salta al contenito principal navigation

A Grammar of Interlingua

Alexander Gode & Hugh Blair IALA 1951

Parts of Speech



As in English there are primary and derived adverbs as well as adverbial phrases.


The PRIMARY ADVERBS are items in the dictionary and call for no grammatical remarks. Examples are nunc 'now,' minus 'less,' plus 'more,' hic 'here,' ibi 'there,' aliquanto 'somewhat,' semper 'always,' etc.


The regular DERIVATION OF ADVERBS from adjectives makes use of the suffix -mente added to the full form of the adjective. After a final -c the vowel -a- is inserted.

natural: naturalmente
evidente: evidentemente
remarcabile: remarcabilemente
auxillar: auxiliarmente
clar: clarmente
photographic: photographicamente
austriac: austriacamente
vorace: voracemente


In a series of derived adverbs, the suffix -mente need be used only with the last.

clar e franc: clar- e francamente
voluntari e frequente: voluntari- e frequentemente


A certain number of adverbs listed in the Dictionary appear to be irregularly derived from the corresponding adjectives. Examples are bon 'good': ben 'well'; melior 'better' (adj.) : melio 'better' (adv.); pejor 'worse' (adj.) : pejo 'worse' (adv.); mal 'bad': mal 'badly'; etc. Formations of this type should be thought of as primary adverbs in the sense that they cannot serve as models for additional adverbial derivatives. The two most numerous single groups of adverbs belonging here are those ending in -e (that is, adverbs not distinguishable in form from the corresponding adjectives) and those ending in -o.

  1. bastante 'enough' (adj.): bastante 'enough, sufficiently'
    forte 'strong': forte 'strongly, hard'
    longe 'long': longe 'far (away)'
    tarde 'slow, tardy': tarde 'late' (adv.)
  2. certe 'certain': certo 'certainly'
    expresse 'express': expresso 'purposely'
    juste 'just' (adj.): justo 'just, justly'
    mesme 'same': mesmo 'likewise'
    multe 'much, many': multo 'very, much'
    preste 'agile, ready': presto 'quickly'
    quante 'how much, how many': quanto 'as far as'
    subite 'sudden': subito 'suddenly'
    tante 'so much, so many': tanto 'so, so much'
    tote 'all, every': toto 'all, entirely'

All adjectives in -issime permit the formation of adverbs in -o, as bellissime 'most beautiful': bellissimo 'most beautifully.' The ending -issimo can be used in the derivation of adverbs from adverbs, as ben 'well': benissimo 'very well.' For the adverbial ordinals primo, secundo, tertio 'firstly, secondly, thirdly,' etc., see §130 below.

Note: In absolute use (i.e. in exclamations and the like), adverbs in -o may be derived from all adjectives with possible -o/-a substantivizations. See §40-§41 above.

Vos crede illo? - Claro! 'You believe that?' - 'Obviously?
Exacto, illo es mi opinion! 'Exactly, that's my opinion.'


Numerous ADVERBIAL PHRASES are crystallized units and appear as such in the Dictionary.

in summa 'in short'
de nove 'again, anew'
de tempore in tempore 'from time to time'

The use of all sorts of formulations with adverbial functions is naturally as unlimited as in English. The phrases 'at three o'clock,' 'with my little sister,' and 'at the dentist' have adverbial functions in the sentence, 'At three o'clock I have an appointment with my little sister at the dentist,' and so do the corresponding phrases in

A tres horas io es citate con mi parve soror a presso del dentista.

Note that there is likewise no difference between English and Interlingua in the adverbial use of absolute nouns expressing distance and duration of time.

'I'd walk a mile for a pipeful of tobacco'
Io irea a pede un millia pro un pipata de tabaco

'Let him wait a minute'
Que ille attende un minuta

And further

'His sword drawn, he rushed into the kitchen'
Su spada tirate, ille se precipitava in le cocina

'(With) Tears in her eyes, she told me her sad story'
(Con) Lacrimas in su oculos, illa me relatava su triste historia


No adverb of irregular derivation excludes the possibility of a regular synonym.

ben or bonmente 'well'
melio or plus ben or plus bonmente 'better'
primo or primemente 'firstly'


COMPARISON OF ADVERBS does not differ from comparison of adjectives. See §34-§37 above.

interessantemente : plus interessantemente : le plus interessantemente ('interestingly')

interessantemente: minus interessantemente: le minus interessantemente

Illa scribe plus interessantemente que ille sed illa parla minus interessantemente
'She writes more interestingly than he does but she talks less interestingly'

Iste chocolate es attractivissimemente impacchettate
'This chocolate is most attractively done up'


The FUNCTIONS OF THE ADVERB do not differ from English usage. Note that adjectives both in Interlingua and in English assume at times functions which induce many grammarians to conceive of them as irregular adverbs. It seems simpler to call them adjectives and treat them as such.

Le rivo curre murmurante per le foresta
'The brook runs babbling through the forest'

Le sol brilla clar e belle
'The sun shines clear and beautiful'

Post le tertie cocktail ille vide duple
'After the third cocktail he sees double'

Il debe esser possibile exprimer illo plus breve
'It must be possible to express that briefer (more briefly)'

Those who say in English, "The brook runs babblingly through the forest," etc., may of course use murmurantemente, etc. in Interlingua. Also the adverb in -o or -e can be used here.


The POSITION OF ADVERBS coincides in principle with English usage. The adverb normally precedes what it modifies. It is set off by initial or final position in the sentence or by commas when it is to modify the statement as a whole.

Ille es extrememente felice
'He is extremely happy'

Quando le tempesta arrivava, illes esseva felicemente reunite circa le foco
'When the storm arrived, they were happily assembled about the fire'

Felicemente illes esseva al domo quando le tempesta arrivava
'Luckily they were at home when the storm arrived'

Etiam tu!
'You too!'


When both an adverb (especially non 'not') and a pronoun (which is not the subject) try to get near a verb, the pronoun wins out.

Io non lo crede
'I don't believe it'

Ille non me lo dice
'He doesn't tell (it to) me'

Note: Contrary to English usage, the adverb non 'not' precedes the
verb form it modifies.

Io non pote supportar su perfumo
'I cannot stand her perfume'

Io non pote visitar le
'I cannot visit him'

Io pote non visitar le
'I can not visit him, i.e., I can choose or it is possible for me not to visit him'

supra previe sequente