Position of adverbs in English
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Some tips to know the position of adverbs in English.
Frequency adverbs (always, often, never, never, seldom, usually): they are placed before the verb, if the verb has a simple form. If ‘be’ is the main verb and there is no auxiliary, the frequency adverb is put next. Otherwise, we put it first:
- He often goes to the swimming pool.
- She has never been to France.
- We are always at home on tuesday.
Frequency expressions (every day, once a week…) are placed at the end of a sentence or at the very beginning of a sentence:
- I go to the cinema once a week.
- She speaks english every day.
- He calls his mum three times a day.
- Once a month, I visit my family.
- I visit him twice a week.
- He meets her several times a month.
Adverbs of manner
They are placed after the main verb, or before it to put importance on the adverb:
- He speaks Spanish very well.
- He really likes his car.
Some adverbs are always placed after the verbs: well, badly, fast, hard, late
- The team well played. [WRONG]
- The team played well. [CORRECT]
- He badly plays guitar. [WRONG]
- He plays guitar badly. [CORRECT]
⚠️hard and fast are irregular adverbs – we do not say hardly or fastly.
Adverbs of Degree
They immediately place themselves in front of the adjective or adverb they are modifying:
- He is too slow.
- He has almost finished.
- She is very tired.
Be careful, enough is placed after the word it modifies.
- She worked hard enough. [We don’t say: She worked enough hard]
Enough is often followed by to + infinitive or followed by for….
- She is old enough to be his mother.
- Is it hot enough for you?
- I’ve studied enough for today.
- This house isn’t big enough for us.
Adverbs of time and place (HERE, THERE, YESTERDAY, TODAY…)
They can be placed at the beginning (but it’s rare) or more generally at the end of the sentence:
- Here, you can make a lot of friends.
- He went to the gym yesterday.