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German Adverbs

Adverbien

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Similar to English, German adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. They are used to indicate place, time, cause and manner and can be found in various places in a sentence, such as:

  • Before or after verbs:

    Ich lese gern. (I like reading.)
    Das habe ich hierhin gestellt. (I put that here.)

  • Before or after nouns:

    Der Mann da, der guckt dich immer an. (The man over there is always looking at you.)
    Ich habe drüben am Ufer ein Boot. (I have a boat over there by the shore.)

  • Before or after adjectives:

    Diese Frau ist sehr hübsch. (This woman is very pretty.)
    Ich bin in spätestens drei Wochen zurück/ Ich bin spätestens in drei Wochen zurück. (I'll be back in three weeks at the latest.)

  • Adverbs can also sometimes function as conjunctions:

    Ich habe letzte Nacht überhaupt nicht geschlafen, deshalb bin ich müde. (I didn’t sleep at all last night, that’s why I’m so tired.)

  • Adverbs that modify a sentence:
    Question adverbs (Frageadverbien) can also modify a phrase or a sentence as in:

    Worüber denkst du? (What are you thinking about?)

  • The very best thing about German adverbs is that they are never declined. (Did I just hear a sigh of relief?) Further, adverbs can be created from nouns, prepositions, verbs and adjectives:

    Adverbs plus Prepositions - For instance when combining prepositions with the adverbs wo(r), da(r), hier, you get prepositional adverbs such as worauf/ on where, davor/ before that, hierum/ around here.

    Verbs as adverbs - Past particles of verbs can stand in as adverbs and without modification! See Past Participles as Adverbs

    When an Adjective is an Adverb - Predicate adjectives will function as adverbs when placed after a conjugated verb and you do not need to make any changes to the predicate adjective. Unlike English, Germans do not make a distinction in form between a predicate adjective and an adverb. See Adverbs of Manner and Degree

    Adverbs are divided into four main groups:

    Adverbs of Place
    Adverbs of Time
    Adverbs of Manner and Degree
    Adverbs Indicating Cause
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