Les adverbes en -ment

French Grammar (see all)

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Les adverbes en -ment

Adverbs ending in -ment are formed using the adjective as a base:

•  the feminine adjective + -ment (when the adjective ends in e or a consonant).
adjective
feminine adjective + -ment
adverb of manner
général (general)
générale + ment
généralement (generally)
difficile (difficult)
difficile + ment
difficilement (with difficulty)

Elle est rapide. She’s quick. → Elle mange rapidement. She eats quickly.
Elle est lente. She’s slow. → Il berce lentement le bébé. He’s slowly rocking the baby.

•  the masculine adjective + -ment (when the adjective ends in i, u or é).
vrai true → vraiment truely, really
poli polite → poliment politely
exagéré exagerated, excessive → exagérement excessively, overly
absolu absolute → absolument absolutely, totally

•  adjectives ending in -ent and -ant become emment and amment.
violent violent → violemment violently
méchant nasty, spiteful → méchamment spitefully, badly
patient patient → patiemment patiently

Note: -emment and -amment are pronounced in the same way:
patiemment patiently
fréquemment frequently

Special cases: There are exceptions to the rule, as ever! Here are the most common ones:
gentil kind, nice → gentiment gently, kindly
bref briefly → brièvement briefly
impuni unpunished → impunément with impunity, recklessly
précipité hasty, rash → précipitamment hastily, hurriedly


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