Positions of Adverbs



Positions of Adverbs :



Normal positions for adverbs

There are three normal positions for adverbs.

( ) Mid-position - before the verb or part of the verb

She suddenly drove off.
I have never been searched by the customs.

(ii) End-position - at the end of a clause)

He drove off suddenly.
She came late.

(iii) Initial position - at the beginning of a clause

Suddenly, he drove off.
Yesterday, I was not on duty.

Not all adverbs can go in all three of these positions. Only certain kinds of adverbs can go in initial position. Most kinds of adverbs can go in both mid-position and end-position. But there are some that can only go in one or the other.

Many adverbs can go in both mid-position and end-position.

Does he often come here?
Do you go there often?
The minister angrily walked out of the committee meeting.
I walked angrily out of the house.
I walked out of the office angrily.
The chairman didn't agree completely.
The chairman didn't completely agree.

However, adverb phrases (groups of words that function as adverbs) cannot usually go in mid-position.

Mr. Rao then called a meeting of the Cabinet Ministers.
Mr. Rao called a meeting of the cabinet ministers on Monday.

I recently ordered some books for the library.
I ordered some books for the library a couple of days ago.

There are a few short common adverb phrases [AT ONCE & VERY OFTEN] which can go in mid-position.

I have very often wondered why people read advertisements.

Some adverbs cannot be used in mid-position.

Adverbs of place do not normally go in mid-position.

They usually come at the end of the clause.
They are waiting outside.
We drove southwards.

Adverbs of definite time do not go in mid-position.

They come either at the beginning or end of a clause.
I met him the day before.
Tomorrow, we are leaving for Delhi.

Adverbs of definite frequency do not go usually in mid-position.

They normally come at the end of a clause.
Letters are delivered daily.
We have staff meetings monthly.

Adverbs of indefinite time and frequency can go in mid-position.

I have recently taken interest in Carnatic Music.
We often play bridge on Sundays.

Adverbs of manner can go in mid-position or end-position.

The meeting has been organised well.
She sings beautifully.
The child is happily playing with its toys.
The child is playing with its toys happily.

Note : When important news or information is given, adverbs of manner are put at the end of the clauses.

The police inspector slowly opened the door and looked inside.
As the road was in bad condition, he drove slowly.
She spoke to him confidentially.

Positions of Adverbs



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