Positions of Adverbs in Sentences

Positions of Adverbs in Sentences :

Some adverbs cannot go in end position.

In order to have more effect, some adverbs are put in mid-position.

1. I like only coffee not tea.
2. She was simply trying to please her husband.
3. My boss was particularly impressed with my sale turnover.
4. We must also buy some books.

These adverbs focus our attention on the verb, the complement, a direct or indirect object or another adverb.

Adverbs like probably, definitely, certainly go in mid-position.

1. They have probably not yet returned from the show.
2. I definitely saw him go.
3. She has certainly done that.

PERHAPS & SURELY go in initial position.

1. Perhaps, we may visit the theatre.
2. Surely, I am not an honest man.

Mid-position is normal for adverbs of degree - nearly, almost, quite, hardly & scarcely.

1. I nearly came to be killed.
2. You can hardly believe it.

Most adverbs of time can go in initial position.

1. Yesterday, I finished the work.
2. In October, it rained all the time.
3. Once, I wanted to be a spy.

These adverbs can also go in end-position.

1. I finished the work yesterday.
2. It rained all the time, in October.

Study the following sentences.

1. Here comes the bus.
2. There goes Mr. Nehru.
3. Down went the ball.
4. Slowly the thief moved to a bush.
5. Gently the doctor examined the child.
6. Actually, I am mistaken.
7. Frankly, I think, the government is lying.

Note : Some adverbs of place and some adverbs of manner can be used in the initial position of a sentence.

1. I often go to the beach.
2. She suddenly stood up and started crying.
3. I am often late.
4. I was never happy in life.

Generally, mid-position adverbs go before the verb. But these adverbs go after AM, ARE, IS, WAS & WERE. Even these are main verbs.

1. I have always done the work neatly.
2. I am never tired.
3. You must definitely be working somewhere.

If adverbs are put after the auxiliary verb, the verb has several parts.

Study the following sentences.

1. You often must be bored.
2. You must often be bored.
3. We always used to go to Ooty in May.
4. We used to go always to Ooty in May.
5. I have to go to the city always.

Such positions for adverbs are possible when modal auxiliary is used.

1. I never have trusted my relatives and I will.
2. Are you happy? Certainly, I am not.

When an auxiliary verb is used alone, instead of a complete adverb, adverb can be used before an auxiliary verb.

It is rather difficult to give exact rules for the order of verbs in a sentence.

It all depends on questions of rhythm and emphasis. Generally it can be said. We put adverbs of manner (how) before Adverbs of place (where) and adverbs of time (when) come last of all.

Positions of Adverbs in Sentences

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