Hi I would like some clarification with how to use adverbs in Spanish, especially regarding male vs female usage. For example: She sings really pretty: ella canta muy bonito or bonita? Also, she walks so slow: ella camina tan lento or lenta? I know you can use lentamente but isn’t lento/lenta also a possibility? Thank you in advance.


As can be read here, adjectives used as adverbs need to be in the masculine and in the singular:

  1. Las golondrinas vuelan bajo.

  2. Las espinacas saben raro.

In the sentences above, the adjectives modify the verbs (fly low, taste strange).

However, adjectives can be used in the predicate to refer to the subject, in which case they are subject complements and have to agree with the gender and number of the subject:

  1. Las golondrinas vuelan bajas.

  2. Las espinacas saben raras.

Though syntactically different, we can say that, from the point of view of meaning, (3) is equivalent to (1) and (4) is equivalent to (2).

There are certain combinations of verbs and adjectives where the adjective will always function as an adverb and be invariable (i.e. masculine gender, singular number):

  • hablar claro
  • hablar bajo
  • pasarlo estupendo/bárbaro
  • pasarlo fatal
  • atar fuerte
  • jugar sucio
  • correr rápido
  • hacerlo rápido
  • volar alto
  • comprar caro
  • cantar bonito
  • pisar firme
  • hilar fino
  • caer bajo
  • comer sano
  • comer saludable
  • I understand the last list provided is fixed and adverbs are in the masculine and singular. I am confused regarding the first point. Is it optional whether you want it to agree with the subject or stay masculine and single?
    – Bluelion7
    Jan 22 at 21:31
  • 1
    @Bluelion7 "volar bajo" (invariable) sounds much better to me, but with "saber" (taste) both possibilities are equally correct.
    – Gustavson
    Jan 22 at 23:53

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