Learn About French Adverbs of Place: les adverbes de lieu

French Adverbs: an Introduction

The function of adverbs is very similar in the English and French languages. An adverb is a word that modifies any other part of speech: a verb, an adjective, another adverb. The only part of speech an adverb does not modify is a noun. Adverbs are used often and liberally, and are thus vital if you wish to speak French, or any language, fluently.
Read this article to learn more about how adverbs function in English, and how to identify them in a sentence: understanding the use of adverbs in English will make it much easier for you to understand how they work in a foreign language…like French.
Read this article for a more thorough introduction to some important French adverbs and their placement in the sentence.

Les adverbes français, the French adverbs, can be divided into the following general categories:

  • Adverbs of place (such as là-bas, "there")
  • Adverbs of quantity (such as beaucoup, "a lot")
  • Adverbs of time (such as maintenant, "now")
  • Adverbs of manner (such as vraiment, "really")
  • Adverbs of frequency (such as toujours, "always")

Read on to learn some of the French adverbs of place.

Important French Adverbs of Place

Here are some of the most important French adverbs of place–adverbs that describe location, telling where something is located or where something has happened.

  • – where
  • dehors – outside
  • ici – here
  • – there
  • là-bas – over there
  • ailleurs – elsewhere
  • partout – everywhere
  • loin – far
  • près – near
  • proche – nearby
  • là-dedans – in here, in there
  • dedans – inside
  • là-dessus – on here, on there
  • dessus – on top
  • là-dessous – under here, under there
  • dessous – underneath
  • devant – in front of
  • derrière – behind, at the back, in the back
  • autour – all around

Use French adverbs of place to describe where something is or where it happened. Here is an example sentence using un adverb de lieu: Le livre est là-dessus. – The book is on there.