Adjective or Adverb

How to tell the difference between adjectives and adverbs?

The difference between adjectives and adverbs can be difficult to spot. The main difference is that adjectives always describe a noun, whereas adverbs can describe a verb, an adjective, an entire sentence, or another adverb. The other key difference is that adjectives always agree with the gender and number of the noun they are describing, while adverbs do not change. We can also recognise many adverbs by their ending -ment.

Learn to tell the difference between adjectives and adverbs in French grammar with Lingolia’s quick and easy examples, then put your knowledge to the test in the free exercises.

Example

Les trois souris Noisette, Gribouille et Ficelle rangent rapidement les dossiers. Noisette et Gribouille sont plus rapides que Ficelle.

Les souris sont heureuses et nous regardent en riant. Heureusement, elles ont bientôt fini!

Elles ont fait un très bon travail. Même Ficelle, qui ne voulait rien faire, a vraiment bien travaillé.

Adjective or Adverb?

Adjectives describe nouns (What is someone or something like?).

Example:
Les souris sont heureuses et nous regardent en riant. The mice are happy and they look at us, laughing.

What are the mice like? – happy

Adverbs describe adjectives, verbs, other adverbs, or entire clauses. (In what manner does someone do something? How good/bad/… is someone/something?)

Example:
Elles ont fait un très bon travail.They did very good work.

How good is their work? – very [good]

Elles ont bien travaillé.They worked well.

How did they work? - well

Elles ont vraiment bien travaillé.They worked really well.

How did they work? - really well

Heureusement, elles ont bientôt fini!Happily, they’ll be done soon!

How does the speaker feel about them being done soon? - happy