adverbs in japanese

Know more about adverbs in japanese with examples!

Many may already know that adverbs are invariable words that modify or add meaning to verbs and adjectives. Japanese adverbs can indicate time, frequency, and various other situations depending on the sentence.

Hover over Japanese symbols to see their pronunciation and translation.

In fact, the Japanese language is extremely rich in adverbs. There are many adverbs of many different types. Also, Japanese adverbs are used everywhere, whether formally or informally. This challenges us to study and learn as much as possible.

Because of this, I decided to separate a list of the most used Japanese adverbs, at least the ones I had more contact with while studying Japanese. Many of these Japanese adverbs have already been studied in previous articles.

List of adverbs in Japanese

Japanese adverbs of time

 – Now, at this moment
今日 – Today, on this day
昨日 - Yesterday
明日 - Tomorrow
まだ — But still, so far, in spite of that, nevertheless
もう – Previously, before a certain time, already, right now
いつ – When, then, while

Japanese adverbs of place

下に - under, under
上に - on top of, over
そばに – close to, next to
前に – In front of, in front of
後ろに – behind, behind

Japanese adverbs of manner

きっと - Certainly
ゆっくり – Slowly, slowly
どんなに – How, in what way

Japanese adverbs of quantity

よく – How much, well, good, enough
 - What
いくら – How much does it cost, how much is it, how much
とても - Very
大変 – Very, extremely, serious, serious
たくさん - Very, quite, extremely
十分 – Enough, enough
だけ - only, only, only
少し - A little bit
ちょっと – A little, especially, preferably, particularly
もっと - Most

How to use adverbs in Japanese

Usually Japanese adverbs are used before the verbs or adjectives they refer to. For example, in たくさん食べる the Japanese adverb (たくさん – quite) appears before the verb (食べる – to eat). Below are some more examples.


Turning adjectives into adverbs

Once again I discovered something very interesting in the Japanese language. Many adverbs can be created from Japanese adjectives. The method is very similar to what we do in Portuguese.

In many Portuguese words, we just need to add the ending -mente, after an adjective. In this way, the adjective easy becomes the adverb easily, fast becomes quickly, and so on.

In Japanese, just add the ending ku To the Japanese adjectives iOr the particle ni To the Japanese adjectives in. In this way, we can create Japanese adverbs for each type of adjective. Let's see the examples:

新しい change to 新しく
強い change to 強く
簡単な change to 簡単に
便利な change to 便利に

Now you can practice turning all the adjectives you know into adverbs in Japanese.

Other types of adverbs in Japanese

To finish this article about adverbs in Japanese, I grouped several of them, since I couldn't classify them in the previous topics. Now, let's get to know other ways to create adverbs and get to know Japanese adverbs "untranslatable“.

As if the huge amount of adverbs in Japanese were not enough, especially the adverbs created from adjectives, I discovered that the Japanese language allows using other resources to create new adverbs.

As my knowledge on this subject is short, I will describe what I learned in a very brief way. Right?

Japanese adverbs with the suffix tekini

Some words can be turned into adverbs by adding the suffix tekini.

具体 turns into 具体的に


Verbs with function Japanese adverbs

Some verbs, when used in the te form, may occasionally be used as adverbs.

喜ぶ change to 喜んで.



Repeating and creating Japanese adverbs

Some Japanese adverbs can be created from the repetition of a word or sound. Many students tend to confuse these expressions with onomatopoeias, but it is worth remembering that onomatopoeias are usually written in katakana and have a different context.

しばしば – Often, often…



いちいち – One by one, each, each, all…


時々 – Sometimes, occasionally, sometimes, often, often…



The Japanese letter 々 is used to indicate the repetition of the same kanji. It's like 時々 is 時時.

The untranslatable Japanese adverbs

This story of untranslatable Japanese adverbs was just a joke. In fact, these adverbs do not have a clear translation for a word in Portuguese. I will show you four common cases of these types of Japanese adverbs.


This word is just a colloquial form of やはり. It is an adverb used with the meaning of “Just as I thought”, “As expected” or “In spite of everything”.



This Japanese adverb has a meaning similar to “don’t tell me!”, “impossible!”, “It can only be a joke!”, “Unbelievable!” or “Are you making fun of my face?!”. As far as I could tell, this adverb has a somewhat negative connotation.


Some rough translations of this Japanese adverb would be “as is to be expected”, “this is something very natural”, “indeed” or “without a doubt”.


Tonikaku can mean "in any way", "in any way", "in general", "in one way or another", "in any case"...


Kanji calligraphy exercise

Below are the Japanese ideographic symbols used in this article. Selecting the desired kanji, copy and paste them into Worksheet for Kana and Kanji Practice , a new window will open where you can view the printable file and practice Japanese calligraphy by covering the gray symbols and then trying to write yourself. Just print and practice.