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?

Adverbs of movement and direction, as the name suggests, are used to indicate how something or someone is moving or the direction in which they are moving.

Common Adverbs of Movement and Direction

Below is a list of some of the most common adverbs of movement and direction:

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

Now, let us examine some examples:

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 considered 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 outside?

Here, the adverb is modifying a verb that indicates movement; therefore, it is an adverb of movement.

Adverbs of Movement and Direction: Uses

Adverbs of direction and movement are typically used after the main verb and after the object of a transitive verb. However, it is important to note that, regardless of their position in the sentence, they always modify the verb. Take a look at the following examples:

Shall we dance outside?

I want to go back to the library this time.


Adverbs of movement and direction are different from prepositions of direction. While prepositions are used to show connections between words, adverbs are used to modify verbs, adverbs, and adjectives and provide additional information about how an action is being performed or where it is occurring.
Compare the following examples:

Sofia is walking over to the cabinet.

Here, 'over' is a preposition of direction, rather than an adverb.

You should go downstairs.

Here, 'downstairs' is an adverb of direction which modifies the verb 'go'


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