İngilizce Gramer – Dilbilgisi, İngilizce Zarflar, Cümle İçinde Nasıl Kullanılır, Alıştırmalar, Test, Cümle İçindeki Yeri, English Grammar – Adverbs – Position in a Sentence

CHAPTER 24.  ADVERBS: POSITION IN A SENTENCE
Words which are used to modify verbs or adjectives are usually referred to as adverbs. For instance, the adverbs in the following sentences are printed in bold type, and the words they modify are underlined.
e.g. I often visit the library.
      It is surprisingly hot today.
In the first example, the adverb often modifies the verb visit. In the second example, the adverb surprisingly modifies the adjective hot.

Words which are used to modify adverbs can also be referred to as adverbs.
e.g. The train travels very quickly.
In this example, the adverb very modifies the adverb quickly.
 
1. Adverbs which modify adjectives and other adverbs

Adverbs which modify adjectives or other adverbs usually immediately precede the words they modify.
e.g. The package is extremely large.
      We experienced relatively few difficulties.
      Buses depart quite regularly.
In these examples, the underlined adverbs immediately precede the words they modify. Extremely modifies the adjective large, relatively modifies the adjective few, and quite modifies the adverb regularly.

The adverbs ago and enough are exceptional, since they usually follow the adjectives or adverbs they modify.
e.g. That happened long ago.
      He is old enough to make his own decisions.
      We ran fast enough to catch the bus.
In these examples, the adverbs ago and enough follow the words they modify. Ago modifies the adverb long, and enough modifies the adjective old and the adverb fast.

It should be noted that in modern English, when enough is used as an adjective modifying a noun, it precedes the noun. For instance, in the following example, the adjective enough precedes the noun apples.
e.g. Do we have enough apples to make a pie?

However, when ago is used with a noun, it follows the noun. For instance, in the following example, ago follows the noun months.
e.g. That happened six months ago.
The reason for this may be found in the history of the word. Ago, formerly spelled agone, was originally a past participle.

a. Intensifiers
An adverb which is used to modify adjectives and adverbs, but which is not usually used to modify verbs, can be referred to as an intensifier. In the following examples, the intensifiers are printed in bold type.
e.g. I am very happy.
      The film was quite good.
      You did that rather well.
      Must you leave so soon?
In these examples, very modifies the adjective happy, quite modifies the adjective good, rather modifies the adverb well, and so modifies the adverb soon.

The following words are commonly used as intensifiers:

      fairly
      quite
      rather
      so
      too
      very

In addition, the word really is often used as an intensifier in informal English.
e.g. The film was really good.
      You did that really well.
 
2. Adverbs which modify verbs

The following table gives examples of six different types of adverb which can be used to modify verbs.

Adverbs of Adverbs of Adverbs of Adverbs of Connecting Negative
Frequency Manner Location Time Adverbs Adverbs
  always   carefully   ahead   again   also   barely
  ever   correctly   back   early   consequently   hardly
  frequently   eagerly   forward   late   furthermore   little
  generally   easily   here   now   hence   never
  never   fast   high   sometime   however   not
  often   loudly   low   then   moreover   nowhere
  rarely   patiently   near   today   nevertheless   rarely
  seldom   quickly   outside   tomorrow   otherwise   scarcely
  sometimes   quietly   somewhere   tonight   therefore   seldom
  usually   well   there   yesterday   thus  

a. Adverbs of frequency
Adverbs of frequency answer the question How often?

An adverb which modifies a verb may occupy one of three main positions in a clause. These positions may be referred to as the beginning position, the middle position, and the end position. Adverbs of frequency may occupy any of these positions. In the following examples, the adverbs of frequency are printed in bold type.

An adverb in the beginning position is located at the beginning of a clause. For example:
      Often the wind blows less strongly at night.
In this example, the adverb of frequency often is located at the beginning of the clause.

Most adverbs can occupy the beginning position in a clause. The use of this position tends to emphasize the adverb.

An adverb in the end position occurs after an intransitive verb, or after the direct object of a transitive verb.
e.g. He speaks seldom.
      I visit her frequently.
In the first example, seldom follows the intransitive verb speaks. In the second example, frequently follows the direct object her of the transitive verb visit.

Usually only one adverb at a time can occupy the beginning position or the middle position in a clause. However, more than one adverb at a time can occupy the end position in a clause.

When more than one adverb occurs in the end position, the different types of adverb are usually placed in a certain order. For instance, in the end position, adverbs of frequency usually follow adverbs of manner and adverbs of location, and precede adverbs of time and adverbs of purpose.

Adverbs of frequency which consist of single words most often occupy the middle position of a clause. The location of adverbs in the middle position varies depending on the type of verb used. Adverbs in the middle position occupy the locations indicated below:

  1) They follow the Simple Present and Simple Past of the verb to be.
  2) They precede the Simple Present and Simple Past of verbs other than the verb to be.
  3) They follow the first auxiliary, in tenses which have auxiliaries.
  4) They precede the first auxiliary, or the Simple Present or Simple Past of the verb to be, in short answers.

The following examples illustrate the use of adverbs of frequency in the middle position of a clause. The relevant verbs are underlined.
  1) We are always on time.
  2) He rarely makes a mistake.
  3) I have often wondered about that.
  4) Have you seen this movie before? No, I never have.
In the preceding examples, always follows are, the Simple Present of the verb to be; rarely precedes makes, the Simple Present of a verb other than the verb to be; often follows the first auxiliary have of the verb have wondered; and never precedes the auxiliary have in the short answer I never have.

See Exercise 1.

In negative statements, and negative questions with not, adverbs in the middle position of a clause usually follow the word not.
e.g. Negative Statement: They do not often miss the bus.
      Question with Not: Does he not usually know the answers?
In these examples, the adverbs often and usually follow the word not.

In affirmative questions, and negative questions with n’t, adverbs in the middle position of a clause usually follow the subject of the clause. In the following examples, the subjects are underlined.
e.g. Affirmative Question: Is it always this cold in February?
      Question with n’t: Doesn’t he usually know the answers?
In the first example, the adverb always follows the subject it. In the second example, the adverb usually follows the subject he.

It should be noted that the adverbs daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and annually usually do not occupy the middle position of a clause.

See Exercise 2.

Verbs may be modified not only by single-word adverbs, but also by adverb phrases and clauses. Like adverbs of frequency, adverb phrases and clauses of frequency answer the question How often?

Adverb phrases and clauses of frequency usually occupy either the beginning or end position of a clause.
e.g. Once in a while, I like to try something new.
      We visited the museum as often as we could.
In the first example, the adverb phrase of frequency once in a while occupies the beginning position of the clause I like to try something new. In the second example, the adverb clause of frequency as often as we could occupies the end position of the clause We visited the museum.

It should be noted that except in the case of commonly used adverbs such as now, then , today, tomorrow, sometimes, usually, maybe and perhaps, adverbs and adverb phrases at the beginning of a clause must usually be followed by commas. In the following examples, the commas are underlined.
e.g. Unfortunately, it began to rain.
      As often as possible, we went outside for a walk.

b. Adverbs of time
Adverbs of time answer the question When?

Adverbs of time usually occupy either the beginning position or the end position of a clause. In the following examples, the adverbs of time are printed in bold type.
e.g. Today I will go to the library.
      I will go to the post office tomorrow.
In the first example, today occupies the beginning position of a clause. In the second example, tomorrow occupies the end position of a clause.

In the end position, adverbs of time usually follow adverbs of manner and adverbs of location.

With a few exceptions, such as now, then and once, most adverbs of time may not occupy the middle position of a clause.

The adverbs now, then and once may occupy any of the three positions in a clause. For instance, in the following examples, now occupies the first position, the middle position, and the end position of a clause.
e.g. Now it is time to leave.
      It is now time to leave.
      It is time to leave now.

It should be noted that sometimes is an adverb of frequency, whereas sometime is an adverb of time.
e.g. I sometimes see him in the park.
      I would like to read that book sometime.
In the first example, the adverb of frequency sometimes occupies the middle position of a clause. In the second example, the adverb of time sometime occupies the end position of a clause.

Adverb phrases and clauses of time usually occupy either the beginning or end position of a clause.
e.g. At nine o’clock, the train will leave.
      I will call you when I am ready.
In the first example, the adverb phrase at nine o’clock occupies the beginning position of the clause the train will leave. In the second example, the adverb clause when I am ready occupies the end position of the clause I will call you.

c. Adverbs of manner
Adverbs of manner answer the question How? Many adverbs of manner have the ending ly. The formation and use of adverbs of manner will be discussed in more detail in the next chapter.

Adverbs of manner most often occupy the end position of a clause, where they follow an intransitive verb, or the direct object of a transitive verb.
e.g. We waited patiently for the play to begin.
      I sold the strawberries quickly.
In the first example, the adverb of manner patiently follows the intransitive verb waited. In the second example, the adverb of manner quickly follows the direct object strawberries of the transitive verb sold.

An adverb of manner may be placed at the beginning of a clause, in order to emphasize the idea expressed by the adverb.
e.g. Patiently, we waited for the show to begin.
      Quickly, I sold the strawberries.
In these examples, the ideas expressed by patiently and quickly are emphasized.

Adverbs of manner are often placed in the middle position of a clause, particularly when the clause contains no adverb of frequency.
e.g. I slowly opened the door.
      I have carefully considered all of the possibilities.
In the first example, the adverb of manner slowly precedes opened, a verb in the Simple Past. In the second example, the adverb of manner carefully follows the auxiliary have of the verb have considered.

In informal English, adverbs of manner are often placed immediately after the word to of an infinitive. When this is done, the infinitive is referred to as a split infinitive.
e.g. I wanted to carefully consider the situation.
In this example, the infinitive to consider is split by the adverb carefully.

However, in formal English, it is considered preferable not to use split infinitives. In formal English, the above example could be written:
      I wanted to consider the situation carefully.

Adverb phrases and clauses of manner usually occupy the end position of a clause.
e.g. We arrived on foot.
      We finished the work as quickly as we could.
In the first example, the adverb phrase of manner on foot follows the intransitive verb arrived. In the second example, the adverb clause of manner as quickly as we could follows the direct object work of the transitive verb finished.

Adverb phrases and clauses of manner are sometimes placed at the beginning of a clause, for emphasis. For example:
      As quickly as we could, we finished the work.
In this example, the adverb clause as quickly as we could is emphasized.

d. Connecting adverbs
Adverbs such as however, nevertheless and therefore are often used to connect the ideas expressed by the clauses in which they occur to ideas expressed in previous clauses. In the following examples, the connecting adverbs are printed in bold type.

Connecting adverbs are often placed at the beginning of a clause.
e.g. I would like to go skiing. However, I have too much work to do.
      She was very busy; nevertheless, she found time to go swimming.

In the first example, the adverb however, which occurs at the beginning of the clause I have too much work to do, connects the idea expressed in this clause with the idea expressed in the previous clause, I would like to go skiing. In the second example, the adverb nevertheless, which occurs at the beginning of the clause she found time to go swimming, connects the idea expressed in this clause with the idea expressed in the previous clause, she was very busy.

Many connecting adverbs may be placed in the middle position of a clause. This is often done when the clause contains no adverb of frequency.
e.g. I am, nevertheless, anxious to continue.
      We thus had no difficulty finding the motel.
      We have, therefore, decided to do it.

In the first example, nevertheless follows am, the Simple Present of the verb to be. In the second example, thus precedes had, the Simple Past of a verb other than the verb to be. In the third example, therefore follows the auxiliary have of the verb have decided.

The adverb however may occupy any of the three positions in a clause. As illustrated in the following examples, a connecting adverb is usually separated by commas from the rest of the sentence.
e.g. However, it has stopped snowing.
      It has, however, stopped snowing.
      It has stopped snowing, however.

It should be noted that the adverb instead is often placed at the end of a clause.
e.g. Because there was no meat, I bought fish instead.

Connecting adverb phrases are most often placed at the beginning of a clause. For example:
      As a result, I decided to study hard.
In this example, the phrase as a result is placed at the beginning of the clause I decided to study hard.

The following table summarizes the most commonly used positions for the four different types of adverb discussed above.

Type of Adverb Most commonly used Position in Clause
  Adverb of frequency   Middle position
  Adverb of time   End position, following adverbs of manner and location
  Adverb of manner   End position, preceding other adverbs
  Connecting adverb   Beginning position
See Exercise 3.

e. Adverb phrases and clauses of purpose
Adverb phrases and clauses of purpose answer the question Why? This question is usually answered by a phrase or clause, rather than by a single-word adverb. In the following examples, the adverb phrases and clauses of purpose are underlined.

Adverb phrases and clauses of purpose usually occupy the end position of a clause, and follow any other adverbs, or adverb phrases or clauses.
e.g. I went to the store yesterday to buy a coat.
      I need to buy a new coat soon because my old one is worn out.
In the first example, the adverb phrase of purpose to buy a coat occupies the end position of a clause, following the adverb of time yesterday. In the second example, the adverb clause of purpose because my old one is worn out occupies the end position of a clause, following the adverb of time soon.

Adverb phrases or clauses of purpose are sometimes placed at the beginning of a clause, for emphasis.
e.g. To reach the airport on time, we had to complete the trip in two hours.
      Because it was such a beautiful day, I decided to go for a walk.

In the first example, the adverb phrase of purpose to reach the airport on time is placed at the beginning of the clause we had to complete the trip in two hours. In the second example, the adverb clause because it was such a beautiful day is placed at the beginning of the clause I decided to go for a walk.

f. Adverbs of location
Adverbs of location answer the question Where?

Adverbs of location, and adverb phrases and clauses of location, most often occupy the end position of a clause, where they precede adverbs of time and adverbs of purpose. In the following examples, the adverbs and adverb phrases and clauses of location are underlined.
e.g. I am going there tomorrow.
      He left his bicycle in the driveway last night.
      I know the office where she works.

In the first example, the adverb of location there follows the verb am going, and precedes the adverb of time tomorrow. In the second example, the adverb phrase of location in the driveway follows the object bicycle of the verb left, and precedes the adverb phrase of time last night. In the third example, the adverb clause of location where she works follows the object office of the verb know.

It should be noted that the position of adverbs and adverb phrases and clauses of location relative to other types of adverb is affected by whether or not the verb being modified is a verb of motion.

A verb of motion is a verb which describes some type of movement. The verbs come, go, arrive, leave, walk, run and fly are examples of verbs of motion.

If the verb of a clause is not a verb of motion, the most usual order of the different types of adverb in the end position of a clause is as follows:

      Adverb of Manner
      Adverb of Location
      Adverb of Time
      Adverb of Purpose

The following example illustrates this order:

        We waited   patiently   outside the theater   all afternoon   to buy tickets.
  Type of Phrase:   Manner   Location   Time   Purpose
See Exercise 4.

The order may be varied if it is desired to emphasize one of the adverb phrases. For instance, the adverb phrase of time all afternoon could be given more emphasis by placing it immediately after the adverb patiently, as follows:
      We waited patiently all afternoon outside the theater to buy tickets.

When the verb of a clause is a verb of motion, any adverb of location, or adverb phrase or clause of location, is usually placed immediately after the verb. The following table compares the position of adverbs following verbs of motion with the position of adverbs following other verbs.
The most usual Position of Adverbs following a Verb

Order of Adverbs following Order of Adverbs following a Verb
a Verb of Motion which is not a Verb of Motion
  Adverb of Location   Adverb of Manner
  Adverb of Manner   Adverb of Location
  Adverb of Time   Adverb of Time
  Adverb of Purpose   Adverb of Purpose

It can be seen that the order of the adverbs following the two types of verb is the same except for the relative order of the adverb of location and the adverb of manner.

The following example illustrates the most usual order of the four different types of adverb phrase following a verb of motion:

        I will go   to the library   by bus   tomorrow   to return the book.
  Type of Phrase:   Location   Manner   Time   Purpose
See Exercise 5.
Adverbs and adverb phrases and clauses of location are sometimes placed at the beginning of a clause, for emphasis.
e.g. Here, the glacier deposited soil and rocks.
      On the way to school, she saw a robin building its nest.
      Wherever I look, I see signs of spring.
In these examples, the adverb here, the adverb phrase on the way to school and the adverb clause wherever I look are each placed at the beginning of a clause.

Adverbs of location usually cannot be placed in the middle position of a clause.

i. Here and There
The words here and there, indicating location, are often used at the beginning of a clause, followed by the verb to be.

In this construction, if the subject of the verb is a noun, the subject follows the verb.
e.g. Here are the tickets.
      There was our bus.
In these examples, the noun subjects tickets and bus follow the verbs are and was.

However, if the subject of the verb is a personal pronoun, the subject precedes the verb.
e.g. Here they are.
      There it was.
In these examples, the personal pronoun subjects they and it precede the verbs are and was.

When the subject follows the verb, care must be taken to make sure that the verb agrees with its subject.
e.g. Here is one of the examples.
      There are his aunt and uncle.
In the first example, the verb is is singular to agree with the singular subject one. In the second example, the verb are is plural to agree with the plural subject his aunt and uncle.

See Exercise 6.

ii. There used as an introductory word
In addition to being used to indicate location, there can also be used as an introductory word, in clauses indicating the existence of something. There as an introductory word is often used with verbs such as to be, to appear and to seem. In the following examples, the verbs are underlined.
e.g. There is a public holiday on Monday.
      There are three universities in the city.
      There seem to be two possible answers to this question.

In affirmative statements using this construction, the subject follows the verb. In the following examples, the subjects are underlined.
e.g. There are only twenty-four hours in a day.
      There seems to be a message for you.
In the first example, the verb are is plural, to agree with the plural subject hours. In the second example, the verb seems is singular, to agree with the singular subject message.

In questions using this construction, there follows the verb in the case of the Simple Present or Simple Past of the verb to be; otherwise, there follows the first auxiliary. In the case of the Simple Present and Simple Past of verbs other than the verb to be, the auxiliary to do must be used. In the following examples, the verbs are underlined.
e.g. Is there a post office near here?
      Were there many people on the train?
      Can there be any doubt about it?
      Do there seem to be any maple trees in this forest?
In the first two examples, there follows is and were, the Simple Present and Simple Past of the verb to be. In the last two examples, there follows the first auxiliaries can and do.

iii. Inverted word order
When used with a verb of motion, an adverb or adverb phrase of location may be placed at the beginning of a clause, followed immediately by the verb, followed by the noun subject of the verb. This construction is summarized below, followed by examples.

  adverb phrase   verb of   noun
  of location     +   motion     +   subject
   
  Up the hill   trundled   the train.
  Here   come   our friends.

If the subject of the verb is a personal pronoun, the subject must precede the verb, as illustrated below:

  adverb phrase   pronoun   verb of
  of location     +   subject     +   motion
   
  Up the hill   it   trundled.
  Here   they   come.
See Exercise 7.

g. Negative adverbs
Negative adverbs include adverbs with an explicit negative meaning, such as never, not and nowhere, as well as adverbs with an implied negative meaning, such as hardly, scarcely and seldom.

i. Double negatives
In modern English, there is a rule that a clause containing one negative word expresses a negative meaning, but a clause containing two negative words expressed an affirmative meaning. In the case of a clause with two negative words, it is considered that one of these words negates the other, so that an affirmative meaning results. The presence of two negative words in a clause is referred to as a double negative.

In some dialects of English, clauses containing two negative words may be used to express a negative meaning.
e.g. I’m not saying nothing about it.
      He never told nobody the secret.
However, this use of the double negative is considered to be grammatically incorrect in standard English.

For each of the above examples, the double negative can be eliminated by omitting or altering one of the negative words. Thus, the meaning of the first example could be correctly expressed by either of the following sentences:
      I’m saying nothing about it. or
      I’m not saying anything about it.

Similarly, the meaning of the second example could be correctly expressed by either of the following sentences:
      He told nobody the secret. or
      He never told anybody the secret.

See Exercise 8.

ii. Inverted word order
If a clause begins with a negative adverb, inverted word order must usually be used, with the subject following the Simple Present or Simple Past of the verb to be, or the first auxiliary. In the case of the Simple Present or Simple Past of any verb other than the verb to be, the auxiliary to do must be used. This construction is summarized below, followed by examples.

    Simple form of    
  negative adverb    +   verb to be or    +   subject  
  or adverb phrase   first auxiliary    
       
  Never before   was   I   so eager to reach home.
  Little   did   we   think we would meet again.
  Seldom   had   they   tasted such a delicacy.

Following are other examples of this type of construction. The negative adverbs and adverb phrases are printed in bold type, and the subjects of the verbs are underlined.
e.g. Seldom was he at a loss for words.
      Scarcely had we left the house, when it began to rain.
      Not for many years was the true story known.
      No sooner did the bell ring than the children ran out of the school.
In the first example, the subject he follows was, the Simple Past of the verb to be. In the succeeding examples, the subjects we, story and bell follow the auxiliaries had, was and did, respectively.

See Exercise 9.

In this type of inverted construction, if there is used as an introductory word, there follows the Simple Past or Simple Present of the verb to be, or the first auxiliary.
e.g. Seldom were there more than five ducks on the pond.
      Rarely had there been more swans on the lake than there were that day.
In the first example, there follows were, the Simple Past of the verb to be. In the second example, there follows the auxiliary had, of the verb had been.

It should be noted that the expression so … that can also be used with inverted word order.
e.g. So exhausted were we that we fell asleep at the table.
In this example, the subject we follows the verb were.
 
3. Interrogative adverbs

The adverbs how, when, where and why can be used as interrogative adverbs at the beginning of direct questions. The interrogative adverbs in the following direct questions are printed in bold type.
e.g. How are you?
      When is he coming?
      Where were you?
      Why did you say that?

As shown in these examples, inverted word order must be used, with the subject following the Simple Past or Simple Present of the verb to be, or the first auxiliary. In the case of the Simple Present and Simple Past of verbs other than the verb to be, the auxiliary to do must be used. In the following examples, the subjects are underlined.
e.g. How is your sister?
      When did you see him?
      Where is she going?
      Why has he changed his mind?

In these examples, the subject sister follows the verb is, and the subjects you, she and he follow the auxiliaries did, is and has, respectively.

See Exercise 10.

As well as being used as interrogative adjectives at the beginning of direct questions, how, when, where and why can also be used at the beginning of subordinate clauses. In the following examples, the subordinate clauses are underlined.
e.g. Be ready to start when you hear the signal.
      He camped close to where the brook flows into the lake.
In the first example, when you hear the signal is an adverb clause of time. In the second example, where the brook flows into the lake is an adverb clause of location.

In addition to being used at the beginning of adverb clauses, how, when, where and why can also be used at the beginning of indirect questions. In the following examples, the indirect questions are underlined.
e.g. I want to know how he did that.
      I wonder when they will arrive.
      Please tell me where the school is.
      I will ask why she left early.

As pointed out previously, inverted word order is not used in indirect questions. Thus, the subject of an indirect question precedes the verb. In the following examples, the subjects are underlined.
e.g. We should find out how the information was transmitted.
      Ask her when she will be here.
      I wonder where they are.
      Please find out why he could not come with us.
In these examples, the subjects information, she, they and he precede the verbs was transmitted, will be, are and could come.

See Exercise 11.

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