Explain to your students that forming adverbs is not as complicated as it may seem. There is a simple formula that will help them to turn adjectives into adverbs.
In English, adverbs generally take an "-ly" ending as in "gently, slowly, and easily." Adverbs may be formed in Spanish by adding the ending "–mente" to the feminine form of practically any adjective. For instance, the adjective "directo/a" (direct) is converted into the adverb "directamente" (directly).
If the adjective has only one form rather than both masculine and feminine forms, the same rule applies. Simply add "-mente" to the end of the word to construct the adverb. For example, the adjective "feliz" (happy) is converted into the adverb "felizmente" (happily).
Note that if the adjective has a written accent, the adverb retains it. For example, the adverb "fácilmente" (easily) has an accent on the -a-, just as there is an accent on the -a- of the adjective "fácil" (easy).
Adverbial phrases are also very common and often become necessary if the ending "-mente" with the adjective forms a compound that is disagreeable to the Spanish ear. When the adverb sounds strange, native speakers often form an adverbial phrase to replace it. This is done by using the word "con" (with) and the noun that is the root of the adverb being replaced. For example, watch how the following sentence with an adverb can be changed to an adverbial phrase:
- "Cumplió su trabajo prudentamente." (He prudently finished his work.)
- "Cumplió su trabajo con prudencia." (He finished his work with prudence.)