Adverbs of Movement and Direction for intermediate learners

Adverb of movement or directions shows an action toward a place or points to a particular direction. In this lesson, we will learn about them.

What Are Adverbs of Movement and Direction?

What Are Adverbs of Movement and Direction?

As their names suggest, when we want to point to an action or movement in a sentence, we use adverbs of movement, while when we want to talk about a direction, we use adverbs of direction.

Common Adverbs of Movement and Direction

Below is a list of several common adverbs of movement and direction:

  • Anywhere
  • Somewhere
  • Inside
  • Eastwards/Westwards/Southwards
  • Around
  • Away
  • Up
  • Down
  • Back

Now, let us examine some examples below:

If you want to find room number 697, you have to go inside the Literature faculty.

Are you going somewhere at this hour?


Please note that the adverbs mentioned above are also used as adverbs of place. The difference is based on the verb they modify. If the verb refers to movement or direction, they are called adverbs of movement or direction. If the verb refers to an occasion, they will be called adverbs of place. Compare the following examples:

It's cold outside.

Here, the adverb is showing the condition of a location; therefore, it is an adverb of place.

Do you want to go inside?

Here, the adverb is modifying a verb which is about movement; therefore, it is an adverb of movement.

Uses of Adverbs of Movement and Direction

Adverbs of direction and movement are mainly used after the main verb and after the object of a transitive verb. However, pay attention that in any case, they are always modifying the verb. Let us take a quick look at the following examples:

Shall we dance outside?

I want to go back to the library this time.


It is useful to know that adverbs of movement and direction are different from prepositions of direction. Prepositions are used to show connections between words but adverbs are used to modify verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. Compare the following examples:

Sofia is walking over to the cabinet.

You should go downstairs.


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