Definition: Adverbs are words which describe the action of a verb, adjectives, or other adverbs: They show how, when and where things happen - e.g. "quickly", "often", "outside". You can usually recognise an adverb in English becuase it ends in "-ly" - e.g. "happily", "regularly", "completely". Adverbs typically express some relation of place, time, manner, cause, inference, result, condition, exception, concession, purpose, means, or even negation. The German negative nicht is an adverb.

Most adjectives can be used as adverbs without adding a suffix. In fact, when such adjectives are used as adverbs they have no endings at all:

  • Anna is a healthy woman (= adjective).
  • Anna ist eine gesunde Frau.
  • "Metropolis" is a good film (= adjective).
  • "Metropolis" ist ein guter Film.
  • We eat very healthily (= adverb).
  • Wir essen sehr gesund.
  • I am very well (= adverb).
  • Es geht mir gut.
They have been divided up into three groups which describe when, how and where things happen we call them adverbs of time, manner and place.

Adverbs of Time

evening abends   in the afternoon nachmittags
soon bald   at night nachts
at that time damals   never nie
then dann   never nimmer
not until erst   still noch
early früh   now nun
yesterday gestern   often oft
immediately [so]gleich   already schon
today heute   seldom selten
always immer   immediately sofort
now jetzt   late spät
sometimes manchmal   daily täglich
tomorrow morgen   mornings morgens

Adverbs of Place

there da   left links
there dort   near nahe
outside draußen   nowhere nirgends
inside drinnen   above oben
over there drüben   right rechts
along entlang   everywhere überall
distant fern   below unten
out of heraus   before, in front voran
here hier   far, widely weit
away weg   behind hinten
back zurück   somewhere irgendwo
together zusammen      

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