- Recognize adverbs of motion ending in -mente
Adverbs are words that modify verbs, that is they describe how actions are done. You learned the most common adverb in one of the very first lessons of this course: bien (meaning “well”), which modifies the verb estar in the answer that everyone gives when asked ¿Cómo estás? —Estoy bien, gracias (I am well, thanks).
Normally, English turns adjectives into adverbs by adding the suffix -ly; similarly, Spanish turns many adjectives into adverbs by adding the suffix -mente to the feminine singular form of the adjective.
- normal → normalmente (normally)
- similar → similarmente (similarly)
- triste → tristemente (sadly)
- frecuente → frecuentemente (frequently)
- rápido → rápidamente (rapidly, quickly)
- largo → largamente (at length)
Adverbs are invariable in Spanish, which is to say that the suffix -mente does *not* change to agree in gender or number.
- Papá Oso camina pesadamente. (Papa Bear walks heavily.)
- Mamá Oso camina cuidadosamente. (Mama Bear walks carefully.)
- Los ositos caminan alegremente. (The baby bears walk happily.)