where they go in a sentence

 

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

Exercise

Task 2

Exercise

Comments

Where adverbials go in a sentence 1
Are the sentences correct or wrong?

1. The builders are working REALLY SLOWLY. When will they be finished?
a. correct
b. wrong
The above question on task one is not correctly marked. Upon filling that the question as wrong the marking scheme says it is right. How ever i believe it is wrong as where the adverbials go in a sentence should not be capitalised. so t ought to read
1. The builders are working really slowly. When will they be finished?
When I go to question two the instruction at the top still reads "Where adverbials go in a sentence 1
Are the sentences correct or wrong?" note the words " in a sentence 1" despite being at sentence two which still has capital letters, the sentence is wrong as the result marker indication is true that the sentence is wrong.
I.E
Where adverbials go in a sentence 1
Are the sentences correct or wrong?
2. Liam lived in Paris for a year so he speaks QUITE WELL French.
a. correct
b. wrong

ETC
Please check out the entire task 1 and review and we will skip task two in the mean time and go through it on our study.

Hello Githuga,

The adverbial is capitalised here to make identification easier for users. We assume that users will recognise this as it is quite a common convention in English to do so and, in our experience, it has not proved to be a problem for our users.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir,
What does it mean to say "I have never seen William at work"
Does it mean that the speaker has never seen William doing work, or the speaker has never seen William at the place where he works?

hello adtyagrwl3,

It could mean either of those things, depending on the context, but the second is by far the more likely. If the speaker wanted to express the first meaning then 'I've never seen William working' would be much more likely.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello kirk,
Thank you for reply.Therefore my two sentences seem strange and better not to use them.

Hello,
I have a question about the place of adverbs of frequency.According to the above instruction we put adv of frequency in front of verb.So if we want to make a negative sentence do we put them in front of the verb?For example, I don't almost always watch TV at night. Or it is better to put them at the end of the sentence.I don't watch TV at night almost always.If the first one is wrong please tell it's reason.
Thank You

Hi shadyar,

In general, adverbs of frequency go before verbs (except 'be') whether they are affirmative or negative (e.g. 'I normally watch the news' or 'I don't normally watch the news'), though with some adverbs other positions are possible.

'almost always' with a negative verb could be used to refute a false claim, but otherwise sounds strange. If you want to describe your TV habits and you only rarely watch TV at night, I'd recommend something like 'I almost never watch TV at night' instead.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello sir,

"My friends come to my home often."
"Usually my friends come to my home."

These sentence are correct.

Hello colonyhari,

Yes. Adverbs of indefinite frequency (e.g. often, normally, usually, often, etc.) are most common in mid-position, i.e. before or around the verb, but can also go in front position (i.e. at the beginning of the sentence) and also end position (at the end), especially if they are the most relevant information in the sentence.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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