Adverb . Invariable word whose function is to complement the meaning of the verb, an adjective, another adverb and certain sequences. Unlike the article it is an invariable form. It does not have accidents of gender or number , they express concepts dependent on other dependent concepts: its concepts depend on those expressed by the verb or the adjective, which in turn depend on the independent concept that is expressed by means of the noun.


[ hide ]

  • 1 Semantic, syntactic and pragmatic characterization of the adverb
  • 2 Classification of the adverb
  • 3 Formal classification
  • 4 Semantic classification
    • 1 Adverbs of time and place
    • 2 Adverbs of mode and quantity
    • 3 Adverbs of order
    • 4 Adverbs of affirmation, negation and doubt
  • 5 Functional classification
  • 6 Sources

Semantic, syntactic and pragmatic characterization of the adverb

From the point of view of its significance, the adverb contains a semantic charge that expresses, in general, various circumstances such as place, time, mode or manner, quantity, among others. The meanings it provides may appear, in some cases, in nouns preceded by a preposition or in adjectives: brave man / fought bravely / fought bravely.

In its function of adjoining circumstantial the verb indicates internal aspects of its meaning (works well / bad / carefully) or external circumstances (works today / early / here).

Structure: Adverbs are invariable words regarding gender and number in their signifier and do not present distinctive morphemes. Since they lack flexion, they are not subject to concordance, which makes it possible to establish the difference with the adjective: hard object / hard wood (adjectives), as opposed to hitting hard (adverb).

Some adverbs accept the comparison: He fought as bravely as his companions; Her house is very far (or very far). There may be cases of diminutives, such as: She lives close by; She ate little. This last aspect of the morphology of the adverb is not very productive, and, in many cases, has an evaluative character rather than a purely notional one.

Adverb classification

The adverb can be classified according to various aspects:

  1. a) Morphological structure: the number of elements of the adverb is taken into account, so the analysis focuses on the form.
  2. b) Meaning: the dominant element is the notion that the different adverbs carry, regardless of their structure.
  3. c) Grammatical nature: the relationships established by adverbs with the rest of the sentence elements are highlighted, and their function is therefore highlighted.

Formal classification

By their form, adverbs can be primitive and derived and simple and compound.

Primitive adverbs are those that do not come from another word, they constitute a closed system: no, well, close, early, always, there among others. Derivatives are formed by adding the suffix –mente to the singular feminine form of the adjective, when it has two endings: quickly, extensively; or in its unique form: easily, tenaciously. They are ditona words, since they keep the accent on the adjective and the suffix and integrate an open system, of high productivity. The suffix -mente comes from the Latin noun mens, mentis, which in one of its meanings means mind, soul, spirit; this fact may be the reason why in some grammatical studies these adverbs are included among the compounds.

Simple adverbs are made up of a lexeme, as far, there, never, late, then, more, while in compounds more than one lexeme or the union of particles and lexemes appears: anywhere, greatly, the day before yesterday, opposite. Among the latter, the existence of adverbial locutions, very frequent in the Spanish language, should be noted; they are sets headed by prepositions, which can have the character of made sentences and that behave like adverbs formed by a single word. For example: suddenly, gropingly, in short order, in short, above all, just a little, in short. See this example: You had to climb through the brambles and hold on to everything that was offering a safe ledge. But at last they reached the mouth of the cave. (Jorge, 1975: 18).

Semantic classification

Adverbs of time and place

Adverbs that refer to temporary or special circumstances are called time and place respectively.

Those of “time” are: now, before, after, today, yesterday, the day before yesterday, last night, the night before, tomorrow, then, then, late, early, ready, soon, always, never, never, while, still, still, already , recently, when (interrogative), when (relative). They are old-fashioned: homely, yesteryear, once, before, then, still, and forms such as antonces, antier, or yesterday, agora.

“Newly” should only be used preceding participles: “newborn”, “newcomer”.

Those of “place” are: here, there, there here, there, near, front, behind, inside, inside, outside, above, below, below, together, around, where, beyond, wherever, where and where (interrogative), where and where (relative). They are outdated here, here, there, everywhere.

Adverbs of mode and quantity

Adverbs that refer to qualitative or quantitative circumstances are called mode and quantity, respectively.

Those of way indicate the qualities that can be indicated in the meaning of the verb, as in speaking “good”, or qualify the qualities that the adjective expresses as in “hardly” visible. They are adverbs of way: “good, bad, slow, quick, hardly, deliberately, bet, even, until, such, how” (interrogative and excalmative and “which” (exclamatory), “how” and “which” ( The forms “atal (tal), an (even) ansí” or “ansina” are outdated.

The current meaning of “plus” is aggregation: I don’t feel like going out, and “plus” I have to work¨. Formerly it was also used postponing adjectives to make them superlative: “It was also beautiful (it was very beautiful)”. Today it is said in that sense “for others”.

As cases of adaptation of the adverbs of one meaning to the use that corresponds to another, they can be mentioned “soon, soon”, as adverbs of time mean shortly after, “in a little while”, used as adverbs of way, mean “quickly”, “soon”. “Still adverb of time, equivalent to” still “, has been transformed into adverb of mode, with a concessive nuance, and in this use has lost the accent:” even “thin, it stays strong; my intentions fail,” still “being pure. “Still”, adverb of time, can be used as of quantity: “still” more.

Adverbs of order

The adverbs that the academy calls of order are varieties of those of time and place that express quantitative (ordinal) aspects, as first. They are usually used with this ordinal meaning before, after, before, behind.

Adverbs of affirmation, negation and doubt

The adverb can determine the affirmative, negative or doubting character of the sentence. If the character is affirmative, then no adverb is usually required: any simple statement is understood in the affirmative. But by means of the adverb the enunciation can be emphasized so that no hesitation remains: “it comes”, “Yes” it comes, “Surely” it comes. Instead, denial and doubt must always express themselves.

They are adverbs of affirmation: yes, also (which in addition to the affirmative concept contain the concept of addition), certainly, truly, surely, etc.

They are adverbs of negation: no, neither, neither (as also, to which it is opposed, it contains the concept of addition). It also has a negative value, nothing, quantity,

They are adverbs of doubt: “perhaps, perhaps”. It is becoming “outdated” although it still has a lot of regional use in educated speech.

Functional classification

Pronominal adverbs: There are adverbs of time, place, mode and quantity that, due to their way of being meant, are from the family of pronouns. It forms four groups:

  • Demonstrative
  • Interrogatives
  • Relative
  • Defenseless

Interrogatives : when (of time), where, where, how much, what (of quantity), how (so) are pronounced and written with an accent. they also have an “exclamatory” value: How amusing me!

The relative are the same, pronounced and written without an accent. “How are you going” (interrogative) – “As you can” (relative), “When will you tell me? (Interrogative) -” When I know “(relative).

Demonstrative : here, there, there, here, there, and the old-fashioned here, here and there (of place); so, so (so); now, today, tomorrow, yesterday, the day before yesterday, last night, then (of time); Therefore, so (of quantity). The pronominal character of the demonstrative adverbs is the most evident, and among them, even more that of “here, there, there, here, there” because they indicate the positions of the three grammatical persons: ” here “is where I am; “there”, where are you; “there” where he is or away from me or you. “Here” and “there” represent the opposition between where the first person is and where he is not.

The other demonstrative adverbs have a demonstrative pronoun implicit in their meaning: “thus” thus means “now” at this time “then” at that time “today” on this day “yesterday”, “the day before yesterday” and “tomorrow” determine its significance for its relationship with “today”.

The demonstratives and the relative ones are correlative, that is, they correspond so that the demonstratives can be the explicit antecedents of the relative ones: “then” was when I knew it; “so” was how it happened; “here” was where I found it.

The indefinite adverbs are correlative of the interrogative adverbs: “how much” and “when”, in the sense that one of those two interrogative adverbs answers one or the other of the indefinite ones. They answer “when”: “always”, “never” and “never”. And they answer “how much”: “nothing”, “much”, “little”, “fed up”, “too much”.


Leave a Comment