Adverbs of Time

'Adverbs of time' give you some information about the time something happened. Using them will help us add details about time to our sentences.

"Adverbs of Time" in the English Grammar

What Are Adverbs of Time?

Adverbs of time (also called temporal adverbs) modify a verb to tell us when and for how long an action takes place.
There are many adverbs of time in English and they are very commonly used.

Common Adverbs of Time

The most common adverbs of time are those that indicate a specific moment in the past, present, or future. They include:

  1. past: yesterday, last year, just, before, previously, recently
  2. present: still, today, now
  3. future: tomorrow, soon, next week, later

Adverbs of Time: Placement

The placement of adverbs of time in a sentence can vary depending on the specific adverb being used.

  • Adverbs that talk about when are usually placed at the end of the sentence.

I couldn't watch the series yesterday.

I'll have to watch it today.

The doctor will see you now.

Adverbs that talk about when normally come at the end of the sentence, but they can appear in other positions to put emphasis on different parts.
We can place them at the beginning of the sentence or before the main verb, especially in literary contexts.

Later that night, he passed away.

Sally eventually showed up at the wedding.

using an adverb of time in a sentence

  • Adverbs that talk about how long are usually placed at the end of the sentence.

Bake the cake for 45 minutes.

She hasn't been quite herself for a while.

They have lived in this mansion since the 1990s.

By changing the placement of adverbs of time in a sentence, emphasis can be placed on a specific aspect of the sentence.

Soon they were in the car and ready to leave town.

She immediately contacted the authorities.

Adverbs of Time: Order

Adverbs of time (also called temporal adverbs) modify a verb to tell us when and for how long an action takes place.
If you want to use more than one adverb of time in a sentence, follow this order:
How long?
How often?
When?

Py attention to the examples:

I studies abroad for two months (How long?) last year (When?).

She worked in a café for three days (How long?) every week (How often?) last month (When?).

Formal Context

In formal style you can place adverbs of time at the beginning of a sentence before the main verb.

Adverbs of Time: Types

There are different types of adverbs of time. For example, we have adverbs of time that indicate:

  • a point in time (past, present, and future)

I will finish my homework tonight.

  • length of time

She stayed for 4 hours.

  • a relation between two points in time

I've already called her several times.

Review

Adverbs of time are usually used to refer to a point in time or to a length of time. adverbs of time express the following tenses and make the tense of these clauses clear.

  • past
  • present
  • future

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