Why do we use adverbials?

We use adverbs to give more information about the verb.

We use adverbials of manner to say how something happens or how something is done:

The children were playing happily.
He was driving as fast as possible.

We use adverbials of place to say where something happens:

I saw him there.
We met in London.

We use adverbials of time to say when or how often something happens:

They start work at six thirty.
They usually go to work by bus.

We use adverbials of probability to show how certain we are about something.

  • Perhaps the weather will be fine.
  • He is certainly coming to the party.

 

Try these tasks to practice your use of adverbials.

Task 1

Exercise

Task 2

Exercise

Task 3

Exercise

Section: 

Comments

Hello there,
Would you clarify me please if there is any grammatical mistake regarging the word order (the place of the adverb 'continuously') in the sentences below:
1) We have continuously been improving our skills ...
2) We have been continuously improving our skills ...
If both variants are possible, please kindly explain me the difference in their meaning.
Thank you and regards,

Hello Khatetsky,

Both sentences are correct and mean the same thing. Sometimes, moving an adverb from one position to another will change the meaning slightly, but in this case I can't think of any obvious change.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, Kirk,
Thank you again for your previous reply.
Anyway, I have got to admit that there is a very hot dispute :) here in our office between some of colleagues of mine further to the matter regarding the proper exact position of an adverb if we have two auxiliary verbs like we have that in Perfect Continious sentences...
I wonder whether there is any firm Grammar rule in English that the adverb should be placed right between the first (e.g.'have';) and the second (e.g.'been') auxiliary verbs (when we speak or write formal language)?
Could you clarify the matter, please? :)

Hello Khatetsky,

Most of the time when there's a verb with more than one part to it, e.g. the present perfect in the passive voice ('The work has always been done by our neighbours'), the adverb should go in mid-position, which is between the auxiliary verb (in this case, 'has', but modal verbs are also auxiliary verbs) and before the past participle 'been', which is actually part of the auxiliary verb. But even here, i.e. when there are two or more auxiliaries, the adverb usually goes after the first. This is particularly true for adverbs of frequency, but other kinds of adverbs (e.g. manner, time) are a bit more slippery, that is, move around more.

The best reference I know for this issue is the table on the Cambridge Dictionary Adverbs and adverb phrases: position page – you have to scroll down to see it. If you really wanted to look into this in more depth, you could try searching a corpus for examples of how a specific adverb has been used over millions of texts, or, if you had a specific sentence in mind, feel free to ask us about it. Of the two sentences you ask about in your first comment, 1 follows the rules better, but I can see nothing wrong with 2.

I hope that helps you a bit more.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you, Kirk,
Your kind reply was very helpful, full and complete indeed.
Best regards,

Thank you very much, Kirk

No sir now i got it ,thank you :)

No, its a question sir.... my teacher says I is subjective case and me is objective and i didnt get her what she meant so that previous question made more confused

Hello kisa zehra,

Then the correct question is 'May Aysha and I go to university?' What you teacher means is that 'I' is used as the subject of a verb. For example, if you say 'I see the dog', 'I' is the person who is seeing. But if you say 'The dog sees me', 'me' is not the person seeing – it's the dog who is seeing. 'me' is used when it is the object of a verb.

I hope that helps you. If not, I'd encourage you to ask your teacher, as I'm sure she can explain it in a useful way for you.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Sir,
Whats the differnce b/w these two sentences or are they correct or not:-
May I and aysha go to university.
May me and aysha go to university.

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