In the sentence Ils ont vécu heureux pendant des nombreuses années, is heureux being used as an adverbe? Heureusement, the adverb, seems to mean luckily rather than happily. Is this so?
Interesting question Heather!
It is in fact not an adverb but an adjective /attribute used with a verb of state (vivre).
In this particular example, the verb être ( which is a verb of state par excellence!) is implied as -
vivre (étant) heureux = to live your life happy ( rather than happily) it describes the state of being happy.
You could say-
vivre caché = to live a hidden life
Other verbs are 'demeurer', 'rester', 'mourir'...
Il est mort jeune = He died young
Elle est morte pauvre = She died in a state of poverty
Ils sont resté coincés là = They remained stuck there
It is a tricky one to explain, I believe it is the same in English, and I hope this helps!
Thank you so much. Your explanation is very clear.
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