|Contents in this post|
|1. Definition of adverbs|
2. Types of adverbs
3. Different types of temporal adverbs
4. How to make sentences with adverbs
5. How to use the adverb of time in the past, present and future tense
Adverbs are words that modify a verb or even an adjective. Adverbs play important roles in flexing a sentence. They rotate between two positions in a German sentence i.e at the beginning (the preverbal position) or in the third position in a german sentence. In English, adverbs may be easily identified with the suffix “-ly” when it is coined from an adjective whereas in german they have no definite end-suffix for identification. They are equally not declined.
As a rule in german language, an adverb must always be placed before an adjective or an object (direct, indirect & prepositional object) i.e directly after the verb within a sentence and directly after the subject in a question except the object is a pronoun. If the object is a pronoun, then it can be placed directly after them. There are several categories of adverbs as listed below;
- Adverb of place
- Adverb of direction or lokal adverbs
- Temporal adverbs or adverb of time
- Adverb of degree
- Adverb of manner or modal adverbs
- Adverb of frequency
- Adverb of reason
Adverb of place
An Adverb of place is used to tell the location or where something is found. It is usually associated with the question word “wo?”. Examples are;
at/in (the) front
at the back
|1. Mein Vater ist draußen im Garten.—— my father is outside in the garden.|
2. Ich gehe nirgendwo hin!—— I am not going anywhere!
3. Sie waren hier bei mir.—— they were here with me.
4. Sara und ich reisen nach Africa. Wir werden dort viele wilde Tiere find.—— Sara and I are traveling to Africa. We will find many wild animals over there.
Adverb of direction
Some adverbs of place can be used to give directions or description of how to locate something. They usually make use of the prefix “nach” which is not literally translated in English, to indicate movement. In a sentence where there are two or more adverbs, directional adverbs are given the last preference. That means those adverbs must be written first before them. They include;
|1. Wir gehen nach Hause.—— we are going home.|
2. Fahren Sie nach links und dann nach rechts wenden.—— drive towards left and then turn right.
3.Ich gehe nach unten.—— i am going downstairs.
These are adverbs that tell exactly when something is done. The examples of these adverbs are often used in connection with the question-word “wann”. It is divided into sub-groups namely;
- Specific time duration
- Non-specific time duration
Specific time duration
Adverbs that belong in this category of adverb of time are often used with a definite and more precise duration of time. Examples of this adverbs are;
a day after tomorrow
a day before yesterday
|1. Die alte Frau ist heute die Kinder zum Kindergarten gebracht.—— The old woman brought the children to school today.|
2. Das kluge Mädchen hat gestern den Preis gewonnen.—— The clever Girl won the prize yesterday.
**Note that: when making a sentence in german that involves a specific adverb of time in the future tense , the future tense auxiliary verb “werden” should not be used. The sentences should instead be made with the adverbs alone. See examples below.
|1. I will travel to Turkey tomorrow.—— Ich werde morgen in der Türkei reisen.❌|
2. I will travel to Turkey tomorrow.—— Ich reise morgen in der Türkei.✅
3. Susan will come soon–– Susanne kommt bald.
4. My parents will visit my grandparents today–– Meine Eltern besuchen heute meine Großeltern
Non-specific time duration
These adverbs of time are used in scope of a period in time without being specific. They are formed by combining certain prepositions such as um, unter, an and in with the seconds of the minute, the minutes of the hour, the hours of the day, the days of the week, the months and even the seasons of the year which are all nouns. These adverbs are referred to as Zeitangaben in german. Some examples are;
um sechs Uhr
in dreißig Sekunde
in fünfzehh Minuten
in vier Stunden
in der Nacht
unter der Woche
in der Woche
|by/at one (am/pm)|
by/at six (am/pm)
in thirty seconds
in fifteen minutes
in four hours
in the morning
in the afternoon
in the evening
in the night
in the day
in the weekend
in the week
in the week
in the month
in the year
|1. Mein Zug kommt um 6.00 Uhr an.–– my train is arriving at 6 am.|
2. Peter und Petra heiraten im August.–– Peter and Petra are getting married in august.
3. Ich bin im Sommer geboren.–– I was born in summer.
4. Musst du am Mittwoch das Haus aufräumen?–– Do you have to clean up the house on wednesday?
Adverb of degree
These Adverbs are used to tell how far, how much or to what extent something is done. The question word associated with these adverbs is “wie viel”. Examples of these Adverbs include;
|1. Ich bin fast fertig.—— I am almost done.|
2. Es tut uns wirklich leid, wir können nicht mehr koimmen.—— we are really sorry, we can’t come anymore.
3. Wohnst du auch in Berlin?—— do you reside also in Berlin?
Adverbs of manner
These Adverbs describe how or the way something is done. The question-word associated with these adverbs is “wie”. Some examples are;
|1. Das hast du gut gemacht.—— you did that well.|
2. Könnt ihr bitte leise lesen?—— can you guys please read quietly.
3. Die Jungen aus dem Unfall wurden schlecht verletzt.—— the boys from the accident were badly injured.
Adverbs of frequency
These adverbs are used to describe how often or the percentage of how something is done. The are usually associated with the question-word “wie oft”. Some examples are listed below.
never/ not ever
repeatedly/ over and over
* They are can be translated also in english with “every” when the suffix “-s” is removed. For example; “freitags” can also mean “every friday”.
|1. Ich gehe manchmal mit meiner Mutter spazieren.—— I go for a walk sometimes with my mother.|
2. Das Baby weint immer wieder.—— The baby cries repeatedly.
3. Meine Tante besucht mich niemals, weil ich sehr weit weg lebe.—— my aunt never visits me because I live very far away.
Adverbs of reason
These adverbs are used to explain why, the purpose, the target and aim of doing something. This group of adverbs are also used as conjunctions to connect sentences to each other. The are usually associated with the question-words “warum and wieso”. Some examples are listed below.
because of you
because of me
|1. komm schnell nach Hause, andernfalls werde ich das Essen alleine essen.–– come home quick otherwise i’ll eat the food alone.|
2. Deinetwegen will Cara nach Frankreich nicht mehr umziehen.–– Cara does not want to relocate to France anymore because of you.