Adverbials of place

Level: beginner

Most adverbials of place are prepositional phrases:

They are in France at present.
Come and sit next to me.

But we also use adverbs:

abroad downstairs nearby overseas
ahead here next door there
away indoors out of doors upstairs

They are abroad at present.
Come and sit here.

We use adverbials of place to describe location, direction and distance.

Location

We use adverbials to talk about where someone or something is:

He was standing by the table.
You'll find it in the cupboard.
You'll find it inside.
Sign your name here – at the bottom of the page.
Stand here.
They used to live nearby.

Direction

We use adverbials to talk about the direction in which someone or something is moving:

Walk past the bank and keep going to the end of the street.
It's difficult to get into the car because the door is so small.
They always go abroad for their holidays.

Distance

We use adverbials to show how far things are:

Birmingham is 250 kilometres from London.
We live in Birmingham. London is 250 kilometres away.

Adverbials of place 1

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Adverbials of place 2

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Level: intermediate

We often have an adverbial of place at the end of a clause:

The door is very small, so the car is difficult to get into.
We're in Birmingham. London is 250 kilometres away.
Our house is down a muddy lane, so it's very difficult to get to.
Can I come in?

Adverbials of place 3

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Adverbials of place 4

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Submitted by Faii on Thu, 12/05/2022 - 15:49

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The following two example are taken from my textbook.
1.At the end of the garden stood a very tall tree.
2.At the end of the garden there was a very tall tree.
My question is why they didn't use "there" in the first example.Is it wrong if I say "At the end of the garden there stood a very tall tree "?

Hello Faii,

It's possible to use 'there' with a few verbs besides 'be'. These verbs, which include 'stand', 'live', 'remain', and others, generally refer to a state of existence. So the sentence you suggest is also correct, though please note that it's quite unusual -- 'there' is only used in this way in a formal or literary style, not in ordinary speaking or writing.

Most textbooks teach only common usage, not all possible usage, which is too extensive and less useful for most students. Of the two sentences your textbook included, 2 is far more common in most situations. 1 sounds a bit literary and would definitely be unusual in most speaking.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Nevı on Thu, 27/05/2021 - 11:52

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Hi awesome team! I am writing to ask for information about the ever word 'wherever' For example; You can sit wherever you want. 'Wherever' means here like the place doesn't matter. However, I looked one of the dictionaries and it says 'wherever' is an adverb. https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/wherever In contrast, the other one says it is a conjunction. https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/wherever_1?q=Wherever Which one do you think is right one and why? I'd really appreciate it. Best wishes!

Hello Nevi,

It can be one or the other depending on how it is used. The Macmillan Dictionary has a good explanation that I think should clear this up for you. 

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Teacher, I really appreciate it. The example in my first comment,which is 'You can sit wherever you want.' I understand -wherever- is a conjunction function.

Hello Nevi,

This sentence parser says that it's a conjunction, and, interestingly, uses the very sentence you ask about as an example.

Hope this helps.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by OlaIELTS on Sat, 11/07/2020 - 02:39

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It's really a helpful tip.

Submitted by AbuBakarkhan on Sat, 04/04/2020 - 11:58

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Hello.... Hope you will fine sir....... . At present time they live in France. .They live in France at present time. Grammatically both are correct but according to adverbial 1st is correct.... Am I correct?

Hello AbuBakarkhan

You can put the phrase 'at the present time' at the beginning or end of the sentence; both are correct and the meaning is the same. Please note that the phrase is 'at the present time', not 'at present time'.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Federica911 on Sun, 10/02/2019 - 17:16

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Hello, I have a doubt about adverbials of place: what's the difference between "here" and "in here"? And between "there" and "in there"?

Hello Federica911

In general, 'in here' is more specific than 'here' since the preposition 'in' suggests some kind of enclosed space, for example, a house or room. 'here', on the other hand, could refer to a more open space, for example, a field or a city. The context will often determine whether one or the other is better.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Ataur Rahman on Mon, 10/12/2018 - 11:38

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Is there any grammatical term named "Adverb of Orders"? If any, discuss with examples, please.

Hi Ataur Rahman,

I'm not familiar with that term. Does it perhaps refer to the order of adverbs when there are more than one? Please provide an example or more specific information. You could also do a web search on your own to find different possibilities. I'm sure you can find some explanations out there as well.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Abdel El on Wed, 08/08/2018 - 00:42

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hello i'm confused with this sentence (i ate at a table) because i used always to write on before the word table, but sometimes i came across with sentence with the preposition at before the word table , i don't know what it makes that sentence correct if it is really ?
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Submitted by Kirk on Thu, 09/08/2018 - 12:50

In reply to by Abdel El

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Hello Abdel El,

'on a table' means on top of the table, whereas 'at the table' means sitting next to the table. It is possible for you to eat on a table, but that means you are not sitting in a chair -- you are on top of the table, at the same level as the food. Most of the time, people sit at a table to eat or to work. Our food is on the table, but we sit at the table.

Bon appetit!

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Abdel El on Mon, 06/08/2018 - 19:41

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hello it's correct to say i'm on the river or i'm in the river ?
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Submitted by Peter M. on Tue, 07/08/2018 - 07:03

In reply to by Abdel El

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Hello Abdel El,

It's clear you have many questions about prepositions with particular nouns and I think you can find these answers much more efficiently with a simple online search. Type 'river preposition' into your favourite search engine and you'll see many helpful sites.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Abdel El on Sun, 05/08/2018 - 20:04

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hi it's correct to say i'm at home or i'm in home?
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Submitted by Peter M. on Mon, 06/08/2018 - 06:26

In reply to by Abdel El

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Hello Abdel El,

We generally say 'at home' and we do not say 'in home'.

We can use 'in' in certain phrases such as 'in this home', 'in my home', but these are used in particular contexts. To talk about being in the place where you live, use 'at home'.

 

You can check which prepostions are common with which nouns in any good dictionary.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Abdel El on Sat, 04/08/2018 - 18:38

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hello is it correct to say (i'm at my apartment or i'm in my apartment) ?
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Submitted by Peter M. on Sun, 05/08/2018 - 06:41

In reply to by Abdel El

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Hello Abdel El, Both 'at' and 'in' are possible here and both are quite commonly used to mean 'at home'. Usually, 'at' is more general in meaning. It can mean inside your apartment or it can mean somewhere nearby such as on the street outside. 'In' is more concrete and means that you are actually in your rooms, not just nearby. Peter The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Abdel El on Thu, 02/08/2018 - 18:31

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hello which sentences are correct?: 1.i'm at my apartment 2.i'm in my apartment 3.i eat on a table 4.i eat at a table 5.the boat is in the water 6.the boat is on the water
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Submitted by Peter M. on Fri, 03/08/2018 - 07:28

In reply to by Abdel El

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Hello Abdel El,

I'm afraid we don't provide answers to lists of questions like this. We're happy to explain points of grammar and encourage you in your learning, but we don't offer an answering service for tasks from elsewhere. If we did, then we would end up doing our users' tests and homework for them, which is not our role!

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Abdel El on Wed, 01/08/2018 - 17:21

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which sentences is correct from these?: the police man is at the school the police man is in the school

Hello Abdel El,

Both of these are correct but mean slightly different things. 'at the school' is more general and focuses on the activity we do at school, whereas 'in the school' focuses more on the physical location than on what is done there.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Abdel El on Tue, 24/07/2018 - 19:51

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hello is it correct to see my little brother is at school or my little brother is in school?

Hello Abdel El,

Both are possible. Generally when someone is having lessons we say 'at school' and when we we are talking about the physical building we say 'in the school'.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by mitykg on Sun, 08/04/2018 - 10:02

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https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/english-grammar/adverbials-location. At that page, I don't see comment frame. It needs fix? What is different from some adv : below, beneath, under, underneath. I saw them in Cambridge Dictionary but they are the same meaning.

Hi mitykg,

Thanks for pointing that out to us -- I've just fixed the page so that you can comment there now. Have you done an internet search for 'what is the difference between below, beneath, under, underneath'? There are several explanations out there that look good to me. If you have a specific question about what you find, then please don't hesitate to ask us.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team