Position of adverbs with verbs in compound tenses

Look at these sentences:

Elle a bien mangé
She ate well

J'ai beaucoup aimé le spectacle. 
I really liked the show.

In compounds tenses (e.g. past involving 'avoir' or 'être' as auxiliary verbs), some adverbs are placed between the auxiliary verb and the past participle. 

These include: assez, bien, beaucoup, bientôt, déjà, encore, enfin, jamais, mal, mieux, moins, souvent, toujours, trop and vite.

BUT 

Certain adverbs of time and manner can both be AT THE END or be AT THE START of the sentence: 

e.g. hier, aujourd'hui, avant-hier, après, autrefois,... (and some adverbs ending in -ment for emphasis)

Il s'est retourné lentement.
He turned around slowly.

Lentement, il s'est retourné.
Slowly, he turned around.

Hier, nous sommes allés à Marseille.
Yesterday, we went to Marseille.

Nous sommes allés à Marseille hier.
We went to Marseille yesterday.


BUT
you would NOT say "Nous sommes hier allés à Marseille." NOR "Nous sommes allés hier à Marseille."

AND

Adverbs of place and certain adverbs of time usually FOLLOW the past participle: 

e.g. tard, tôt,... and some adverbs ending in -ment

Il est parti tard.
He left late.

Elle a compris facilement.
She understood easily.

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

J'ai beaucoup aimé le spectacle. 
I really liked the show.


Il est parti tard.
He left late.


Il s'est retourné lentement.
He turned around slowly.



Hier, nous sommes allés à Marseille.
Yesterday, we went to Marseille.


Lentement, il s'est retourné.
Slowly, he turned around.


Nous sommes allés à Marseille hier.
We went to Marseille yesterday.


Elle a compris facilement.
She understood easily.


Hier tu as joué au foot.
Yesterday, you played football.


Elle a bien mangé
She ate well


Tu as joué au foot hier.

You played football yesterday.


Q&A

Sara

Kwiziq community member

8 May 2019

4 replies

<>?

What position would <> take?

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

9 May 2019

9/05/19

Hi  Sara,

What is the word missing between <   > ?

Sara

Kwiziq community member

10 May 2019

10/05/19

Hello Cécile, I think the system thought I was trying to code...! 

The word I was after was préférablement, but I’m also curious about franchement. Thank you!

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

11 May 2019

11/05/19

Ah! then best avoid those...

Franchement and préférablement can be found in different places in a sentence. Take a look at the following examples:

Franchement -

Je vous ai dit franchement ce qui c'est passé I told you honestly what happened

Franchement, tu exaggères! = To be frank /honest, you are out of order!

Aucun de ses collègues n'étaient franchement meilleurs que lui None of his colleagues were truly/really better than him

Préférablementde préférence -

Nous irions préférablement/de préférence  en Italie = We would prefer to go to Italy

Il faut prendre deux cachets par jour, de préférence avec les repas = Two tablets per day, to be taken, preferably with meals

Cette fête aurait préférablement/ de préférence lieu le 26 décembre  = This party would take place preferably /ideally on the 26th of December

Hope this helps!

Sara

Kwiziq community member

12 May 2019

12/05/19

Thank you very much Cécile! 

Paul

Kwiziq community member

14 June 2018

1 reply

Plus tard

"Adverbs of place and certain adverbs of time usually FOLLOW the past participle: 

e.g. tard, tôt,... and some adverbs ending in -ment

Il est parti tard."

But the "correct"micro-quiz answer for the placement of "plus tard" is at the beginning or end of the sentence. Does adding "plus" modify the normal placement of "tard"? 

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

18 June 2018

18/06/18

Bonjour Paul !
The case of "plus tard" is similar to the English "later": it can be used at the beginning of the sentence, after the verb or at the end of the sentence.
Later, I went to the cinema.Plus tard, je suis allé au cinéma.
I went to the cinema later.Je suis allé au cinéma plus tard.Je suis allé plus tard au cinéma.
Bonne journée !

alison

Kwiziq community member

15 July 2017

1 reply

Think you have left the wors "always FOLLOW the past participle" in here by accident?

Just before last example

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

17 July 2017

17/07/17

Bonjour Alison ! Yes indeed ! Thanks to your eagle eye, it's now been removed :) Merci beaucoup et bonne journée !
How has your day been?