Italian Lessons


Adverbs Formed from Adjectives: Some Easy Tricks

Let’s talk about adverbs. While adjectives describe nouns, adverbs describe verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. Many adverbs are closely connected to adjectives, especially those that answer the question, come (how). In fact, there are a good number of adverbs that can be easily formed if we are familiar with the adjectives. And just remember, while adjectives can have different endings according to number and gender, adverbs stay the same!


Let's look at how to use adjectives to form Italian adverbs with the suffix -mente. Using -mente is similar to using "-ly" in English, in cases such as "nice — nicely," "loud —loudly," and "forceful — forcefully."


Of course, there are many exceptions, but here are some common and useful Italian adverbs that will be easy to remember since they are formed by adding -mente to the root form of the adjective.


In order to build Italian adverbs with -mente, you just have to follow this very simple formula:


Feminine form of the adjective + mente


For example, if we want to form an adverb with the adjective ultimo (last), we just need to take the feminine form of that adjective (ultima) and add the suffix -mente, like this:

ultima (last) + mente = ultimamente (lastly, lately)
chiaro (clear) + mente = chiaramente (clearly)


L'ho detto chiaramente ai suoi collaboratori, prima di prendere qualsiasi iniziativa...

I told your colleagues very clearly: before taking any initiative at all...

Caption 19, Il Commissario Manara - S1EP7 - Sogni di Vetro

 Play Caption


Let’s look at some more examples:

Vero (true)  + mente = veramente (truly, really)


Le dimensioni sono veramente compatte. -Sì, sì.

The dimensions are really compact. -Yes, yes.

Caption 29, Adriano Olivetti - La forza di un sogno Ep. 1

 Play Caption


Onesto (honest): onesta + mente = onestamente (honestly)


Giacomo, onestamente non ci aspettavamo questa cosa.

Giacomo, honestly, we didn't expect this thing.

Caption 53, Questione di Karma - Rai Cinema

 Play Caption


More adverbs like these:

Lento (slow) + mente = lentamente (slowly)
Stupido (stupid) + mente = stupidamente (stupidly)
Ironico (ironic) + mente = ironicamente (ironically)
Serio (serious) + mente = seriamente (seriously)
Raro (rare) + mente = raramente (rarely)


You might have noticed that all these adjectives ended in o. This means they have both a masculine and feminine ending, and apart from lento, they also happen to be similar to their English equivalents. Some adjectives, however, end in e, and therefore have the same ending in both the masculine and feminine. When this is the case, the adverb will simply add -mente to the adjective without changing it. 


Let's take the adjective semplice (simple).

Semplice (simple) + mente = semplicemente (simply)


If, on the other hand, the adjective ends in -le or -re, we drop the final vowel e before adding the suffix -mente:


Here are some very common and essential adverbs in this category.

Speciale (special) - e: special + mente = specialmente (especially)
Gentile (kind) -e: gentil + mente = gentilmente (kindly)
Normale (normal) -e: normal + mente = normalmente (normally)


Can you turn these common and useful Italian adjectives into adverbs, keeping in mind the three ways we talked about in this lesson?

probabile (probable)
tranquillo (calm)
felice (happy)
fortunato (lucky)
sicuro (sure)
musicale (musical)
forte (strong)
rapido (fast, rapid)
veloce (fast)
cortese (courteous)
coraggioso (courageous)
scientifico (scientific)
possibile (possible)
comodo (comfortable)
maggiore (greater)
ulteriore (additional)


You'll find the solutions here.

Thanks for reading!
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A presto!

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