I am having a problem on translating the meaning of adverbs. I am a native Portuguese speaker, so in Portuguese an adverb is usually a separate word that modifies a verb or an adjective.

Ie: muito feliz (very happy), muito is an adverb modifying the adjective feliz.

Now, I could be mistaken, but it seems that in Japanese that the adverb is changing and becoming one with the adjective like in 嬉しい → 嬉しく

Now I know the first means 'happy' and the second means what? Is there a pattern to know what the translation will be after the adjective becomes an adverb, or do I have to learn every adjective individually?

  • 1
    happy → happily?
    – Blavius
    Jul 27, 2016 at 22:28

1 Answer 1


Yes, 嬉しい means happy and 嬉しく means happily.

The rules to make adjectives into adverbs are fairly simple in Japanese:

  1. For i-adjectives, change the last い to く.
    • 美しい (beautiful) → 美しく (beautifully)
    • 速い (quick) → 速く (quickly)
  2. For na-adjectives, add に.
    • 元気 (vigorous) → 元気に (vigorously)
    • 簡単 (easy) → 簡単に (easily)

And there are many pure adverbs that do not conjugate.

  • すぐ (soon)
  • しばらく (for a while)

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