Position of Adverbs

One of the adverbs characteristics is their ability to move around in sentences. Adverbs can be placed in different positions in sentences. There are three main positions of adverbs: at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of sentences, but there are a lot of exceptions. See the detail below!

A. Adverb of Time

Adverb of time states when something happens. Adverb of time answers the question when. The examples of adverb of time are this morning, last night, yesterday, tomorrow (specific/ definite time), already, previously, lately, finally (not specific/ indefinite time), etc.

1. Definite adverbs of time are commonly placed at the end of a sentence.


a. She left the house this morning.
b. We had dinner together last night.

2. Definite adverbs of time also can be placed at the beginning of a sentence if we want to emphasize on the time.


a. Tomorrow I will leave for Toronto.
b. Yesterday we went to school by bus.

3. For the indefinite adverbs of time, we can put them at the same position as the definite adverbs of time; or before the verb or between the auxiliary and the main verb.


a. Finally he could reach the island of his dream.(at the beginning of a sentence)
b. She looks happy lately.(at the end of a sentence)
c. We eventually got it.(before the verb)
d. They have already prepared everything.( between the auxiliary and the main verb)

For more complete discussion on Adverb of Time, just click here!

B. Adverb of Place

Adverb of place tells us where something happens. Adverb of place answers the question where.

The examples of single-word adverb of place are here, there, somewhere, abroad, down stair, inside, outside, behind, etc.

The examples of adverb of place in the form of prepositional phrase are in the house, next door, before the box, in front of the house, on the table, under the bed, beside him, next to her, between the chairs, across the street, toward the goal, to the shopping mall, around the circle, at home, against the wall, on top of the roof, along the street, near the fence, etc.

1. Put adverb of place after the verb if the verb doesn’t have an object.


a. She came here last night.
b. He is going outside now.
c. They are inside at the moment.

2. Put adverb of place after the object (either the object of a verb or a preposition)

a. She puts the necklace in the jewelry box. (after object of verb)
b. The teacher is teaching geography downstair now. (after object of verb)
c. I’m waiting for you here. (after object of preposition)
d. I bought the handkerchief for him in that shop. (after object of preposition)

For more complete discussion on Adverb of Place, just click here!

C. Adverb of Manner

Adverb of manner tells us how something happens. So it answers the question how. Adverb of manner modifies verb.

The examples of adverbs of manner are angrily, beautifully , busily, easily, greedily, happily, hastily, heavily, hungrily, lazily, noisily, sleepily, fast, hard, etc.

1. Adverb of Manner is typically placed after the verb/main verb.


a. I will work hard to get what I want.
b. You mustn’t drive fast to get home, nobody’s waiting for you there.

2. Adverb of Manner is usually placed after the object of verb.

If you find a verb with an object, then put the adverb of manner after the object.


a. My favorite singer is singing “Broken Heart” beautifully.
b. She could solve such complicated problem easily.

Remember not to place adverb of manner between the verb and the object!


a. The hungry boy is eating greedily the food. (incorrect)
b. The hungry boy is eating the food greedily. (correct)

3. But for a sentence with an object of preposition, the adverb of manner can either be put before the preposition or after the object.


a. I usually go hurriedly with him. Or
b. I usually go with him hurriedly.

4. But if the verb has no object (intransitive verb), you should always put the adverb of manner after the verb.


a. She is crying sadly.
b. He raged crazily.
c. The little girl is sleeping peacefully.

5. If you want to emphasize on the way something is done (emphasize on the verb), just put the adverb of manner before the verb.


a. They happily celebrated their wedding anniversary last night.
b. She hastily left for New York this morning.

6. Then to catch your listeners’/readers’ attention, you can put the adverb of manner at the beginning of the sentence.


a. Sleepily I listened to the speaker’s boring presentation.
b. Angrily she shut the door.

7. Clause with more than one verb

If a clause has more than one verb, the different placement of the adverb can change the meaning. If it is put before the verb, it modifies the action described by the verb. But placing the adverb at the end of the clause means describing the way the whole action is done.


a. She gradually does exercises to make her body slim. (Gradually modifies does, it means she regularly does exercices)
b. She does exercises to make her body slim gradually. (Gradually modifies the way her body becomes slim, step by step, not all at once)


There are some general adverbs of manner which are nearly always placed after the verb; they are badly, fast, hard and well.


a. She often behaves badly.
b. The racer is driving fast.
c. I always study hard.
d. The team played well last night.

For more complete discussion on Adverb of Manner, just click here!

D. Adverb of Cause and Effect

Adverb of cause and effect explains the cause and effect for which the action of the verb is done or taken place. Adverbs of cause and effect is usually started with conjunctive adverbs such as because, since, as, for, as a result, consequently/as a consequence, therefore, hence and thus.

The placement of adverb of cause and effect is as follow.

Adverb of cause and effect can begin the sentence or can be put at the end of the sentence. Since the form of adverb of cause and effect is a clause (dependent clause), then if the clause begins the sentence, a comma is needed to separate the clause with the next clause (independent clause). But the comma is not needed when the clause is placed at the end of the sentence.


a. Because I love you, I’ll do anything for you. (need a comma)
b. I’ll do anything for you because I love you. (no comma is needed)
c. Since meatball soup tastes delicious, she likes it. (need a comma)
d. She likes meatball soup since it tastes delicious. (no comma is needed)

For more complete discussion on Adverb of Cause and Effect, just click here!

E. Adverb of Reason

Adverb of reason is similar to adverb of cause and effect.

For more complete discussion on Adverb of Reason, just click here!

F. Adverb of Degree

Adverbs of degree tell us about the degree or extent or intensity or strength of an action, an adjective or another adverb. Adverbs of degree regularly function as intensifiers which give a greater or lesser emphasis to the words they modify.

The examples of adverbs of degree are: adequately, absolutely, a lot, awfully, badly, completely, deeply, enough, entirely, exceedingly, excessively, extraordinarily, extremely, fairly, fully, greatly, hardly, highly, hugely, incredibly, intensely, just, largely, little, moderately, most, much, nearly, partially, perfectly, pretty, quite, rather, really, scarcely, simply, so, somewhat, strongly, terribly, too, totally, truly, very, well, etc.

Adverbs of degree are commonly placed:

1. Before the adjective or the adverb they are modifying,


a. Your performance is totally cool. (before adjective)
b. Her handwriting is pretty good. (before adjective)
c. The little girl is screaming very loudly. (before adverb)
d. Don’t drive too fast! (before adverb)

2. Before the verb or main verb,


a. I strongly disagree with you.
b. She didn’t perfectly do the job.
c. The young actor said that he would totally play the role.

For more complete discussion on Adverb of degree, the use of enough, too and very, just click here!

G. Adverb of Frequency

Adverbs of Frequency state how frequently or how often something happens. Adverbs of frequency are grouped into two; they are adverbs of definite frequency and adverbs of indefinite frequency.

The examples of adverbs of definite frequency are: hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly/ annually, every second, every day/ every other day, every morning, every Sunday, every week, every month, every year, once a minute, twice a day, three times a week, etc.

Adverbs of definite frequency are placed at the beginning or the end of a sentence, not in the middle.


a. I write some articles weekly.
b. The students’ farewell party is held yearly.
c. Every Sunday we go to the beach.
d. Three times a day I eat.


The placement of adverb of definite frequency at the beginning of a sentence is meant to give an emphasis to the frequency of an action.

And the examples of adverbs indefinite frequency are:

a. Always;
b. constantly, habitually, chiefly, predominantly, typically, continuously;
c. usually, normally, mostly, generally, commonly, largely, regularly, routinely;
d. often, frequently, repeatedly;
e. sometimes, occasionally, sporadically, spasmodically;
f. rarely, infrequently, seldom, hardly ever;
g. never.

Adverbs of indefinite frequency can be put at various places, but commonly in the middle of a sentence. See the detail below!

1. Before the verb/main verbs


a. We always arrive at the office early.
b. I will always remember him.
c. She has never seen such beautiful scenery before.
d. I don’t often see him.

2. After present and past be


a. This dog is typically fierce.
b. She is hardly ever careless.
c. We were always here to see the rainbow when we were kids.

3. Occasionally, sometimes, often, frequently and usually can also be placed at the beginning or end of a sentence. When they are put at the front position, the writer or speaker wants to make them stronger.


a. Sometimes you are boring.
b. Usually she attends the meeting.
c. Frequently we give them some food.
d. This clothe is not worn very often.
e. I send him a text occasionally.

4. Rarely and seldom can be placed at the end of a sentence, they usually require very or quite.


a. I eat this traditional cake quite rarely.
b. They visit the library very seldom.

For more complete discussion on Adverbs of Frequency, just click here!

H. Adverb of Certainty

Adverbs of certainty express how certain or sure we think about something. Common Adverbs of certainty are certainly, definitely, probably, undoubtedly, surely, clearly, obviously, perhaps, maybe, etc.

Adverbs of certainty are usually placed in the mid-position. See the detail below:

1. If the sentence/clause has a single verb, put the adverb of certainty before the verb.


a. She probably saw him there last night.
b. We certainly keep our words.
c. Regia definitely wants that novel.

2. If the verb of the sentence is be, put the adverb of certainty after be.


a. They are probably hungry now.
b. She is obviously trusted.

3. For the sentence/clause with more than one verbs (consisting of an auxiliary and a full verb), put the adverb of certainty after the auxiliary verb.


a. I will surely accept you as you are.
b. They have clearly disagreed with me.

4. If the sentence/clause has more than one auxiliary verbs, the adverb of certainty comes after the first auxiliary verb.


a. We have undoubtedly been waiting for him for five hours.
b. They will certainly be preparing for the party if we come there on Saturday.


Perhaps and maybe are exceptions to this rule. They are generally placed at the beginning of a sentence or clause.


a. Perhaps the meeting will be cancelled tomorrow.
b. Maybe she dislikes it.

For more complete discussion on Adverbs of Certainty, just click here!

I. Adverb of Purpose

Adverb of purpose states the purpose of an action which the verb directs. Adverb of purpose is normally in the form of a phrase or a clause, rather than a single-word adverb. But the most common form of adverb of purpose is a to-infinitive clause.

Adverb of purpose is usually placed at the end position of a clause.


a. I come here to visit my grandma.
b. We put some accessories on your hat to make it more beautiful.
c. She turned back her car to avoid the traffic jam.

Some conjunctions like that, so, so that, in order that, in order to, and lest can also be used to introduce the adverb of purpose.


a. I drank a glash of orange juice that I felt fresh.
b. We always keep our promise so people trust us.
c. The chef cooked very delicious meals so that we could enjoy a very impressive dinner.
d. Regia always studies hard in order that she can do every single test easily.

For more complete discussion on Adverb of Purpose, just click here!

J. Adverb of Comment

Adverbs of comment state a comment, or opinion about a situation.
Adverbs of comment among others are actually, apparently, certainly, clearly, cleverly, confidentially, definitely, disappointingly, foolishly, fortunately honestly, happily, hopefully, ideally, kindly, luckily, naturally, obviously, possibly, presumably, seriously, simply, surely, surprisingly, thankfully, undoubtedly, unfortunately, wisely, etc.

Adverbs of comment are typically placed at the beginning of a sentence and are separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma.


a. Definitely, she doesn’t like him.
b. Obviously, I can see that he loves me much.
c. Clearly, she told us what happened.
d. Cleverly, he demonstrated how to make a paper bird.
e. Foolishly, she told the secret to him.

Adverbs of comment can also be placed in mid-position, before the verb but after be.


a. I certainly welcome you anytime you want to see me.
b. They surprisingly gave me a nice gift yesterday.
c. The young motivator confidentially motivates the audience.
d. She is simply beautiful.
e. They are possibly honest.


Never put an adverb between the verb and the object.


a. She always sings a song happily. Correct
b. She sings always a song happily. Wrong

For more complete discussion on Adverb of Comment, just click here!

See the basic discussion on ADVERB here!

The Related Post


  1. Adverbs of Time
  2. Adverb of Place
  3. Adverb of Manner
  4. Adverb of Cause and Effect
  5. Adverb of Reason
  6. Adverb of Degree
  7. Adverb of Frequency
  8. Adverb of Certainty
  9. Adverb of Purpose
  10. Adverb of Comment

Position of Adverbs