English for more than twenty years in school. But I still don't
know the exact position of an adverb. Is there any rule regarding
the position of adverbs? Thanks a lot.
are three normal positions for adverbs in a sentence: 1)
initial position (before the subject)
2) mid position (between the subject and the verb or immediately
after be as a main verb) or
3) end position (at the end of the clause).
Different types of adverbs favour different positions and I describe
these trends below. There are sometimes exceptions to the general
rule, so please regard this as a basic guide.
adverbs, which join a clause to what was said before, always come
here. Time adverbs can come here when we want to show a contrast
with a previous reference to time. Comment and viewpoint
adverbs (e.g. luckily, officially, presumably) can also come
here when we want to highlight what we are about to say. Compare
of the workers were sacked, and, as a result, everybody
went on strike.
invited all the family. However, not everyone could come.
weather will stay fine today, but tomorrow it will rain.
his condition remained stable, but over the last few weeks
it has deteriorated.
ran the office, although, officially, Trevor was the manager.
haven't made any plans yet, but presumably you'll want
to show her around London
adverbs (e.g. just, even), adverbs of indefinite frequency
(e.g. often, always, never) and adverbs of certainty
and degree (e.g probably, obviously, clearly, completely,
quite, almost) all favour this position. Note that when auxiliary
verbs (e.g. is, has, will, was) are used, they normally go between
the auxiliary verb and the main verb:
been everywhere - she's even been to Tibet and Nepal.
won't be back yet, but I'll just see if Brenda's home.
I'll give her a ring.
boss often travels to Malaysia and Singapore but I've never
you finished yet? I haven't quite finished. I've almost
obviously a very bossy woman. ~ I completely agree!
of time and definite frequency (e.g. last week,
every year) and adverbs of manner when we want to focus
on how something is done (e.g. well, slowly, evenly) and
adverbs of place (e.g. in the countryside, at the window)
usually go in end position:
had a tennis lesson last week, but I'm usually travelling
in the middle of the month, so I don't have a lesson every
long have you been here? Not long. We arrived about
five minutes ago.
chewed the food slowly because it hadn't been cooked very
was standing at her window, looking out at her children
who were playing in the garden.
that when more than one of this type of adverb is used, the order
in which they are placed is normally: manner, place, time:
played happily together in the garden the whole afternoon.
adverbs modify adjectives, they are placed immediately before them:
had some really interesting news last night. John's been
offered a job in Australia. He's absolutely delighted.
bought an incredibly expensive dress last week which fits
me perfectly. But John says I shouldn't wear it. He says it's
exception to this rule is enough which is placed after the
adjective or adverb that it modifies:
got up quite early but not early enough to eat a good breakfast.
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