As a general rule, could an adjective be used like an adverb in Latin?

What would be some exceptions?


1 Answer 1


There are three main ways to turn an adjective into an adverb in Latin. In decreasing order of popularity:

  • Use a special adverb-forming suffix: first/second adjectives get , while third adjectives get -ter. This can be done freely to pretty much any adjective (famōsē, rubrē, calidē, velociter, prūdenter).
  • Use the neuter accusative form. This is also quite well-attested, but less productive; it's where third comparative adverbs in -ius and (non-comparative) adverbs in -e come from (facilius, facile, multum).
  • Use the neuter ablative form. This one was dying out by Classical times, mostly showing up in set phrases and fossilized expressions, but it's the ancestor of the extremely common mentioned above (verō, falsō).

The first at least was still productive in Classical times; I'm not aware of any adjectives which couldn't be turned into adverbs in one way or another.

  • 5
    It might also be worth mentioning instances where Latin uses adjectives, esp. in the nominative, where we would more naturally use an adverb in English – e.g., tacitus venit, 'He came in silence/silently', laeti audiverunt, 'they listened with joy/happily.'
    – cnread
    Oct 22, 2019 at 5:32
  • 3
    @cnread You could also mention those in a separate answer. There's nothing wrong with having multiple answers with different focuses or points of view. Even different wordings of the same idea can be very useful.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Oct 22, 2019 at 7:38
  • Group 1 Adverbial suffix, includes the group gradatim, step by step; seriatim, one-by-one; sparsim, here and there; etc. (just for completenes; does not affect the adj. for adverb Q.&A.)
    – Hugh
    Oct 29, 2019 at 20:34

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