We’ve already been using adverbs extensively without really paying much attention to them because they are easy to use. They don’t require any particles and they can appear almost anywhere in the sentence. Below is a list of common and useful adverbs, some of which we’ve already seen.

Useful adverbs

  1. いつも – always
  2. よく – often
  3. たいてい – usually
  4. 時々 【とき・どき】 – sometimes
  5. たまに – rarely
  6. 全然 【ぜん・ぜん】 – not at all (when used with negative)
  7. 多分 【た・ぶん】 – probably, maybe
  8. たくさん – a lot (amount)
  9. 少し 【すこ・し】 – a little (amount)

Creating adverbs from adjectives

There are many words that are not adverbs by themselves but are made into adverbs from other adjectives. This is similar to how “ly” is added to many words in English to make them into adverbs such as “quickly” or “slowly”.

The rules for changing an adjective into an adverb is given below. As usual, 「いい」 is conjugated from the original 「よい」 pronunciation. This is where the adverb we just learned for “often” (よく) comes from.

Rules for changing adjectives into adverbs

  • For na-adjectives: Attach 「に」 to the end

    1. 静か
    2. きれい
    3. 本当
  • For i-adjectives: Replace the 「い」 with 「く」

    1. + く = 早
    2. かわい + く = かわい
  • Exceptions:
    1. 「いい」 becomes 「よく」
    2. 「かっこいい」 becomes 「かっこよく」


  1. 部屋 【へや】 – room
  2. きれい (na-adj) – pretty; clean
  3. 女性 【じょ・せい】 – female
  4. 声優 【せい・ゆう】 – voice actor/actress
  5. わざと (adv) – on purpose
  6. かわいい – cute
  7. 話す 【はな・す】 (u-verb) – to speak
  8. 明日 【あした】 – tomorrow
  9. 大事 【だい・じ】 – important
  10. 試験 【し・けん】 – exam
  11. 今夜 【こん・や】 – tonight
  12. 早い 【はや・い】 (i-adj) – early
  13. 寝る 【ね・る】 (ru-verb) – to sleep
  1. 部屋をきれいにする。
    Make room clean (lit: Do room cleanly).
  2. 日本の女性声優は、よくわざとかわいく話す。
    Japanese female voice actresses often speak cutely on purpose.

  3. 明日、大事な試験があるから、今夜は早く寝る。
    Tomorrow, because there’s an important test, going to sleep early tonight
  4. 来年、本当に日本に行くの?
    (Are you) really going to Japan next year?
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