Adverb or Adjective? How to use Them

Adverb or Adjective? How to use Them

Adverb or Adjective?

Words like molto and troppo can be adverbs or adjectives, depending on how they are used in a sentence.

Adjectives must agree in gender (masculine or feminine) and number (singular or plural) with the noun they qualify,

while the endings of adverbs never change.


Then, you must be able to tell when molto, troppo and other words like these are adverbs.

Adverbs have three possible uses:

• They modify the meaning of verbs,
as in:

Camminiamo lentamente/spesso/insieme/molto
We walk slowly/often/together/very much.


They modify the meaning of adjectives,
as in:

Ho letto un libro veramente/piuttosto/proprio/molto interessante.
I have read a truly/rather/really/very interesting book


They modify the meaning of other adverbs,
as in:

Camminiamo piuttosto/sempre/spesso/molto lentamente.
We walk rather/ always/often/very slowly




Here are some sentences where molto and troppo are adverbs:

Make sure you realize which type of word they modify:

Non bevo mai molto la mattina.  I never drink very much in the morning.
Avete speso troppo!  You have spent too much!
Il clima inglese è davvero molto strano!  The English climate is truly very strange!
Questa radio è troppo piccola.  This radio is too small.
Non usciamo molto spesso con loro.  We don’t go out with them very often.
Sono arrivati troppo presto. They arrived too early.



When molto and troppo are adverbs, their endings do not change.

(To help you remember this rule, think of it this way: when it means ‘very’, molto doesn’t vary)

Use of Adjectives: 

When words like molto and troppo modify (or replace) a noun, they are adjectives (or pronouns) and as such, they need to agree with that noun,

as in:


Molto and Troppo as Adjectives

Faccio molte passeggiate in campagna I take many walks in the countryside
In centro c’è sempre molta gente. There are always many people in the centre.
Molti vanno al cinema la domenica. Many (people) go to the cinema on Sundays
Ho preso troppo sole e mi sono scottata la schiena. I caught too much sun and got my back sunburnt.
La frutta mi piace davvero e ne mangio sempre molta. I really like fruit and I always eat lots (of it).
Non guardo più i film western, ne ho visti troppi da bambina. I don’t watch westerns anymore, I saw too many of them as a child.


Be particularly careful when molto and troppo are pronouns.

In sentences containing the pronoun ne, molto and troppo must agree with the noun replaced by ne

(i.e. molta frutta and troppi film in the fifth and sixth sentences above).

Here is a table of the words which follow these rules, with their  and :



Meanings as Adverbs

Meanings as Adjectives

alquanto  somewhat  some, several
molto  very  much many
moltissimo  really very  a great deal of
parecchio  rather  a considerable amount, several
poco  not very  not much, not many
pochissimo  very little  very little, very few
tanto  so very  so much, so many
tantissimo  really so very  really so much, so many
troppo  too  too much, too many



Using Tutto, Qualche and Ogni correctly


When it is an adjective, tutto is followed by the article/demonstrative and the noun it refers to and agrees with the noun in gender and number,
as in:

An adjective followed by the article (singular)

An adjective followed by the article (plural)

tutto il giorno all-day tutti i giorni every day
tutto il libro the whole book tutti i libri all of the books, every book
tutta la casa the entire house tutte le case all of the houses, every house
tutto lo spettacolo every show tutti gli spettacoli the whole show all shows
tutto quest’anno this entire year tutti questi anni all these years
tutta quella folla  all that crowd  tutte quelle ragazze all those girls





If there is a numeral, this is preceded by e, but tutto still agrees with the noun,

as in:

Tutto with Numeral

tutti e due i miei genitori both of my parents
tutti e quattro i libri all four books
tutte e venti le lettere all twenty letters
tutte e cinque queste caramelle all five of these sweets

Ogni and Qualche are always followed by a singular noun.

Ogni singular noun has the same meaning as tutti/tutte + article + plural noun,

as in:

ogni giorno =  tutti i giorni  every day
ogni mattina = tutte le mattine  every morning



Despite being always followed by a singular noun, the meaning of qualche is always plural,

as in:

qualche giorno  a few days
qualche settimana  a few weeks




Complete the following sentences with the correct expression:

1. Vieni a trovarmi …………………. volte che vuoi.

Come and see me every time you like.


2. ……………………. volta vado in piscina.

I sometimes go swimming.


3. ………………. queste tovaglie sono state ricamate.

All these table cloths have been embroidered.


4. ……………………… volta che la vedo ha una pettinatura diversa.

Every time I see her she has a different hairstyle.


5. Ho letto ……………………….. i suoi libri.

I have read all four of his books.


6. ………………….. critiche che hanno ricevuto sono state ingiuste

All the criticism they have received has been unfair.



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