I come across a sentence:

Der historische Dampfzug "Molli" fährt im Sommer regelmäßig Badegäste vom Ostseebad Kühlungsborn über Heiligendamm nach Bad Doberan.

Since the adverb regelmäßig modifies the verb fahren rather than an adjective, is it possible to add the suffix -erweise to make it regelmäßigerweise?

In general, can we add the suffix -erweise to any adverb, or can we do that only to some adverbs as specified in dictionaries?

  • Sounds very strange in this case. – chirlu Sep 25 '13 at 0:15
  • Note, the suffix is "-weise". There's just an additional "er" between adjective roots and the suffix. – Em1 Sep 25 '13 at 7:24
  • It sounds strange to add "-weise" to "regelmäßig". You find a couple of hits on Google but the rare number should tell you that it is uncommon. As with "regelmäßig" there are hundreds of words where you can add "-weise" but it would sound weird to native speakers. Perhaps, stick with these examples. – Em1 Sep 25 '13 at 7:29
  • It sounds much better indeed if you say "In regelmäßiger Weise" instead of "regelmäßigerweise". – npst Sep 25 '13 at 9:08

Adding the suffix -weise, or -erweise, which is basically a Genitive plus weise, will create an adverb that often has a slightly different meaning than the adverb/adjective that you used for it. Thus, you shoudld only add it, if that is what you want to express.

Er sagt mir freundlich, warum er mein Bier getrunken hat.

This freundlich is used as an adverb that directly describes how the action is performed... it could be translated as in a friendly way.

Er sagt mir freundlicherweise, warum er mein Bier getrunken hat.

Freundlicherweise is more of a comment-adverb for the whole activity in this case. Other options for the same slot would be zum Glück or endlich. It has an ironic quality and I don't really know how to translate it to English. Anyway... the same idea applies to other adverbs like großzügigerweise, dummerweise, glücklicherweise, and so on. Without -erweise they quite literally qualify the verb, with -erweise they are more of a comment adverb.

While you can add -erweise to every lexical adjective in theory, it doesn't always make sense to do so. Either because the adverb is already commenting, or because a commenting adverb (which is what -erweise creates) doesn't make much sense, or at least no difference to the one without the suffix. In case of regelmäßigerweise a reading as a comment adverb doesn't make much sense.

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  • 5
    I'd say these are roughly He told me kindly, that ... and He was kind enough to tell me, that .... – Carsten S Sep 25 '13 at 12:39
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    I guess the last paragraph hardly holds for true adverbs like manchmal, vielleicht or hinüber. – Toscho Sep 25 '13 at 18:49
  • I would have to think about this some more, but it seems to me that actually you add -erweise to an adjective to make it into an adverb. (Of course you do not have to do this in German.) After all Weise is a noun. – Carsten S Sep 25 '13 at 21:42
  • @Toscho: you're right... I changed it to "lexical adjective" if that makes sense – Emanuel Sep 25 '13 at 21:43
  • Und vielleicht kann man ja auch noch das Paar regelmäßig/regelmäßigerweise einbauen. Ich würde sagen, dass regelmäßig meist in der Art von in gleichmäßigen Abständen gebraucht wird, und regelmäßigerweise als im normalen Verlauf der Dinge. – Carsten S Sep 25 '13 at 21:54

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