The Ultimate Guide To Japanese adverbs : By now, you are probably at a level where you have a good understanding of the proper Japanese structure. Knowing the basics is the first step into sounding fluent, but one of the easiest ways to sound more fluent, is to add more description to your sentences, one of which is to add adverbs into the mix.

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Master Japanese adverbs : The main character in this story

What are Japanese adverbs?

To give you an idea what adverbs are, they are words that modify verbs, adjectives, and even other adverbs. They are pretty much like adjectives except they don’t describe nouns! Examples can be words like “sometimes”, “always”, “slowly”, and “quickly”.

I-adjectives (Replacing い with く)

EnglishRomajiAdjectiveEnglishRomajiAdverb
Fast/quickHayai速いQuicklyHayaku速く
StrongTsuyoi強いStronglyTsuyoku強く
CuteKawaiiかわいいCutelyKawaikuかわいく
ColdTsumetai冷たいColdlyTsumetaku冷たく
Easy/KindYasashii優しいKindlyYasashiku優しく

Na-adjectives(Adding に instead of な)

EnglishRomajiAdjectiveEnglishRomajiAdverb
QuietShizuka naしずかなQuietlyShizuka niしずかに
BeautifulKirei naきれいなBeautifullyKirei niきれいに
EnthusiasticNesshin naねっしんなEnthusiasticallyNesshin niねっしんに
HealthyGenki na気きなLively/EnergeticallyGenki ni気きに
SeriousMajime na真面目なSeriouslyMajime ni真面目に

Adverbs that describe frequency

Typically similar to the functions of English adverbs, we use adverbs to describe the frequency or how often we do a certain action. We have the same type of adverbs in Japanese and we will be showing you just a few examples of common frequency adverbs used in Japanese sentences. There are plenty more types of adverbs out there but we will end with this for now! Please stand by for more useful adjectives that you can use to spice up your Japanese!

EnglishRomajiJapanese
Every+(morning)
(day)
(week)
(month)
Mai+ asa
nichi
shuu
tsuki
毎朝
毎日
毎週
毎月
AlwaysItsumoいつも
Usually/NormallyFutsuu
Fudan
普通(は)
普段(は)
OftenYoku
Shocchuu
Tabitabi
よく
しょっちゅう
たびたび
SometimesTokidoki時々
OccasionallyTamaniたまに
Rarely*Amariあまり
Hardly*Mettaniめったに
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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
Learning how to sound fluent, one type of Japanese adverb at a time

Japanese Adverbs for verbs

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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

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

Mid degree

EnglishRomajiJapanese
FairlyKanariかなり
ConsiderablySoutou相当
Quite/mostlyDaibuだいぶ

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

Japanese Adverbs : Amount

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For this particular adverb, the type itself is very self explanatory. It modifies verbs by describing how much the word you are talking about is. In this case, not necessarily mentioning the number, but an approximation. This adverb is usually found before the verb or before the direct object you are trying to modify. We’ll give you examples for each adverb so please try making your own sentences as well for practice!

EnglishRomajiJapanese
MoreMottoもっと
A bit more, more, anotherMou Chotto
Mou Sukoshi
もうちょっと
もう少し
Entirely, wholly, all、everythingSubete
Zenbu
全て
全部
Completely, thoroughlySukkariすっかり
A lot, manyTakusanたくさん
Enough, sufficientlyJyuubun十分
Not veryAmariあまり*
A little, a fewSukoshi少し
Just a little, a littleChottoちょっと
Mostly, nearly, almost, hardlyHotondoほとんど*
Not at allZenzen全然*

Others

Like we said earlier, there are so many adverbs out there! There are some adverbs that cannot be categorized and we will show you some of them below. Although uncategorized, the functions are the same and still has the purpose of elaborating and modifying. Below are a few samples.

EnglishRomajiJapanese
As much as possibleNarubekuなるべく
More or lessIchiou一応
At lastYouyaku
Yatto
ようやく
やっと
FinallyToutou
Tsuini
とうとう
ついに
RatherMushiroむしろ
Increasingly, more and moreMasumasuますます
Too, likewise, still, even so, either way, as expected, typically, in any event, after allYahari
Yappari
やはり
やっぱり
Japanese Adverbs modifying other adverbs

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