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Spanish Adverbs Ending in Mente

Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

When you see an adverb ending in 'mente' you might be confused about how to understand it. Or, you could be confused about how to turn an adjective into an adverb using 'mente' at the end. This lesson gives you all you need to know about Spanish adverbs with the ending 'mente'.

The Meaning

Do you frequently review Spanish vocabulary? Do you occasionally have the opportunity to practice Spanish with a native speaker? Make a note of the adverbs of frequency in these questions so you can understand what mente does to adverbs in Spanish.

The ending mente at the end of Spanish adverbs is the equivalent of the ending '-ly' in English. For instance, let's add it to the adjective frecuente (frequent). Now, we have frecuentemente and 'frequently'. Similarly, let's take the word ocasional (occasional). When we add mente, we have ocasionalmente, which means 'occasionally'.

Simple, right? Now, let's learn a list of adverbs you frequently need to use in Spanish and a rule that helps you remember how to turn adjectives into adverbs.

The Feminine Rule

When it comes to adjectives in Spanish, some of them can be applied to either feminine or masculine subjects. For instance, let's take frecuente. You can use it for a feminine subject such as la lluvia (the rain):

  • La lluvia es frecuente en esta época del año. (Rain is frequent at this time of year.)

Or, you can have it with a masculine subject such as el pago (the payment):

  • El pago de multas por infracciones de tránsito es frecuente en esta zona. (The payment of fines due to driving violations is frequent in this zone.)

With 'neutral' adjectives like frecuente, all you have to do is add mente and you have an adverb.

However, if your adjective allows for both the masculine and feminine forms, to form the adverb you have to pick the feminine form and then add mente. Let's illustrate with an example. You have the adjective rápido (fast/quick) for masculine and rápida (fast/quick) for feminine. You would say:

  • Mi coche es rápido y mi computadora es rápida. (My car is fast and my computer is fast.)

To form the adverb, we stick with the feminine form rápida and we add mente. So you would have:

  • Yo aprendo español rápidamente. (I learn Spanish quickly.)

Now, let's learn a list of useful Spanish adverbs ending in mente.

Adverbs List

This list does not necessarily cover all adverbs ending in mente, but you have the ones that are most common in Spanish conversations and writing. Let's begin.

Adverb Meaning Pronunciation
amablemente kindly/politely ah-mah-bleh-MEHN-teh
atentamente sincerely (at the end of letters) and attentively ah-tehn-tah-MEHN-teh
básicamente basically BAH-see-kah-MEHN-teh
casualmente casually cah-swahl-MEHN-teh
cómodamente comfortably KOH-moh-dah-MEHN-teh
cuidadosamente carefully kwee-dah-doh-sah-MEHN-teh
fácilmente easily FAH-seel-MEHN-teh
felizmente happily feh-lees-MEHN-teh
francamente frankly frahn-kah-MEHN-teh
generalmente generally heh-neh-rahl-MEHN-teh

Let's make a stop here so you can practice pronunciation with some examples:

  • Mi secretaria habla amablemente con la gente. (My secretary speaks politely to people.)
  • El niño escucha atentamente a la profesora. (The child listens attentively to his teacher.)
  • Viajamos cómodamente en primera clase. (We traveled comfortably in first class.)
  • Es necesario manejar cuidadosamente. (It is necessary to drive carefully.)
  • Francamente, no me gusta el calor del verano. (Frankly, I don't like the heat of the summer.)

As you can see, if we use the adverb at the beginning of a sentence, we should use a comma right after.

Translation: Generally, there are lots of tourists in Barcelona.
phototaking

Now, let's look at a few more adverbs.

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