Spanish expressions: rápido, rápidamente, serio, seriamente

spanish expressions rapidamente

If you’re one of those Spanish learners who seek to become better each day, you’re in the right place. Speaking Spanish at school or watching Spanish tv series, may help you improve your skills, but it isn’t enough. During daily conversations, you probably have heard words like rápido, rápidamente, serio, and seriamente. As you may realize, they are pretty similar right?.


Sometimes, we can make a few tweaks to adjectives and they will become adverbs. In English, something similar happens. For example, we have words like Possible and Possibly, or Easy and Easily. For Spanish learners, changing adjectives to adverbs can be sometimes confusing. For that reason, today we will teach you how to use rápido, rápidamente, serio, and seriamente. As result, you will expand your vocabulary and will learn how to make the right tweaks to an adjective when you want to use it as an adverb.


What’s an adverbio adjetival?


In Spanish, when you build an adverb from an adjective, we call it adverbio adjetival. Los adverbios adjetivales are all those adjectives that you can add the suffix -mente and they will become an adverb. It’s like when you add the -ly ending in English.


Los adverbios adjetivales are frequently used by native speakers since they make you sound professional and polite. It’s like you’re showing you are a well-educated individual. And, who does not like to show how educated we are?. Although using adverbios adjetivales has many benefits, you should not overuse them. If you use them too much, your speeches will sound more like a tongue twister. Let’s see some of these Spanish adverbs below.


  • Claro/a – Claramente
  • Lento/a – Lentamente
  • Posible – Posiblemente
  • Raro – Raramente
  • Fuerte – Fuertemente


How to use rápido


Rápido is a Spanish adjective we use to express that someone or something carries out a task at a high speed. Also, we can use it to express that someone or something just spends less time doing a task than the usual. It’s often translated to the English words “quick” and “fast”. Still, there are many other alternatives. Let’s some examples of how we use rápido in Spanish.


María es muy rápida.


El carro azul es mas rápido que el carro verde


Tápalo lo más rápido posible para que no se contamine con bacterias.


Since rápido is an adjective, its ending will depend on the noun’s gender. If the noun is feminine, we would use rápida. Instead, if it’s masculine, we would use rápido. In some situations, we can alternate rápido and rápidamente. Yet, some factors affect this choice.


How to use rapidamente


Rápidamente is a Spanish adverb that comes from the word “rápido”. The only thing we need to do to build this adverb is to add the suffix -mente. Of course, we also have to use rápida instead of rápido. Since rápidamente is an adverb it modifies verbs in sentences. So, we usually use it next to verbs. Let’s see the examples below.


El comprendió todo rapidamente. / He quickly understood everything.


Rapidamente, cogió el pájaro y lo metió en la jaula.

Quickly, he picked up the bird and put it in the cage.


Debemos comer rápidamente o llegaremos tarde al destino.

We must eat quickly or we will arrive late at the destination.


We can start sentences using adverbs like rápidamente. However, we can’t do the same when we use adjectives like rápido.


How to use serio


Such as rápido, serio is a Spanish adjective we typically use in daily conversations. It can describe someone’s personality or emphasize when a situation is not a joke. When it’s about describing someone’s personality, we use serio to express the lack of happiness or when someone is little given to be cheerful.


On the flip side, when we use it to describe a situation, we are expressing how severe that situation is. Sometimes, we use it to describe our feelings and, in that case, we highlight how real they are. Serio’s ending will change depending on the noun’s gender. If we have a feminine noun, we use seria, but if we have a masculine noun, we use serio. Let’s see some examples to get a clearer picture of how to use this adjective.


Tu hermano es muy serio, no creo que vaya a la fiesta.

Your brother is very serious, I don’t think he will go to the party.


La empresa se encuentra en medio de una situación muy seria debido a la crisis económica.

The company is in the midst of a very serious situation due to the economic crisis.


Soy serio cuanto te digo que jamás había estado tan feliz.

I am serious when I tell you that I have never been so happy.


Tu jefa es seria, a veces hasta da miedo, pero me agrada.

Your boss is serious, sometimes she’s even scary but I like her.


How to use seriamente


Seriamente is a Spanish adverb just like rápidamente. It comes from the word “serio” and we use it to modify a verb in a sentence. As you may see, to build it we also add the suffix -mente. Seriamente is equivalent to the English word “seriously”. Seriamente´s main role is to describe that you are doing a task or action in a serious way. However, we can also use it to express severity. Here are some examples.


El motor del carro ha quedado seriamente dañado.

The car’s engine has been seriously damaged.


No hablamos seriamente en dos años. / We haven’t talked seriously for two years.


Estoy seriamente tentado a hacerlo. / I am severly tempted to do it.


Seriamentente could go before or after the verbs, and you can also use it to start a sentence. If seriamente starts a sentence, we must put a comma right after. When we use seriamente at the beginning of the sentence, we highlight how severe is what we will say.


How to know if you can alternate adverbios adjetivales


The last thing we will teach you is what factors affect when deciding if you can alternate adjectives with adverbs. First, the adverbio adjetival doesn’t usually go at the beginning of the sentence if the adverb modifies the whole sentence. Second, in general,  we use los adverbios adjetivales to provide strict opinions. They often are next to common verbs to build typical expressions like hablar claro, trabajar duro, and comer sano.


Sometimes, we can replace the adjective with the adverb if they have the same role in the sentence. Frequently, this happens when they work as complemento predicativo (Predicative complement). Let’s look at the following examples to get a clearer idea.


Lo hizo rápido/rápidamente


Rápidamente, cambio de humor


¡Rápido! Debemos acomodar la habitación antes de que venga mama.


Please note that in the first example, we can alternative rápido with rápidamente. Nonetheless, in the second example, we start the sentence with rápidamente and “rápido” can’t take place there. In the last example, we are using exclamation marks to highlight “rápido”. Although it seems that “rápidamente” can take place there, we do not usually use exclamation marks with adverbs like “rápidamente”. All these factors apply to serio and seriamente.


In conclusion, rápido and serio are adjectives and we frequently use them to describe people’s personalities or nouns. On the other hand, rápidamente and seriamente are adverbs. Thus, we generally use them to modify verbs. In most cases, we just can alternate these words when they have the same role in a sentence. Otherwise, it would not be correct.

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