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Adverbs: Adverbs continued, mastering the art of the Japanese adverb

One more time : Quick recap

Learning how to sound fluent, one type of Japanese adverb at a time

For our second part of the blog series, we will be discussing more common adverbs that can be used in sentences to help you express yourself more in a more elaborate way. Just to make sure that everyone is still on the same page, adverbs modify adjectives, verbs and other adverbs. Examples in English could be “slowly”, “lazily”, and even “sweetly”. Japanese adverbs have the same function and that’s what we’ll be discussing in today’s second part of our 3 part adverb blog series.

Japanese Adverbs for verbs

Adverbs not related to adjectives

In our previous blog we discussed adverbs that originated from i-keyoushi and na-keyoushi adjectives. As a plus, we will also show you more adverbs to modify verbs that do not originate from adjectives.

EnglishRomajiJapanese
In succession/one after anotherTsugitsugi (ni)次々に
GraduallyJyojyo ni徐々に
Little by little/ gettingDandanだんだん
Quietly, freely, leisurelyNonbiriのんびり
SlowlyYukkuriゆっくり
Very hardIsshokenmei一所懸命
Easily, readily, quickly, flatly (refuse)Assariあっさり
CarelesslyUkkariうっかり
電車が次々に到着した。
Densha ga tsugitsugi ni touchaku shita.
The trains arrived one after another.
最近パソコンの物価が徐々に上がっている。
Saikin pasokon no bukka ga jyojyo ni agatteiru.
Prices of laptops have been gradually rising recently.
私の友達はだんだんきれいになってきている。
Watashi no tomodachi wa dandan kirei ni nattekiteiru.
My friend is getting prettier.
のんびりやりなさい。
Nonbiri yarinasai.
Take your time/ Leisurely do it.
私の母はゆっくり話す。
Watashi no haha wa yukkuri hanasu.
My mother speaks slowly.
一所懸命働いて彼は成功した。
Isshokenmei hataraite kare wa seikoushita.
He has worked very hard and it has brought him success.
彼女はあっさり答えた。
Kanojo wa assari kotaeta.
She easily answered.
私は宿題をうっかり忘れた。
Watashi wa shukudai wo ukkari wasureta.
I carelessly forgot my homework.

Japanese Adverbs of degree

Degree

These adverbs can both be used for adjectives, verbs and even other adverbs. On a side note, remember that adverbs can be placed almost anywhere in a sentence so it may appear before or after the word it’s modifying. Do not hesitate to experiment with the placement of your adverbs. Practice will definitely help you easily create and manipulate sentences to sound more fluent.

High degree

EnglishRomajiJapanese
ExtremelySawamete極めて
Very muchHijouni非常に
ReallyJitsuni
Hontouni (very casual)
実に
本当に
VeryTotemo
Zuibun
Taihen (-)
とても
ずいぶん
大変
毎日日本語を勉強することが極めて重要です。
Mainichi nihongo wo benkyou suru koto ga sawamete jyuuyoudesu.
Studying Japanese everyday is extremely essential.
整形は非常にお金かかります。
Seikei wa hijouni okane kakarimasu.
Plastic surgery is very(much) expensive.
はるなこじまは本当にかわいいモデルです。
Haruna Kojima wa hontouni kawaii moderu desu.
Haruna Kojima is a really pretty model.
彼女はとても疲れている。
Kanojo wa totemo tsukareteiru.
She is very tired.

Mid degree

EnglishRomajiJapanese
FairlyKanariかなり
ConsiderablySoutou相当
Quite/mostlyDaibuだいぶ
彼女はかなり機嫌が悪い。
Kanojo wa kanari kigen ga warui.
She is in a fairly bad mood.
今日は相当暖かいです。
Kyou wa soutou atatakaidesu.
It’s considerably warm today.
だいぶ匂いがなくなりました。
Daibu nioi ga nakunarimashita.
The smell has quite/mostly gone away.

Low degree

EnglishRomajiJapanese
QuiteNaka nakaなかなか
Passable (not good,not bad)Maa maaまあまあ
ReasonablySokosokoそこそこ
Not very/ not muchAmari*
Taishite*
あまり
たいして
Not at allZenzen*ぜんぜん
彼女はなかなか頭が良い子。
Kanojo wa nakanaka atama ga ii ko.
She is quite a smart girl.
ピザはまあまあでした。
Pizza wa maa maa deshita.
The pizza was passable.
私は本をそこそこ知っています。
Watashi wa hon wo sokosoko shitteimasu.
I know the book reasonably well.
私は大してお金を持っていません。
Watashi wa taishite okane wo motteimasen.
I don't have much money.
彼は全然食べる気がしない。
Kare wa zenzen taberu ki ga shinai.
He doesn't feel like eating at all.

Side note: Adverbs with asterisks should always be used with the negative form of the word its modifying.

Level of certainty

For these adverbs, they can be used to modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs. They elaborate on the level of how certain the action, adjective.adverb the user is talking about. Try and experiment with different usages and placement of the adverbs below. Good luck and we will be seeing you in the last part of our Adverb blog series. 日本語の勉強することを頑張ってください!(Nihongo no benkyousuru koto wo ganbatte kudasai: Do your best in studying Japanese!)

EnglishRomajiJapanese
DefinitelyZettai ni絶対に
Without exception/ without fail/ for sureKanarazu必ず
CertainlyTashika niたしかに
Surely/ must haveKittoきっと
ProbablyOsorakuおそらく
MaybeTabunたぶん
私は週末には絶対に仕事をしない。
Watashi wa shuumatsu ni zettai ni shigoto wo shinai.
I definitely don’t work on weekends.
領収書は必ず保管してください。
Ryoushuusho wa kanarazu hokanshite kudasai.
Make sure you save the receipt./ Save the receipt without fail.
彼女は確かにそのことを知っています。
Kanojo wa tashikani sono koto wo shitteimasu.
She certainly knows it.
夜の間にきっと雨が降った。
Yoru no aida ni kitto ame ga futta.
It surely/must have rained during the night.
彼はおそらく失敗する。
Kare wa osoraku shippai suru.
He will probably fail.
明日の夜は多分晴れだ。
Ashita no yoru wa tabun hare da.
Maybe it will be sunny tomorrow.
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