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It’s impossible to explain something in detail without using adverbs. These are words which can efficiently express time, frequency, place, manner, degree, and more. When you want to boost your language skills, learning adverbs is important and inevitable.

Just like those in other languages, there are a variety of Japanese adverbs and they’re frequently used in sentences. Japanese adverbs are quite similar to English adverbs, though there are some differences to keep in mind. For example, Japanese adverbs are classified in categories according to their characteristics, and they’re placed in different positions in a sentence depending on how they’re used. But don’t worry! The rules are quite simple, and you’ll get the hang of them over time!

In this article, JapanesePod101.com will provide you with:

  • A Japanese adverbs list containing 100 useful Japanese adverbs
  • Explanations of how to use Japanese adverbs
  • Examples of Japanese adverbs in sentences

Let’s get started!

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  1. The Adverb in Japanese: An Introduction
  2. Japanese Adverbs List
  3. How Do You Use Adverbs in Japanese Sentences?
  4. Conclusion: How JapanesePod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

Easter Eggs and Springtime Flowers

When you learn Japanese adverbs, your conversation will be colorful and rich in expression.

1. The Adverb in Japanese: An Introduction

1 – What is the Function of Japanese Adverbs?

An adverb, or 副詞 (fukushi), is not an independent class of word, as it’s always used with other words. Adverbs are similar to adjectives in that they both modify words. However, adverbs modify verbs, or 動詞 (dōshi), adjectives, or 形容詞 (keiyōshi), and other adverbs, while adjectives only modify nouns, called 名詞 (meishi).

Japanese adverbs, unlike those in English, can appear anywhere in a sentence when they’re used before verbs.

2 – The Classifications and Types of Japanese Adverbs

1. Derived from Adjectives

Most adverbs are linked to adjectives that share similar meanings. By changing a part of an adjective, we can turn it into an adverb. You can also see this rule applied in English. For example: “first” / “kind” / “happy” (Adjectives) >>> “firstly” / “kindly” / “happily” (Adverbs).

In most cases, it’s easy to change Japanese adjectives to adverbs. There are two types of conjugations here.

  • Modification of Japanese い (i) Adjectives

An い (i) adjective always ends with い (i).

By changing the final い (i) to く (ku), an adjective will turn into an adverb.

Example:

い (i) Adjective

[ Stem + い (i) ]

Adverb

[ Stem + く(ku) ]

悲しい

kanashii

“sad”

悲しく

kanashiku

“sadly”

高い

takai

“high”

高く

takaku

“highly”

丸い

marui

“round”

丸く

maruku

“roundly”

  • Modification of Japanese な (na) Adjectives

A な (na) adjective always ends with な (na) when it comes before a noun.

Changing な (na) to に (ni) will convert a な (na) adjective into an adverb.

Example:

Adjective

[ Stem + な (na) ]

Adverb

[ Stem + に (ni) ]

親切な

shinsetsu na

“kind”

親切に

shinsetsu ni

“kindly”

静かな

shizuka na

“quiet”

静かに

shizuka ni

“quietly”

簡単な

kantan na

“easy”

簡単に

kantan ni

“easily”

For more information about Japanese adjectives, please visit 50 Most Common Adjectives.

  • Other Non-Adjectival Adverbs

There are also Japanese adverbs which are not related to adjectives. Such adverbs do not have a particular pattern to identify them with, so you have to remember each vocabulary term. The good thing is that they’re used in the same way as other adverbs.

Non-adjectival adverbs are often seen among adverbs of frequency, time, and place, which we’ll explain in the following sections.

2. Classification of Japanese Adverbs

Japanese adverbs are classified into different categories, including Time, Frequency, Place, Manner, and Degree. Although it’s not so important to know which adverbs belong to what category, it is useful if you know them for more accurate usage.

Now let’s see various Japanese adverbs from each category!

Chirashizushi Dish for the Japanese Doll’s Festival, Hinamatsuri

Chirashizushi wa kantan ni tsukuremasu. = “You can make Chirashizushi easily.”

簡単に (Kantan ni) is an adverb.

2. Japanese Adverbs List

1 – Japanese Adverbs of Time

Japanese time adverbs indicate when something happens, has happened, or will happen.

Meaning Reading Kanji Hiragana
1 “today” kyō 今日 きょう
2 “yesterday” kinō 昨日 きのう
3 “tomorrow” ashita 明日 あした
4 “this morning” kesa 今朝 けさ
5 “tonight” kon’ya 今夜 こんや
6 “now” ima いま
7 “later” ato de 後で あとで
8 “soon” sugu ni すぐに
9 “right now” ima sugu ni 今すぐに いますぐに
10 “previously” mae ni 前に まえに
11 “recently” saikin 最近 さいきん
12 “someday” itsuka いつか
13 “yet” mada まだ

2 – Japanese Adverbs of Frequency

Adverbs of frequency are used when describing how often an action takes place.

Meaning Reading Kanji Hiragana
14 “always” itsumo いつも
15 “sometimes” tokidoki 時々 ときどき
16 “often” yoku よく
17 “rarely” tama ni たまに
18 “seldom” metta ni めったに

*used only with negative forms

19 “probably” tabun 多分 たぶん
20 “likely” osoraku おそらく
21 “normally” tsūjō 通常 つうじょう
22 “(not) at all” zenzen (-nai) * 全然 (ーない) * ぜんぜん(ーない) *
23 “never” kesshite (-nai) * 決して (ーない) * けっして(ーない) *
24 “definitely,” “inevitably” kanarazu 必ず かならず
25 “daily,” “every day” mainichi 毎日 まいにち
26 “weekly,” “every week” maishū 毎週 まいしゅう
27 “monthly,” “every month” maitsuki 毎月 まいつき
28 “annually,” “every year” maitoshi 毎年 まいとし
29 “every time” maikai 毎回 まいかい

* 全然 (ーない) [zenzen (-nai)] and 決して (ーない) [kesshite (-nai)] are the negative forms which are usually used together with -ない (-nai).

For example:

  • 私は全然気にしない。

    Watashi wa zenzen ki ni shinai.
    “I don’t care at all.”
  • 彼女は決して肉を食べない。

    Kanojo wa kesshite niku o tabenai.
    “She never eats meat.”

Woman Refusing a Piece of Meat at a Barbecue

Kanojo wa kesshite niku o tabenai. = “She never eats meat.”

決して (kesshite), meaning “never,” is an adverb.

3 – Japanese Adverbs of Place

Adverbs of place indicate where an action takes place.

Meaning Reading Kanji Hiragana
30 “here” koko ここ
31 “there” soko そこ
32 “there,” “over there” asoko あそこ
33 “over here,” “this way” kotchi こっち
34 “over there,” “that way” atchi あっち
35 “somewhere” doko ka どこか
36 “anywhere” doko demo どこでも
37 “inside” naka de 中で なかで
38 “outside” soto de 外で そとで
39 “away” hanarete 離れて はなれて
40 “near,” “close by” chikaku ni 近くに ちかくに
41 “(at) home” ie de 家で いえで

The Tokyo Tower

Watashi no kaisha chikaku ni Tōkyō Tawā ga arimasu.

= “There is Tokyo Tower close to my company.”

近くに (chikaku ni), meaning “close,” is an adverb.

4 – Japanese Adverbs of Manner

Adverbs of manner describe the condition of a thing or how an action is performed. Adverbs which are related to adjectives mostly fall in this category. Keep in mind that some Japanese adverbs don’t have direct translations in English.

Meaning Reading Kanji Hiragana
42 “slowly” yukkuri はやく
43 “fast” hayaku 早く/速く すばやく
44 “quickly” subayaku 素早く おそく
45 “late,” “tardily” osoku 遅く
46 “quietly” shizuka ni 静かに しずかに
47 “enjoyably,” “merrily” tanoshiku 楽しく たのしく
48 “interestingly,” “amusingly” omoshiroku 面白く おもしろく
49 “noisily,” “loudly” urusaku うるさく
50 “simultaneously,” “at the same time” ichi-do ni 一度に いちどに
51 “easily” kantan ni 簡単に かんたんに
52 “well” yoku 良く よく
53 “badly” waruku 悪く わるく
54 “together” issho ni 一緒に いっしょに
55 “alone” hitori de 一人で ひとりで
56 “by chance,” “accidentally” gūzen ni 偶然に ぐうぜんに
57 “suddenly” kyū ni 急に きゅうに
58 “largely,” “greatly” ōkiku 大きく おおきく
59 “small” chiisaku 小さく ちいさく
60 “newly” atarashiku 新しく あたらしく
61 “old” furuku 古く ふるく
62 “beautifully,” “neatly,” “cleanly” kirei ni 綺麗に きれいに
63 “dirtily” kitanaku 汚く きたなく
64 “kindly” shinsetsu ni 親切に しんせつに
65 “cheerily,” “lively” genki ni 元気に げんきに
66 “conveniently” benri ni 便利に べんりに
67 “hotly” astuku 暑く あつく
68 “coldly” samuku 寒く さむく
69 “difficultly” muzukashiku 難しく むずかしく
70 “gently” yasashiku 優しく やさしく
71 “highly,” “high,” “expensive” takaku 高く たかく
72 “low” hikuku 低く ひくく
73 “cheaply,” “inexpensively” yasuku 安く やすく
74 “getting along well with” nakayoku 仲良く なかよく
75 “boring” tsumaranaku つまらなく
76 “brightly” akaruku 明るく あかるく
77 “dark,” “darkly” kuraku 暗く くらく
78 “hard,” “fastly,” “firmly” kataku 硬く・固く かたく
79 “softly” yawarakaku 柔らかく やわらかく
80 “red”* akaku* 赤く あかく
81 “white”* shiroku* 白く しろく
82 “blue”* aoku* 青く あおく
83 “yellow”* kiiroku* 黄色く きいろく
84 “brown”* chairoku* 茶色く ちゃいろく
85 “black”* kuroku* 黒く くろく

*There are adverbs for colors in Japanese, but there are no equivalent words in English for adverbs of color.

In Japanese, these color adverbs are transformed from い (i) adjectives.

  • 赤い (akai) >> 赤く (akaku)
  • 白い (shiroi) >> 白く (shiroku)
  • 黒い (kuroi) >> 黒く (kuroku)

Here’s an example:

私は髪を黒く染めた。

Watasih wa kami o kuroku someta.
“I dyed my hair black.”

Close-up of Someone Playing a Guitar at a Concert

Hitori de konsāto e itta. = “I went to the concert alone.”

一人で (hitori de), “meaning alone,” is an adverb.

5 – Japanese Adverbs of Degree

More Essential Verbs

Adverbs of degree indicate the degree or extent of a thing, situation, or action.

Meaning Reading Kanji Hiragana
86 “very” totemo とても
87 “quite” kanari かなり
88 “pretty,” “way” sōtō ni 相当に そうとうに
89 “terribly” hidoku 酷く ひどく
90 “plenty,” “much,” “many” takusan 沢山 たくさん
91 “slightly,” “barely,” “only” wazukani 僅かに わずかに
92 “largely,” “nearly,” “mostly” hotondo ほとんど
93 “about,” “roughly,” “more or less” hobo ほぼ
94 “a little,” “a bit,” “a few” sukoshi 少し すこし
95 “truly,” “really” hontō ni 本当に ほんとうに
96 “strongly” tsuyoku 強く つよく
97 “weakly” yowaku 弱く よわく
98 “much,” “greatly,” “highly” daibu 大分 だいぶ
99 “mostly” daitai 大体 だいたい
100 “just,” “right,” “precisely,” “exactly” chōdo 丁度 ちょうど

A Japanese Family Taking a Family Photo on a Bridge

Watashi wa kazoku ga totemo daisuki desu. = “I like my family very much.”

とても (totemo), meaning “very,” is an adverb.

3. How Do You Use Adverbs in Japanese Sentences?

Top Verbs

In terms of Japanese adverb placement, most of them can appear anywhere in a sentence, but they should come before the verb.

Let’s take a look at some examples of Japanese adverbs in sentences.

  • 私は後で宿題をする。

    Watashi wa ato de shukudai o suru.
    “I will do my homework later.”

後で (ato de), meaning “later,” is an adverb. In Japanese, this can also be placed at the front of the sentence or in front of the verb する (suru), meaning “to do.”

  • 時々彼は参拝に行きます。

    Tokidoki kare wa sanpai ni ikimasu.
    “He sometimes goes to visit a shrine.”

時々 (tokidoki) is an adverb, and it can also appear in front of 参拝に (sanpai ni), meaning “to visit a shrine,” or in front of 行きます (ikimasu), meaning “goes.”

  • 近くに本屋はありますか。

    Chikaku ni hon’ya wa arimasu ka.
    “Is there a bookstore nearby?”

近くに (chikaku ni), meaning “nearby,” is an adverb. It can be placed in front of ありますか (arimasu ka), meaning “is there.”

  • 台風は素早く過ぎ去った。

    Taifū wa subayaku sugisatta.
    “The typhoon passed by quickly.”

素早く (subayaku), meaning “quickly,” is an adverb, and it can also appear at the front of the sentence.

  • 本当に彼を信じますか。

    Hontō ni kare o shinjimasu ka.
    “Do you really believe him?”

本当に (hontō ni), meaning “really,” is an adverb. It can also be put in front of 信じます (shinjimasu), meaning “believe.”

4. Conclusion: How JapanesePod101 Can Help You Learn More Japanese

In this article, we introduced you to Japanese adverbs. There are many adverbs in the Japanese language, and they’re just as rich in expression as adjectives. However, if you already know a lot of Japanese adjectives, then don’t worry! You can easily learn many adjective-transformed adverbs! Or vice-versa; once you learn Japanese adverbs, you can also learn the adjectives much easier.

If you would like to learn more about the Japanese language and other useful Japanese phrases for any situation, you’ll find much more helpful content on JapanesePod101.com. We provide a variety of free lessons for you to improve your Japanese language skills. For example, you may find these lessons with audio recordings useful: 50 Most Common Nouns, 50 Most Common Verbs, and Most Common Adjectives.

To learn more about Japanese adverbs and adjectives, check out Must-Know Adverbs and Phrases for Connecting Thoughts and Spring Adjectives/Adverbs. How to Improve Your Speaking Skills and Top 10 Conversational Phrases are also useful pages you can visit to brush up on your Japanese conversational skills.

And there’s so much more. Learn Japanese faster and enjoy studying the language at JapanesePod101.com!

Before you go, let us know in the comments if there are any Japanese adverbs you still want to know! We’d be glad to help, and look forward to hearing from you!

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