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Syntax

Learn more about Spanish adverbs

Adjectives or adverbs?  Only, this could thinking Emilio M. Martínez Amador, lexicographer that define some adverbs that resemble in adjectives as “petrified adjectives”. Do petrified? Transformed or hardened into stone, says the Language Spain Academy over the meaning of the word petrified. According to this theory, then, these adverbs are like fossils or statues.


The Academy offers, however, another meaning of the word petrified. Petrified, she says, is “stop someone or immobilized by astonished or terror”. So, those Spanish adverbs would be adjectives that has received such fright that they has been petrified at the site.

Remember Martinez Amador in his grammatical dictionary that in other languages, for example German, the adjective happens to be adverb without declension it. In the English language (another example), simply add the suffix – ly.

In the language of Cervantes, however, before dead than simple: we can change adjectives in adverbs by adding the ending – mente (e.g.: bella/bellamente) or we to scare adjectives like poco or mucho, or mucho and cuanto even to leave them petrified.

The process of petrification for to know if we are or not in front of an adverb or an adjective, when there is confusion, it is, however, quite simple, because it adapts to the classic rule that defines the meaning and function of the adverb in the sentence: the adverb is an invariable part of the sentence which serves to qualify the verb, the adjective, or another adverb.

According with that definition, it is possible to think in certain adverbs like petrified bodies or fossil: already are unchanged and they do not have gender or number. Since if they vary in gender or number they are adjectives. 

Not in vain, the linguist chooses the petrified between the kinds of fossils that exist to refer to these adverbs: because they are an exact copy of the same adjectives, but invariables in the stone, we undertand the stone as one part of sentence.

The question is now this: can the words fossilize as the ferns…?

These adverbs are like rocks!

If we say Elena has drunk bastante water, but can say “Elena has drunk bastantes glasses of water,” bastante it is not a adverb, it is an adjective.

But if we say Juan piensa (think) poco (little) and speaks much (POCO and mucho, in both cases determine the verb) and we cannot say “Juan piensa pocas (o poca) y habla muchas (or mucha)”, because it is a great nonsense, poco y mucho are adverbs.

Not in vain, the linguist chooses the petrified between the kinds of fossils that exist to refer to these adverbs: because they are an exact copy of the same adjectives, but invariables in the stone, we undertand the stone as one part of sentence.

Now, the question is this: can the words fossilize as the ferns…? 

By Pía Valls, EFE/PracticaEspañol 

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