Where do adverbials go in a sentence?

We normally put adverbials after the verb:

He spoke angrily.
They live just here.
We will go in a few minutes.

or after the object or complement:

He opened the door quietly.
She left the money on the table.
We saw our friends last night.
You are looking tired tonight.

But adverbials of frequency (how often) usually come in front of the main verb:

We usually spent our holidays with our grandparents.
I have never seen William at work.

But if we want to emphasise an adverbial we can put it at the beginning of a clause:

Last night we saw our friends.
In a few minutes we will go.
Very quietly he opened the door.

If we want to emphasise an adverb of manner we can put it in front of the main verb:

He quietly opened the door.
She had carefully put the glass on the shelf.

Try these tasks to practice your use of placement of adverbials.

Task 1


Task 2




In the sentence "the minister angrily refused to answer any more of the journalists' questions''. Why is correct? In the lesson you said

Hello Malinali,

Could you please make your question more specific? We're happy to help but we ask that you ask specific questions.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Sure, in the lesson you said "we normally put adverbials after the verb" and in the sentence "the minister angrily refused..." the adverb 'angrily' goes before the verb 'refused'. Why is this correct?

Thank you and regards

Hello Malinali,

I'm afraid I don't see the sentence you refer to on this page, so it's difficult for me to say, especially without knowing the context. In any case, the position of adverbs is a fairly complex affair, as they can be used in many different positions depending on the other elements in a the sentence, what kind of adverb they are and the speaker's intentions. If you'd like to learn more about this, there's a good introduction on this Cambridge Dictionary page.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Kirk, the sentence I was referring to is in the lesson Adverbials - Where they go in a sentence - Task 1 - Sentence 5

Thank you so much for your help!

Hello Malinali,

Ok! Sorry about that -- I missed the sentence in the exercise. In this case, it must be that the speaker is trying to put emphasis on the adverb. This is not very clear from the exercise, but given the explanation above, that must be the case.

In any case, I'd suggest watching how adverbs are placed as you read in English. Although slow and sometimes not easy, this is probably the best way to learn how to use adverbs.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Kirk
I will practice, thanks for your help and time!

What is the correct answer?

Do you often play soccer?
Yes, I (A) often play
(B) play often
(C) do often
(D) often do

Hello aleiajpy,

I'm afraid we don't provide answers to tasks from elsewhere. If we did then then we would end up doing people's homework or tests for them, and that is not our role.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

This sentence is correct?
I never have seen William at work.