Adverbs II

第56課: Adverbs II: From Adjectives

This lesson is about how you can create adverbs out of any adjective in Japanese.

Adjective → Adverb

To make an adjective an adverb, drop い and add く. For  形容動詞けいようどうし, you add に. These adverbs are normally translated with “-ly”. However, for whenever English is weird and doesn’t let us use -ly, we have to go with another translation. 

 Adjective  Adverb  Adjective  Adverb 
 強い Strong 強く Strongly 静か(な) Quiet 静かに Quietly
 弱い Weak 弱く Weakly かんたん(な) Easy かんたんに Easily
 遅い Late 遅く Late まじめ(な) Serious まじめに Seriously
 小さい Small 小さく Small きれい(な) Pretty; nice きれいに Nicely


1. 簡単かんたん説明せつめいする。
To easily explain.

2. 楽しく休日をごす。
To spend the holidays merrily.

3. 何かを小さく切る。
To cut something into small pieces. 

4. わたしは毎日自分の部屋で一人静かに勉強します。
I study in my own room quietly every day.

5. インディゴで洗面台せんめんだいが青くまった。
The washbasin was dyed blue with indigo.

6. あの(向こう)の電気が赤くかがやいた。
That light over there shined red.

Phrase Note:  あの is literally translated in English as “that over there” as it refers to something not directly near the speaker or listener. However, when the object of reference is truly literally “over there” as in on the other side of the speaker and listener, あの向こうの is more appropriate.

7. あねやさしくなりました。
My older sister became nice. 

Grammar Notes:
1. When we want to say that something “becomes X” but X is actually an adjectival attribute, we turn the adjective into an adverb and then add なる. So, “to become red” is 赤くなる. 赤くになる is wrong. However, you say きれいになる for “to become pretty”. Remember that there are two classes of adjectives and that they always conjugate differently. 
2. Continuing on 2, 信号しんごうが青くなった actually means “the light turned green”. 青, not みどり, is the color used for streetlights for “green”.  

8. もう少し静かにしてください。
Please be more quiet 

Grammar Note: The opposite of “(adjectival) adverb + なる” is “(Adjectival) adverb + する”, which means “to make…” as in implementing a change. 

9. 冬には太陽たいようは早くしずむ。
The sun sets early in the winter.

10. ふかいきう。
To take a deep breath. 

たしか VS 確かに

   確か means “certain”, but as an adverb, it’s often paired with だろう・でしょう to mean “if I’m not mistaken”. The other adverb form 確かに means “certainly”. So, they’re slightly different. 

11. 世界せかいの人口は、確か70億(人)ぐらいだ(った)と思います。      
The population of the world, if I’m not mistaken is around 7 billion people.

12. 確かにその木がたおれるでしょう。
The tree will certainly fall. 

13a. 確か(か)? (Very casual and a little blunt)
13b. 確かですか。
Is that for certain?

14. それは確かな証拠ではないです。
That is not definitive evidence. 

Nuance Note: 多分 is less certain than 確か and きっと is more certain than 確かに.  

 Exceptional Phrases

Not all adverb phrases will be made similarly. For example, ひつように is not used. “Necessarily” is instead かならず. Another example is  けっこう. Although it too is a 形容動詞, it’s adverbial form is just けっこう. Lastly, we have 少しく meaning  “just a little”. The word comes from when 少し was an adjective. It is occasionally used in the written language.

15. 今日はけっこう寒いです。
 Today is quite cold.

16. すこしく思うところをべる。(書き言葉)
 To state a little bit of what you think.

 Ends in に but not from 形容詞

Even though an adverb may end in に, this doesn’t mean it necessarily comes from an adjective. Though this is usually the case, there are still very commonly used exceptions to this. 

17. 現状げんじょうただちに問題はありません。
There are no problems present right now.

18. レンタカーで直ちに空港くうこうを出発しました。
(I/we) immediately left the airport in a rental car.