Adverbs

Your complete guide to German Adverbs
(THIS PAGE IS STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

Overview:

Adverbs are used to tell us something about a verb, adjective, or another adverb.

Adverbs can describe aspects of time, frequency, location, causation, manner, and more.

Adverbial conjunctions connect clauses or sentences and signal additional information, explanation, or contrast.

Components:

Adverbs of Manner

These adverbs tell us how, in which manner, or to what degree an activity is done.

Examples:
Ich esse gern Eis. — I gladly eat ice cream.
Das Kind redet schnell. — The child speaks quickly.

Coming soon

Adverbial Conjunctions

These adverbs conjoin sentences or clauses by providing extra information, explaining, or by contrasting.

Examples:
Die Konzerttickets waren leider schon ausverkauft. Wollen wir uns dennoch treffen?
Lisa geht nicht über die Straße. Stattdessen bleibt sie einfach stehen.

Coming soon

Digging Deeper:

What is an Adverb?

Adverbs describe verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs (The child sings loudly). Compare that with adjectives, which tell us something about a noun. (The loud child is singing).

In English, most adverbs end with -ly, but there are exceptions (The child runs fast.)

In German, there are a few descriptive words that function only as adverbs, with no adjectival equivalent.

But most descriptive words can be used as either adverbs or adjectives. In such instances, the ‘root’ form of the word is the same (schnell = fast), but the adverb will remain in this ‘root’ form while the adjective may be declined.

Das Kind läuft schnell die Straße entlang.

Das schnelle Kind läuft die Straße entlang.

Adverbs of Manner

Many adverbs that tell us how, in which manner, or to what degree an activity is done are descriptive adverbs that can also be declined and used as adjectives.

fröhlich — happily / happy

langsam — slow/ly

erstaunlich — astonishing/ly

However, some adverbs of manner, such as kaum and gern, have no adjective equivalents.

Some descriptive adverbs that convey attitude or reaction are formed by adding -erweise onto descriptive adjectives:

dummerweise — foolishly

möglicherweise — possibly

überraschenderweise — surprisingly

Similarly, we can add just -weise unto some nouns to form adverbs of manner:

fallweise — case by case

stückweise — piece by piece

teilweise — partially

Adverbs of Time

Adverbs of time tell us when or how often an activity occurs, when an activity begins, the conclusion of an activity, or establishes sequences between narratives.

bald — soon

immer — always

oft — often

auf einmal — suddenly

danach — after that

mittlerweile — meanwhile

endlich — finally

seitdem — since then

zuletzt — last

damals — back then

einmal — one time

neulich — recently

Adverbs of Place

Adverbs of place tell us where, or to or from where.

da — there

irgendwo — somewhere

oben / unten — above/below

links/rechts — left / right

Many times these adverbs can be combined with hin- and her- to indicate direction to or from.

Similarly, some adverbs of place are paired with the prepositions nach and von:

nach links / rechts — to the left/right

von linke / rechts — from the left/right

nach oben — upward

nach unten — downward

Adverbial Conjunctions

Adverbs that connect sentences or clauses don’t affect word order. Here are some examples:

daher / deswegen / deshalb — therefore, thus

dennoch — nevertheless

stattdessen — instead