Lesson 35: Twi Adverbs (ƆKyerɛfoɔ)

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Let’s follow up our lesson on Twi adjectives with one on adverbs. I welcome you to lesson 35 of the Twi grammar course, here on LearnAkan.Com.

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:

Types Examples
manner adverbs badly, loudly, beautifully, carefully
place adverbs nearby, here, there, outside
time adverbs now, tomorrow, yesterday
frequency adverbs always, seldom, never
degree adverbs very, too, quite, nearly
probability adverbs perhaps, 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).

Example English Translation
ɔgyee no anigyeɛ so he/she received him/her/it happily
ɔkyerɛ adeɛ yie he/she teaches well
Kwadwo kasa brɛoo Kwadwo speaks slowly
Yaa didi ahoɔhare so Yaa 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).

Example English Translation
ɛda soro it lies at the top
bra ha come here
go there
wɔredi agorɔ wɔ abɔnten they 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).

Example English Translation
Ama adidi dada Ama has eaten already
ɛnnora, mebaa ha yesterday, I came here
mɛkɔ kurom ɔkyena I will go to town tomorrow
yɛbɛhyia daakye we will meet in the future/someday
me na mewiee kane I 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).

Example English Translation
ɔntuu kwan da he/she has never travelled
Kofi ntaa nyare Kofi seldom falls ill
ɔhwee ase mprenu he/she fell down twice
mahyia ɔmanpanyin Obama pɛn I have met President Obama before
Kofi asan aba bio Kofi 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).

Example English Translation
ɛdan no mu yɛ sum dodo the room is too dark
Buruwaa kasa dodo Buruwaa talks too much
me ho yɛ pa ara I 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).

Example English Translation
ebia osuo no nnyae tɔ seesei perhaps it won’t stop raining now
ampa, wonim de! truly, you are knowledgeable!
sɛsɛɛ wada he/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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5 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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