Japanese Grammar Bank | How to Use Adverbs in Japanese

Today, we’ll teach you how to use adverbs in Japanese!

It’s an important building block for your Japanese learning journey, so bookmark this page to come back and review the topic.

Are you familiar with the difference between “she sang” and “she sang loudly?

In the second one, an adverb is used to modify the verb and describe the action more precisely. Useful, right?

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to do the same thing in Japanese!

Adverbs are essential to improving your Japanese language proficiency.

how to use adverbs in Japanese

In Japanese, an adverb is known as 副詞 (ふくし・fukushi).

Adverbs are kind of similar to adjectives as they both modify words.

However, adverbs modify 動詞 (どうし・dōshi) or verbs, 形容詞 (けいようし・keiyōshi) or adjectives, and other adverbs, while adjectives only modify 名詞 (めいし・meishi) or nouns.

Let’s first start from creating adverbs from adjectives.

Japanese Adverbs | Derived From な形容詞 (na-keiyoushi)

Japanese Adverbs | Some Other Adverbs

Japanese Adverbs | FAQ’s

Japanese Adverbs Derived From い形容詞(i-keiyoushi)

As you already know, い (i) adjectives always end with い (i). So how to turn an い (i) adjective into an adverb?

Just change the final い (i) to く (ku), and you’re done!

The い (i)-adjective will turn into an adverb.

For example:

ExampleHiraganaRomanizationEnglish
野菜を食べて強くなりました。やさいをたべてつよくなりました。Yasai o tabete tsuyoku narimashita.I got stronger by eating vegetables.
早く来てください。はやくきてください。Hayaku kite kudasai.Please come fast.

Japanese Adverbs Derived From な形容詞 (na-keiyoushi)

This is also very simple.

Just change the final な (na) to に (ni).

For example:

ExampleHiraganaRomanizationEnglish
静かにしてください。しずかにしてください。Shizuka ni shite kudasai.Please keep quiet./Please do it quietly.
彼は上手に歌を歌いました。かれはじょうずにうたをうたいました。Kare wa jyouzu ni uta wo utaimashita.He sang a song well.

Japanese Adverbs Related to Time

You can carry out conversations more fluently by using time adverbs. Japanese adverbs of time include:

KanjiHiraganaRomanizationEnglish
今すぐいますぐima suguright now
まえmaebefore
あと/ごato/goafter
もうすぐmō sugusoon
ほとんどhotondoalmost/nearly/mostly
ころ/ごろkoro/goroaround
やくyakuabout
現在げんざいgenzaicurrently
その間にそのあいだにsono aida nimeanwhile
同時にどうじにdōji niat the same time
いつでもitsu demoat any time
間もなく・しばらくまもなく・しばらくmamonaku/shibarakuin a while
出来るだけ早くできるだけはやくdekirudake hayakuas soon as possible
長い間ながいあいだnagai aidafor a long time

Here are more examples:

ExampleHiraganaRomanizationEnglish
今すぐ来きてください。会議は15分後に始まります。いますぐきてください。かいぎは15ふんあとにはじまります。Ima sugu kite kudasai. Kaigi wa juu go-fun go ni hajimarimasu.      Please come right now. The meeting is starting in fifteen minutes.
今は午前7時58分で、もうすぐ8時になります。まもなく電車が来ます。いまはごぜしちじんじごじゅはっぷんで、もうすぐ8じになります。まもなくでんしゃがきます。Ima wa gozen shichi-ji go-juu happun de, mou sugu hachi-ji ni narimasu. Mamonaku densha ga kimasu.It is 7:58 a.m. and it’s going to be 8:00 soon. The train comes very soon.

Some Other Adverbs

HiraganaRomanizationEnglish
一生懸命(いっしょうけんめい)isshoukenmeivery hard
なるべくnarubekuas much as possible, if possible
ゆっくりyukkurislowly
いちおうichioumore or less, though not quite satisfactorily
のんびりnonnbiriquietly, leisurely
ようやくyouyakuat last (for good things)
やっとyattoat last (for good things)
とうとうtoutoufinally (for good and bad things)
ついにtsuinifinally (for good and bad things)
むしろmushirorather
ますますmasumasuincreasingly, more and more
だんだんdandangradually, little by little
やはり・やっぱりyahari/yapparitoo, also, likewise
still, as before
even so, either way, in any event
as expected
after all
次々に(つぎつぎに)tsugitsuginiin succession

Here are more examples:

ExampleHiraganaRomanizationEnglish
日本語をゆっくり話します。にほんごをゆっくりはなします。Nihongo wo yukkuri hanashimasu.I speak Japanese slowly.
やっと日本に来ました。やっとにほんにきました。Yatto nihon ni kimashita.Finally came to Japan.

That was an introduction on how to use adverbs in Japanese. Of course we can go a lot deeper but this is a good start for your Japanese adverbs adventure.

You’ll certainly encounter many adverbs along your learning journey, so make sure to come back to this lesson any time you have a doubt on the structures and their usages.

Here are a few more important lessons to nail down:

If you ever fancy some Japanese classes, don’t forget about our Flexi Classes!

How to use adjectives in Japanese

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is an adverb?

An adverb is a word used to modify the verb in a sentence and describe the action taking place more precisely.

How to use Japanese adverbs of time?

Adverbs of time modify a verb or adjective to talk about when an action is taking place (ex: できるだけ早く・as soon as possible, いますぐ・right now, まもなく・しばらく・in a while).

Check out the table in the article for more!

What other Japanese adverbs are there?

A variety exist, including

しずかに・slowly

のんびり・quietly

ついに・finally

Check out our article for the full list.

How do I make an adverb in Japanese?

With い (i) adjectives, change the い (i) to く (ku).

With な (na) adjectives, change the な (na) to に (ni).

Easy, right?

How many adverbs of time are there in Japanese?

Many!

We’ve included 14 of the most commonly used ones in this article, so make sure to memorize them!

Why should I learn about adverbs in Japanese?

They’ll make your Japanese sound much more natural and contribute greatly to your conversational fluency!

Ask us a question!
  • LTL Avatar Irene Magnosi
    Irene Magnosi , Student Advisor

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