How to Use Adverbs or Adjectives in Italian

Adverb or Adjective?

Words like molto and troppo can be adverbs or adjectives, depending on how they are used in a sentence. In this post, you’ll learn How to Use Adverbs or Adjectives in Italian and the difference between them.

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.

Adjecives -  How to Use Adverbs or Adjectives in Italian

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

Italian Adverbs have three possible uses

Adverbs - Adjetives How to Use Adverbs or Adjectives in Italian

• 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 Italian 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,

Molto and Troppo as Adjectives

Faccio molte passeggiate in campagnaI 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:

WORDSMeaning as AdverbsMeanings 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 – How to Use Adverbs or Adjectives in Italian

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.

An adjective followed by the article

tutto il giornoall-daytutti i giornievery day
tutto il librothe whole booktutti i libriall of the books, every book
tutta la casathe entire housetutte le caseall of the houses, every house
tutto lo spettacolo every show tutti gli spettacolithe whole show all shows
tutto quest’annothis entire yeartutti questi anniall these years
tutta quella folla all that crowd tutte quelle ragazzeall those girls

tutto How to Use an Adverb or an Adjective in Italian

tutti How to Use Adverbs or Adjectives in Italian

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

Tutto with Numeral

tutti e due i miei genitoriboth of my parents
tutti e quattro i libriall four books
tutte e venti le lettereall twenty letters
tutte e cinque queste caramelleall 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

What’s next?

You might want to keep learning Italian online with these free resources:

🔗 HOW TO USE Molto Tanto Troppo Poco Tutto Ogni Qualche

What's next? How to choose from DI or DA Italian preposition

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