Adverb Position in English Grammar


Generally speaking – and there are exceptions – adverbs‏‎ can come in 1 of 3 positions in a sentence‏‎:

1) At the beginning:

Hurriedly I got dressed.

Never go there again!

Always look on the bright side of life.

2) Between the subject and the verb:

I hurriedly got dressed.

They never visit us.

We usually eat dinner very late.

3) At the very end.

I got dressed hurriedly.

They visit us very rarely.

Doesn’t she sing beautifully!

Position #1

Usually we place adverbs at the very beginning when we want to emphasize them. However, with adverbs of time the opposite is true. We place them at the beginning when we the time factor is not that relevant.

Quickly arrange for a table by the bay-window for the ladies, please James.

Always late those two!

Yesterday my team lost again.

Position #2

Adverbs of Manner generally go after the verb or after the direct object, if there is one.

My grandma drives slowly on the motorway.

My grandma drove her car slowly all the way to the mechanics.

Adverbs of Place also go after the verb or after the direct object, if there is one.

I wouldn’t go there if I were you.

I wouldn’t take her there if I were you.

Adverbs of Frequency usually go directly before the main verb.

She rarely eats meat.

If there is an auxiliary verb, then the adverb of frequency goes directly after it.

My sister doesn’t always come out with me.

My flat has never been so clean!

If the main verb is a simple form of the verb ‘to be’ then the adverb of frequency goes after it.

They are usually away over the Christmas holidays.

Position #3

Adverbs of Time usually go at the end of a sentence.

 My daughter leaves for the States tomorrow.


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