Adverb Placement and Order

We can put adverbs at the front, in the middle, or at the end of a clause. Each can have its own function. We'll also learn about the orders of adverbs.

Intermediate
"Adverb Placement and Order" in English Grammar

Adverb Placement

Adverb placement in English can be confusing at times. So it is best if we learn the position of adverbs based on the types of adverbs.
Basically, adverbs can take three different positions:

  1. Initial Position
  2. Middle Position
  3. End Position

the adverb is placed at the end of the sentence

Adverb Placement: Initial Position

Sentence Adverbs

Adverbs that show a connection with the previous sentences, and those that provide the context for a sentence, are normally placed at the beginning of the sentence. For example:

Next, put the turkey in the oven for 45 minutes.

Undoubtedly, people have become more interested in social media.

Unfortunately, we couldn't finish the project on time.

Adverbs of Time and Frequency

Adverbs of time and frequency are used in various placements. Time adverbs are the most flexible of all adverbs in their adverb placement. They can appear at the beginning, middle, and end of the sentence.

Tomorrow my uncle is going to London.

Usually I play football in the park with my friends.

Adverb Placement: Middle Position

Adverbs of frequency, adverbs of probability, and adverbs of comment can all be used in the middle position.

She often works at the weekend.

She has probably gone home.

I usually bake cookies.

Tip!

Adverbs of frequency are always placed before the main verb, not before the auxiliary verb.

I don't usually go to the park. (Not 'I usually don't go to the park.')

Adverb Placement: End Position

Generally, adverbs are placed at the end of a sentence. These types of adverbs are typically placed at the end of a sentence or phrase:

  1. Adverbs of Time
  2. Adverbs of Place
  3. Adverbs of Manner

Adverbs of Time

Adverbs of time usually come at the end of a sentence or clause.

I have my first math class today.

Stop shouting now.

Adverbs of Place

Adverbs of place usually come at the end of a sentence.

What are you doing here?

She visited him in hospital.

Adverbs of Manner

Adverbs of manner usually come at the end of a sentence or clause.

Just try and talk to her nicely.

Traffic flowed smoothly.

Adverbs with a To-infinitive

You cannot place an adverb between parts of a to-infinitive verb. It may result in different meanings.

He likes to usually eat hot food.

This example is incorrect. It means he likes it only when he can do it usually.

He likes to eat usually hot food.

This example is incorrect. It means the food isn't usually hot, but sometimes not hot.

He likes to eat hot food usually.

This sentence is correct.

Adverb Order

If we want to use more than one adverb in a sentence, we should follow a particular order in which different adverbs should appear in a sentence. This rule is called the order of adverbs or sometimes called the royal order of adverbs.

  1. Adverbs of Manner
  2. Adverbs of Place
  3. Adverbs of Frequency
  4. Adverbs of Time
  5. Adverbs of Purpose

We should mention that it is usually uncommon to use all five categories of adverbs in single sentence, but sometimes we might use two or three adverbs.

She walked slowly (manner) down the alley (place) every evening (frequency) at 7 o'clock (time) in order to walk her dog (purpose).

Review

Adverbs are divided into four different groups, each was discussed in detail earlier. Adverbs are words that modify adjectives, verbs, or other adverbs. They express a relation of place, time, etc.

  • Adverbs order in a sentence is important especially when there are more than one of them in one sentence.
Manner Place Frequency Time Purpose

Now, that we know their orders in a sentence let us learn all four groups by learning the examples.

adverbs modifying verbs They ran fast to get to the bus.
adverbs modifying adjectives (intensifiers) It is really hot in here.
adverbs modifying another adverb (intensifiers) The restaurant is almost always full of people.
adverbs modifying entire sentences (sentence adverbs) Actually, he is right.

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Types of Adverbs

Adverbs give us a description of a verb in a sentence. There are five basic types of adverbs in the English language.

Adverbs of Place

Adverbs of place help us express where the verb is taking place. Using them will help us be more accurate about locations.

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 Frequency

Adverbs of frequency show us how often an action takes place. We use them commonly in daily English so, it is essential to learn them. Read here.

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