77. Position of adverbs in a sentence PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 10 September 2009 11:54
77. Position of adverbs in a sentence

There are three possible positions for adverbs:

>> before the subject:
    Sometimes she gets very tired.
>> between the subject and the verb:
    I sometimes read biographies.
>> between a modal or auxiliary and the main verb:
    I can sometimes play this game very well.
>> at the end of a clause or sentence:
    He makes me angry sometimes.

However, not all adverbs can go in all three positions.

We use adverbs of certainty (probably,
certainly, definitely) in there positions:

>> between the subject and a positive verb:
    Jane probably knows the answer.
>> after a positive auxiliary/modal:
    They’ll probably win.
>> before a negative auxiliary/modal:
    Jane probably doesn’t know the answer.
    They probably won’t win.

We use adverbs of completeness (almost,
nearly, etc.) in these positions:

>> between the subject and the verb:
    He almost died.
>> after an auxiliary/modal:
    I’ve nearly finished.

We use some adverbs that emphasize
a statement (ever, just (= simply), only, also)
in these positions:

>> between the subject and the verb:
    She was rude and she even laughed at me.
    I don’t know why, I just like jazz.

>> after an auxiliary/modal:
    I can’t even understand a word.
    I’m only joking.

Notice that we use just before a negative modal or auxiliary:
    I just don’t understand why it happened.

Note that all these adverbs go after be:
    She is probably at work now.

We use too and either at the end of a sentence.
We use too after two positive verbs
and either after two negative verbs:
    George earns a lot and he spends a lot too.
    I don’t like dogs and I’m not keen on cats either.

We usually use adverbs of manner
(those that describe how something is done,
e.g. well, badly, quickly, carefully) in these positions:
>> after the verb:
    Please drive carefully.
>> after an object:
    I read the letter carefully.

We use adverbial phases of time (e.g. in the morning,
last Saturday, during the holidays)
at the beginning or end of a sentence or clause:
    Last Saturday I had a great time.
    I had a great time last Saturday.

We usually use other adverbial phases
(e.g. those describing place or manner)
after the object:
    He put his suitcase on the floor.
    She opened the letters with a knife.

When there is more then one adverb
or adverbial phrase in a sentence, we normally
use them in this order:

manner -> place -> time

He was working hard in his office last night.
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 September 2009 11:56