Bien, mal, mieux, moins, peu (irregular adverbs)

We've already learned about Forming regular adverbs with -ment (feminine adjective + -ment).

However, some adverbs have irregular stems, meaning that they differ from the original adjective.
And some are just completely irregular.


Here is a table of these irregular adverbs:

Feminine adjective English Irregular adverb English
gentille kind gentiment kindly
brève brief brièvement  briefly
bonne good bien well
mauvaise bad mal badly
petite small peu not much
moindre lesser moins less
meilleure better mieux better

Listen to these examples:

Le bon nageur plonge bien.The good swimmer dives well.

C'était une brève rencontre: je l'ai vu brièvement.It was a brief meeting: I saw him briefly.

Une moindre personne lirait moins.A lesser person would read less.

Le meilleur élève parle mieux français que moi. The best pupil speaks French better than me.

Un mauvais vin vieillit mal. A bad wine ages badly.

Elle a une petite voix: on l'entend peu.She has a small voice: we don't hear her much.

Elle est gentille, et elle parle gentiment.She is kind, and she speaks kindly.

See also the related lesson:
Meilleur, mieux, pire / plus mauvais, plus mal = better, best, worse and worst (irregular comparatives and superlatives)

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Examples and resources

Une moindre personne lirait moins.A lesser person would read less.
C'était une brève rencontre: je l'ai vu brièvement.It was a brief meeting: I saw him briefly.
Elle a une petite voix: on l'entend peu.She has a small voice: we don't hear her much.
Un mauvais vin vieillit mal. A bad wine ages badly.
Elle est gentille, et elle parle gentiment.She is kind, and she speaks kindly.
Le bon nageur plonge bien.The good swimmer dives well.
Le meilleur élève parle mieux français que moi. The best pupil speaks French better than me.
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