Twi Adverbs (ƆKyerɛfoɔ)

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Let’s follow up our lesson on Twi adjectives with one on adverbs.

An adverb is simply defined as a word or phrase that modifies a verb, an adjective or another adverb. Examples of adverbs in English include slowly, loudly, carefully, quickly (yes, many – but not all – English adverbs end in “– ly”). Other adverbs such as seldom, often, never, amongst others, deviate from the “–ly” suffix trend.

Adverbs provide us with further information regarding the manner, place and time that something happens or is done, the frequency and degree at which it happens or is done, and how sure we are about it happening or being done. Following from this, we can categorise adverbs into:

manner adverbsbadly, loudly, beautifully, carefully
place adverbsnearby, here, there, outside
time adverbsnow, tomorrow, yesterday
frequency adverbsalways, seldom, never
degree adverbsvery, too, quite, nearly
probability adverbsperhaps, maybe, possibly, obviously

Twi Adverbs

Now let’s look at Twi adverbs under each category listed above and how we use them.

Manner Adverbs (Yɛbea Kyerɛfoɔ)

Manner adverbs tell us how something happens or is done. In English, most manner adverbs end in “–ly”.  Twi examples include yie (well), brɛoo (slowly), ntɛm (fast).

ExampleEnglish Translation
ɔgyee no anigyeɛ sohe/she received him/her/it happily
ɔkyerɛ adeɛ yiehe/she teaches well
Kwadwo kasa brɛooKwadwo speaks slowly
Yaa didi ahoɔhare soYaa eats quickly

Place Adverbs (Beaeɛ Kyerɛfoɔ)

Place adverbs tell us where something happens or is done. Similar to place adverbs in English, place adverbs in Twi may come after the verb, object or at the end of a sentence. Examples include (ɛ)ha (here), (ɛ)hɔ (there), ase(ɛ) (under).

ExampleEnglish Translation
ɛda soroit lies at the top
bra hacome here
go there
wɔredi agorɔ wɔ abɔntenthey are playing outside

Time Adverbs (Berɛ Kyerɛfoɔ)

These adverbs tell us when something happens or is done. They are mostly used at the beginning or at the end of sentences. Examples: seesei ara (right now), ɛnnora (yesterday), dada (already).

ExampleEnglish Translation
Ama adidi dadaAma has eaten already
ɛnnora, mebaa hayesterday, I came here
mɛkɔ kurom ɔkyenaI will go to town tomorrow
yɛbɛhyia daakyewe will meet in the future/someday
me na mewiee kaneI was the one who finished first

Frequency Adverbs (Dodoɔ Kyerɛfoɔ)

Frequency adverbs tell us how often something happens or is done. Examples of frequency adverbs in Twi include da (never), mprenu (twice), mprɛnsa (thrice).

ExampleEnglish Translation
ɔntuu kwan dahe/she has never travelled
Kofi ntaa nyareKofi seldom falls ill
ɔhwee ase mprenuhe/she fell down twice
mahyia ɔmanpanyin Obama pɛnI have met President Obama before
Kofi asan aba bioKofi has come again

Degree Adverbs (Anoɔden Kyerɛfoɔ)

Degree adverbs tell us the extent or level at which something happens or is done. Twi examples include dodo (too (much)), pa ara (very), buroburoo (completely).

ExampleEnglish Translation
ɛdan no mu yɛ sum dodothe room is too dark
Buruwaa kasa dodoBuruwaa talks too much
me ho yɛ pa araI am very well

Probability Adverbs (Akyinnyegyeɛ Kyerɛfoɔ)

Probability adverbs tell us the likelihood of something happening or being done. They are used to show how sure we are about a situation or event. Examples include ebia (maybe/perhaps), ampa (truly).

ExampleEnglish Translation
ebia osuo no nnyae tɔ seeseiperhaps it won’t stop raining now
ampa, wonim de!truly, you are knowledgeable!
sɛsɛɛ wadahe/she is probably sleeping by now

We end here today. Please take note of any Twi adverb you may come across henceforth. You may find some in other lessons on this blog, or from external resources. They will definitely come in handy when we begin combining words to form sentences.

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Tikya Yaw
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6 Responses
  1. Sam El

    I am proud to have you teach this language over the web. you are an outstanding brother. I enjoy learning it from over here in the U.S. My brother you are blessed.

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