Descriptive Adverbs – Wie?

Screen Shot 2012 01 01 At 18 34 27

Descriptive Adverbs – Wie?

Happy New Year! (Frohes Neues!). 2012 started in Zurich with a bang as it does in many other cities around the world. One thing that I’ve noticed differentiates New Year’s Eve in the German speaking world from other areas is that people shoot off fireworks until early in the morning. At no other time of year will you see so many fireworks being fired off, as on New Year’s Eve.

For the past two weeks we’ve been discussing adverbs. We’ve talked about adverbs of time and adverbs of place. Today we’re going to look at descriptive adverbs (adverbs of manner). Let’s recap again what adverbs do: Adverbs (das Adverb, die Adverbien) convey information about verbs, adjectives and other adverbs. They tell us how of where an activity takes place, or they modify the particular intensity of a verb or adjective. In English adverbs typically end in -ly, however, in German they usually do not have any special ending.

Let’s take a look at six features of descriptive adverbs.

1. Descriptive adverbs look like descriptive adjectives without endings. When such an adverb is used to modify a verb (action word), it often indicates how, in which manner, or to what degree the activity was done. The adverb is then placed after the main verb when there is only one verb or before the second verb.

  • Auf der ganzen Welt haben Milliarden Menschen den Jahreswechsel ausgiebig und fröhlich gefeiert.
    • Around the world billions of people amply and happily celebrated the changing of the year.
  •  Feuerwerke schossen prächtig und laut in den Himmel.
    • Fireworks fired brightly and loudly into the sky.

2. Descriptive adverbs can modify adjectives. Remember, adverbs do not take endings! Let’s compare:

  3. Adverbs can also modify other adverbs.

  •  Die Leuten hatten das Feuerwerk in Zürich besonders bewundernd angeschaut.
    • The people watched the fireworks in Zurich with particular wonder.
  • Die meisten Partys kamen bis um vier Uhr am Morgen erstaunlich friedlich zu Ende.
    • Most parties ended astonishingly peacefully by 4 in the morning.

4. Some adverbs of manner have no adjective equivalents.

  •  Ich wäre selber gern dort gewesen.
    • I would have liked to have been there.
  • Ich habe es kaum geglaubt.
    • I hardly believed it.

5. To convey attitude or reaction a few descriptive adverbs can be formed with the suffix -erweise to descriptive adjectives.

  •  bedauerlicherweis (regrettably)
    • Meine Freundin war bedauerlicherweise nicht auf der Party.
    • My girlfriend was regrettably not at the party.
  • dummerweise (foolishly, stupidly)
    • Ein Freund von mir trank dummerweise zu viel Bier.
    • My friend foolishly drank too much beer.
  • erstaunlicherweise (amazingly)
    • Trotzdem ging es ihm erstaunlicherweise gut.
    • Despite that he was amazingly in fine form.
  • glücklicherweise (fortunately)
    • Ich hatte mein Handy dabei und konnte glücklicherweise meine Freundin anrufen.
    • I had my mobile phone with me and could fortunately call my girlfriend.
  • möglicherweise (possibly)
    • Ich fragte sie, ob sie möglicherweise auch zur Party kommen konnte.
    • I asked her, if she could possibly also come to the party.
  • überraschenderweise (surprisingly)
    • Wie das Glück es wollte, kam sie überraschenderweise gerade an.
    • As luck would have it, she had surprisingly just arrived.

6. Some descriptive adverbs are formed by adding the suffix -weise to nouns.

  •  fallweise (case by case)
    • Die Polizei mussten fallweise auf verschiedene Partys auftauchen.
    • The police had to appear at different parties on a case by case basis.
  • paarweise (in pairs)
    • Paarweise betraten sie die Tanzfläche.
    • In pairs they went on to the dance floor.
  • stückweise (piece by piece)
    • Viele Menschen kaufen ihre Möbel nur stückweise.
    • Many people only buy their furniture piece by piece.
  • teileweise (partially)
    • Wir sind teilweise erfolgreich: die meisten der Aufgaben wurden erledigt, einige jedoch nicht.
    • We were partially successful: most of our tasks were completed, some however not.

  1. D.E.D.D.E.D.01-01-2012

    Hello & Happy New Year. I just wanted to say I really like this blog you’ve set up! I’m trying to learn German in my spare time and am already finding it very useful!

    • Danke für Dein nettes Feedback! Wir machen das sehr gerne. Wir wünschen Dir auch ein frohes neues Jahr und viel Erfolg beim Deutschlernen!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: