What Are Adverbs of Movement and Direction?
Adverbs of movement and direction are used to describe a verb that implies an activity or a certain movement. And adverbs of direction point to a particular direction.
Adverbs of Movement and Direction: Placement
Adverbs of movement and direction are used after main verbs or after the direct object of a transitive verb. However, in both cases, they modify the verb.
Here are some examples:
In this example 'went' is a main verb and 'outside' is used after it to modify it.
I moved it
Remember, we do not use an adverb between the object and the main verb. If you encounter such a sentence structure, it is likely that you are dealing with a preposition, not an adverb.
Adverbs of Movement and Direction vs. Adverbs of Place
Adverbs of place are typically used to describe a state in a particular location, while adverbs of direction indicate the destination or direction of movement. However, some adverbs can function as both adverbs of place and adverbs of movement depending on the verb being used. Pay attention to the examples:
Those kids are playing
We will take the dog
Common Adverbs of Movement and Direction
There are a lot of adverbs of movement and direction in English, but here are some of the most common ones:
Adverbs with Suffixes -ward or -wards
-Wards or -ward is a suffix that forms adverbs showing direction. In American English, and sometimes in British English, '-ward' is used instead of `-wards' to form adverbs of direction. For example:
Take a look at some examples:
Adverbs with the Suffix -side
'Outside' and 'inside' have opposite meanings: 'outside' refers to a location that is not within a particular place, while 'inside' refers to a location within that place. Similarly, 'upside' indicates a direction towards the top of something. When used with appropriate verbs that indicate movement towards, away, to towards the top of a building or enclosed space, they can function as adverbs of movement. Here are some examples:
They take the dog
We will carry the trolley
Adverbs with the Suffix -stairs
Downstairs is the opposite of upstairs. Downstairs means toward the lower floor of a building, while upstairs means toward the upper floor of a building. Here are some examples:
Carry the bags
I pushed the box
The Adverb Back
Back as an adverb of movement and direction typically indicates a return to a previous location or position. Here are some examples:
Those animals were sent
Usually when the word back is used as an adverb of movement or direction, it is followed by the prepositions in or to. For example:
After the hike, we walked
When used as an adverb of movement and direction, 'through' typically indicates movement into a place from one side and out the other. Pay attention to the examples:
Keep going in straight
Typically, the adverb 'off' means away or distant from a place, but with certain verbs, it can also indicate a sense of movement or direction. For example:
When she heard it, she just drove
The cat jumped
Adverbs can be combined with some prepositions or adverbs and make an adverbial phrase that can also be used as an adverb of movement or direction. Here are the examples:
We were driving
Let us just walk
Adverbs can be placed in various positions within a sentence, but it's important to note that adverbs of movement typically modify verbs and are often placed before adverbs of time. Adverbs can be placed at the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence depending on the desired emphasis or effect. Check out the examples:
We just took the hive
'Last night at nine' is an adverb of time, and as you can see, adverb of movement appears before it.
Adverbs vs. Prepositions of Movement and Direction
Adverbs of movement and direction and prepositions of movement and direction are both used to indicate the direction or manner of movement. However, there are some key differences between the two:
- Adverbs of movement and direction modify verbs, while prepositions of movement and direction are followed by a noun or pronoun.
- Adverbs of movement and direction are typically placed after the verb, while prepositions of movement and direction are placed before the noun or pronoun.
- Adverbs of movement and direction provide information about how the movement is performed, while prepositions of movement and direction provide information about the direction or destination of the movement.
Compare the examples:
The cat moved
Here, 'forward' modifies the verb and describes the manner and direction of movement of the cat.
The cat moved
Here, 'towards' modifies the noun 'mouse' and indicates destination of the movement.
Adverbs of movement and direction show movement toward a particular place or they can point to it. They are placed:
- after the main verb
- after the direct object of a transitive verb