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214. Adverbs are regularly formed from adjectives as follows.

a. From adjectives of the 1st and 2nd declensions by changing the characteristic vowel of the stem to .

cārē  dearly [from cārus  dear (cāro-)] 
amīcē  like a friend [from amīcus  friendly (amīco-)]

Note— The ending is a relic of an old ablative in -ēd (cf. § 43, Note 1).

b. From adjectives of the 3rd declension by adding -ter to the stem. Stems in nt- (nom. -nst-). All others are treated as i-stems.

fortiter  bravely [from fortis (stem forti-)  brave]
ācriter  eagerly [from ācer (stem ācri-)  eager]
vigilanter  watchfully [from vigilāns (stem vigilant-)] 
prūdenter  prudently [from prūdēns (stem prūdent-)]
aliter  otherwise [from alius (old stem ali-)]

Note— This suffix is perhaps the same as -ter in the Greek -τερος and in uter, alter. If so, these adverbs are in origin either neuter accusatives (cf. d.) or masculine nominatives.

c. Some adjectives of the 1st and 2nd declensions have adverbs of both forms ( and -ter). Thus dūrus (hard) has both dūrē and dūriter; miser (wretched) has both miserē and miseriter.

d. The neuter accusative of adjectives and pronouns is often used as an adverb.

multum  much
facilĕ  easily
quid  why

This is the origin of the ending -ius in the comparative degree of adverbs (§ 218).

ācrius  more keenly (positive ācriter)
facilius  more easily (positive facilĕ)

Note— These adverbs are strictly cognate accusatives (§ 390).

e. The neuter ablative singular or (less commonly) feminine of adjectives, pronouns, and nouns may be used adverbially

falsō  falsely
citŏ  quickly (with shortened o)
rēctā (viā)  straight (straightway)
crēbrē; frequently
volgō  commonly
fortĕ  by chance
spontĕ  of one's own accord

Note— Some adverbs are derived from adjectives not in use.

abundē  plentifully (as if from †abundus; cf. abundō abound)
saepĕ  often (as if from †saepis  dense, close-packed; cf. saepēs  hedge, and saepiō  hedge in).

215. Further examples of adverbs and other particles which are in origin case forms of nouns or pronouns are given below. In some the case is not obvious, and in some it is doubtful.

     1. Neuter Accusative forms.

nōn (for nē-oinom, later ūnum)  not
iterum (comparative of i- stem of is)  a second time
dēmum (superlative of down)  at last

     2. Feminine Accusatives.

partim  partly
statim  on the spot
saltim  at least (generally saltem), from lost nouns in -tis (genitive -tis)

     Thus -tim became a regular adverbial termination; and by this means adverbs were made from many noun and verb stems immediately, without the intervention of any form which could have an accusative in -tim.

sēparātim  separately from sēparātus  separate

     Some adverbs that appear to be Feminine Accusative are possibly instrumental.

palam  openly
perperam  wrongly
tam  so
quam  as

     3. Plural Accusatives.

aliās  elsewhere
forās  out of doors (as end of motion)

     So perhaps quia because

     4. Ablative or Instrumental forms

quā  where
intrā  within
extrā  outside
quī  how
aliquī  somehow
forīs  out of doors
quō  whither
adeō  to that degree
ultrō  beyond
citrō  this side (as end of motion)
retrō  back
illōc (for †illō-ce) weakened to illūc  thither

     Those in -trō are from comparative stems (cf. ūls, cis, re-).

     5. Locative forms.

ibi  there
ubi  where
illī, illī-c  there
peregrī (peregrē)  abroad
hīc (for †hī-ce)  here

     Also the compounds hodiē (probably for †hōdiē)  today; perendiē  day after tomorrow.

     6. Of uncertain formation.

a. Those in -tus (usually preceded by i), with an ablative meaning.

funditus  from the bottom, utterly
dīvīnitus  from above, providentially
intus  within
penitus  within

b. Those in -dem, -dam, -dō.

quidem  indeed
quondam  once
quandō (cf. dōnec)  when

c. Those in dum (probably accusative of time) while; iam now

216. A phrase or short sentence has sometimes grown together into an adverb (cf. notwithstanding, nevertheless, besides).

postmodo  presently (a short time after)
dēnuō (for dē novō)  anew
vidēlicet (for vidē licet)  to wit (see, you may)
nihilōminus  nevertheless (by nothing the less)

Note— Other examples are:

anteā [old antideā]  before (ante eā, probably ablative or instrumental) 
īlicō (in locō)  on the spot, immediately
prōrsus  absolutely (prō vorsus  straight ahead)
rūrsus (re-vorsus)  again
quotannīs  yearly (quot annīs  as many years as there are)
quam-ob-rem  wherefore
cōminus (con manus)  hand to hand
ēminus (ex manus)  at long range
nīmīrum (nī mīrum)  without doubt
ob-viam (as in īre obviam  to go to meet)
prīdem (cf. prae and -dem in i-dem)  for some time
forsan (fors an)  perhaps (it's a chance whether)
forsitan (fors sit an)  perhaps (it would be a chance whether)
scīlicet (†scī, licet)  that is to say (know, you may; cf. ī-licet  you may go)
āctūtum (āctū  on the act, and tum  then)

Suggested Citation

Meagan Ayer, Allen and Greenough’s New Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-947822-04-7.