Adverbs - Επιρρήματα

Adverbs (epi’rimata) are single-form words or phrases that accompany other words (adjectives, verbs, other adverbs or phrases). They are divided in groups, depending on their function, which is to determine manner, place, time and quantity or degree.

Some adverbs stem from adjectives that end in -ος, -η, -ο και -ος, -α, -ο. Those adverbs will end in -α / -ά.

Καλός, καλή, καλόκαλά

From the adjectives ending in -ύς, -ιά, -ύ (on their masculine, feminine and neuter forms respectively), their resulting adverbs will have a suffix of -ιά.

Πλατύς, πλατιά, πλατύπλατιά

If the adjectives end in -ης, -ης, -ες, the corresponding adverbs will have an -ως ending.

Αγενής, αγενής, αγενέςαγενώς

For adjectives with a -ύς, -εία, -ύ ending, the respective adverbs will end in -έως.

Βραχύς, βραχεία, βραχύβραχέως

Adverbs of manner (τροπικά επιρρήματα, tropi’ka epi’rimata)
These adverbs determine the way something is done.

A few examples are ξαφνικά (suddenly), έτσι (like this), αλλιώς (differently), ωραία (nice), καλά (fine/well), άσχημα (badly), μαζί (together), χωριστά (separately), όπως (as), κάπως (somehow) and πώς (how).

It should be noted that those words might have a slightly different meaning and use in Greek, compared to their English counterparts in brackets.

Some of them can be formed with either the -α or -ως suffix and either have the same or different meaning in each form.

Same meaning: σπάνια, σπανίως (rarely)
Different meaning: απλά (in a simple way), απλώς (merely)

With πώς we can ask questions of how, explain something but also state great will, surprise or admiration. Note that πώς doesn’t have stress when it’s used for elaboration.

QuestionExplanationGreat will
Πώς σου φάνηκε η παράσταση?Μου είπε πως δεν του άρεσε.Πώς θέλω ένα κουταβάκι!
How did you like the show?He told me how he didn’t like it.How I’d like a puppy!

We use adverbs of place (τοπικά επιρρήματα, topi’ka epi’rimata) to determine the place of something in space.

Some adverbs of place: πάνω (up), κάτω (down), ψηλά (high), χαμηλά (low), μέσα (in), έξω (out), μακριά (far), κοντά (close), πίσω (back, behind), μπροστά or εμπρός or μπρος (forth, forward), δεξιά (right), αριστερά (left), δίπλα (near), γύρω (round), τριγύρω (around), στη μέση (in the middle), στο βάθος (in the back), απέναντι (across), εδώ (here), εκεί (there), κάπου (somewhere), πού (where), αλλού (elsewhere), παντού (everywhere) and πουθενά (nowhere).

Πού, like πώς, isn’t stressed when it’s used to explain something

Adverbs of time (χρονικά επιρρήματα, hroni’ka epi’rimata)
These adverbs are used to determine when something takes place.

Some examples: πρόπερσι (the year before last),πέρυσι or πέρσι (last year), πριν (before), μόλις (just), μετά (after), ύστερα (later), προχτές or προχθές (day before yesterday), χτες or χθες (yesterday), φέτος (this year), τώρα (now), σήμερα (today), έπειτα (afterwards), αύριο (tomorrow), μεθαύριο (day after tomorrow), ξανά (again), πάλι (again), νωρίς (early), αργά (late), πότε (never), κάποτε (sometime, once upon a time), τότε (then), όποτε (whenever), ακόμη (still, yet), πια (anymore) and ήδη (already).

Πριν and μετά can be accompanied by the preposition από, which means from, when speaking or writing formally.

Adverbs of quantity (ποσοτικά επιρρήματα, posoti’ka epi’rimata)
Adverbs of quantity are used to denote amount, size or degree.

Some examples include: πόσο (how much), πολύ (a lot), λίγο (a little), καθόλου (not at all), αρκετά (enough), τόσο (this much), όσο (as much), μόνο (only), τουλάχιστον (at least), σχεδόν (almost) and περίπου (sort of).

- How was school?
- It went well.
There is a bakery near my house.I’ll do it tomorrow.How much food do you want?
-Πώς πήγε το σχολείο;
‘Εχει έναν φούρνο κοντά στο σπίτι μου.Θα το κάνω αύριο.Πόσο φαγητό θέλεις?

Some adverbs are called conversational (συνομιλίας, sinomi’lias) and they are used to express opinion by the speaker. Some of them are ευτυχώς (fortunately), δυστυχώς (unfortunately), ειλικρινά (honestly), ίσως (perhaps), σίγουρα (certainly), μεταφορικά (figuratively) and κυριολεκτικά (literally).

To make comparisons, we can use the word πιό (more) before the adverb or use the adjective source’s neuter form plus the suffix -τερα. The item we compare with should be in the accusative case.

Θα φτάσουν πιό αργά.Θα φτάσουν αργότερα.Θα φτάσουν αργότερα από τους άλλους.
They will arrive more late.They will arrive later.They will arrive later than the others.