Lesson 9: Adverbs

Welcome to the ninth lesson in our beginner’s course. Now that we have a solid understanding of how Russian adjectives work, it’s time to move on to adverbs. Happily, adverbs are extremely easy to learn once you know adjectives. And even better, using adverbs frequently will enrich your Russian and make you an articulate communicator. 

Go here for our main page on Russian adverbs for reference.

What are adverbs?

Often the same word in English can function as both an adjective and an adverb. This is not the case in Russian, however.

Adjectives modify nouns and pronouns, declining along with them across gender, number, and case. Adjectives answer the question “what kind of” – “какой, какая, какое, какие.”

Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. They do not decline at all. Adverbs answer the question “how” – “как.”

For example:

  • Я хороший студент русского языка. = I am a good student of the Russian language. (adjective)
  • Я хорошо говорю русский язык. = I speak the Russian language well. (adverb)

How to form Russian adverbs?

Many Russian adverbs are formed from their corresponding adjective.

To form Russian adverbs from their corresponding adjective, replace the adjectival ending with an invariable suffix. Most commonly, this will be -о, but there are also some other forms:

For adjectives ending in -ый/-ий, add -о:

  • хороший → хорошо = good → well)
  • плохой → плохо = bad → badly)
  • горячий → горячо = loud  → loudly)
  • ясный → ясно = clear → clearly)
  • интересный → интересно = interesting → interestingly
  • красивый → красиво = beautiful → beautifully
  • дорогой → дорого = expensive → expensively
  • дешёвый → дёшево = cheap → cheaply

For adjectives ending in -ний, add -е.

  • крайний → крайне = extreme → extremely
  • средний → средне = middle → middle

For adjectives ending in -скай /-цкий, add -и

  • варварский → варварски = barbarian → barbarian like

For a handful of adverbs, a prefix по- is used:

Languages:

  • русский → по-русски = Russian
  • английский → по-английски = English
  • французский → по-французски = French
  • испанский → по-испански = Spanish
  • Китайский → по-китайски = Chinese

Childlike and adultlike:

  • детский → по-детски = child → childlike
  • взрослый → по-взрослому = adult → adultlike

Core Russian adverbs

  • везде = everywhere
  • вместе = together
  • вдруг = suddenly
  • весной = in spring
  • вечером = in the evening
  • всегда = always
  • вчера = yesterday
  • (не)долго = (not) long
  • дома = at home
  • достаточно = enough, sufficiently
  • (всё) ещё = still
  • ещё = yet
  • завтра = tomorrow
  • затем = then
  • здесь, тут = here
  • зимой = in winter
  • иногда = sometimes
  • как = as
  • когда = when
  • летом = in summer
  • обычно = usually
  • осенью = in fall, autumn
  • очень = very
  • потом = afterwards
  • почти = almost
  • редко = rarely
  • сегодня = today
  • совершенно = entirely
  • совсем = quite
  • сразу = immediately
  • так, столько = so
  • также, тоже = also, too
  • там = there
  • тогда = then
  • уже = already
  • утром = in the morning
  • часто = often

Example sentences

И в наших интересах спать сегодня вместе. = And in both our interests, I think we should sleep together tonight.

Но вдруг меня осенило – мне так повезло. = And then it hit me – I am so lucky.

Дома дела идут не очень хорошо. = Things haven’t been going very well at home.

Часто идет дождь в Лондоне осенью. = It often rains in London in the autumn.

Мария прекрасно играет на пианино. = Maria plays the piano beautifully.

Очень интересно читать о других культурах. = It is very interesting to read about other cultures.

Он плохо играет на гитаре, но хорошо играет на скрипке. = He plays the guitar badly, but plays the violin well.

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