Italian Language/derived adverbs


Dear Lauren,

Can you please tell me if it is usual not to be able to find a derived Italian adverb (avverbi derivati) in an Italian dictionary.

For example, I have two dictionaries that do not include a listing for the word “lentamente”.   But, they do include the word “veramente”.  

This makes me wonder if the word “lentamente” actually exists or not.  

Is it possible that not all “avverbi derivati” are included in Italian dictionaries?

Thank you.



Hi Rich,

Don't worry about the fact that not all avverbi derivati appear in an Italian dictionary. It is common for words that contain suffixes such as this to not all be included in the dictionary; otherwise, the dictionary would be extremely lengthy.

You can say lentamente. Indeed, for most adjectives, you can just add mente onto the end to form the equivalent of the 'ly' ending in English. However, as just mentioned, it is not uncommon to not find them in dictionaries. The dictionary will just assume that users will apply their own knowledge and add the ending to adjectives without the explicit need to see it documented.

Veramente may have been included because it is in such common use. I imagine that the dictionary will choose to keep some examples in and these would have been based on a corpus study and the mente words that are most frequently employed in real life Italian.

Hope this helps,
Kind regards,

Italian Language

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Lauren O' Hagan


Although not my mother tongue, I have spoken Italian fluently for more than 12 years so I am very confident to answer any questions about the Italian language. I am also competent in Roman Dialect if there are any questions relating to this.


MA Applied Linguistics First Class Honours in Modern Language Studies (Linguistics, Italian, Spanish) Received the top grade in the whole of UK for GCSE Italian, receiving a letter of congratulations from the Italian Consulate Completed my two-year A Level in 1 year with a grade A country. Carried out many translation jobs for a wide range of clients and topics including self-help, literature and exam papers. For personal reference, I have also translated Federico Moccia's Tre Metri Sopra Il Cielo and 2 of Francesco Totti's book.

El Pensador, University of Bristol

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