m never coming back.
- See you soon!
- Suddenly the phone rang.
- I’d really like to come.
- In French, the rules are more fixed. When an adverb goes with a verb that consists of just one word, such as a verb in the present tense or the imperfect tense, it generally goes AFTER that verb.
|Il neige toujours en janvier.||It always snows in January.|
|Je pensais souvent à toi.||I often used to think about you.|
- When an adverb goes with a verb that consists of more than one word, such as a verb in the perfect tense, it generally comes BETWEEN the part of the verb that comes from avoir or être and the past participle.
|Il a trop mangé.||He’s eaten too much.|
|Ils sont déjà partis.||They’ve already gone.|
- For more information on the Perfect tense, see The perfect tense.
- The rule above covers most adverbs that tell you about quantity or time (apart from a few listed later), and some very common ones telling you how something is done.
|beaucoup||a lot, much|
|encore||still, even, again|
|peu||not much, not very|
|trop||too much, too|
- Some adverbs FOLLOW the past participle of verbs that consist of more than one word. This rule covers most adverbs that tell you how or where something is done, and a few adverbs that tell you about time.
|loin||far, far off, a long time ago|
|longtemps||a long time|
|vite||quick, fast, soon|
|On les a vus partout.||We saw them everywhere.|
|Elle est revenue hier.||She came back yesterday.|
2 Adverbs with adjectives and other adverbs
- When an adverb goes with an adjective, it generally comes just BEFORE that adjective.
|Ils ont une très belle maison.||They have a very nice house.|
|une femme bien habillée||a well-dressed woman|
- When an adverb goes with another adverb, it generally comes just BEFORE that adverb.
|C’est trop tard.||It’s too late.|
|Fatima travaille beaucoup plus vite.||Fatima works much faster.|
- Adverbs follow verbs that consist of just one word.
- They generally go before the past participle of verbs that consist of two words when they relate to quantity or time.
- They generally go after the past participle of verbs that consist of two words when they relate to how or where something is done.
- When used with an adjective or another adverb, they generally come just before it.