Adverbials

Adverbials

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Average: 4.1 (34 votes)

Submitted by howtosay_ on Tue, 14/11/2023 - 04:16

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Hello, dear teachers and team!

Could you please tell me which one (if any) is correct:

1. Throughout history, mostly men have been in power.

2. Throughout history, men have been in power mostly.

3. Throughout history, men have mostly been in power.

I am hesitant about the position of mostly in the sentence.

I'm very very grateful for your precious constant help and thank you very much indeed for your answer to this post beforehand!

Hello howtosay_,

All three of these can be correct, though I'd say 1 is the best option.

Best wishes,
Kirk
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Myetl on Fri, 20/10/2023 - 14:56

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Hi, I'm learning about adverbs when they are used in sentences talking about the future. Specifically the future with present progressive. For example "I am going camping tomorrow". Would "I will prepare when I can" count as the future with present progressive? Is "when I can" an adverbial? If so is it an adverbial rather than an adverb because its a phrase rather than one word? thanks in advance

Hi Myetl,

"I will prepare when I can" is talking about the future, but there's no present progressive form there (the present progressive is a form of be + an -ing verb form). It uses "will" instead to refer to the future.

Yes, "when I can" is an adverbial. That's right, it's an adverbial because it's a multi-word phrase.

I hope that helps.

Jonathan

LearnEnglish team

Actually I've realised it's not present progressive because it doesn't have the progressive form "sightseeing". Would still appreciate knowing about the adverbial. Thanks

Submitted by howtosay_ on Wed, 14/06/2023 - 01:50

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Hello, dear teachers and team!

Could you please help me with the following (I couldn't find that rule on my own). Which one is correct:

1. I watched TV yesterday for two hours.

2. I watched TV for two hours yesterday.

3. Yesterday I watched TV for two hours.

As I see (I understand I might be wrong), there are two adverbials of time - yesterday and for two hours, which has made me a bit confused.

Thank you so much for your help, you answers are very beneficial to me! And I'm grateful for the answer to this post beforehand!

Hello howtosay_,

All three of these sentences are fine. 2 is the most natural in general, but the other two sentences are completely correct and perhaps even preferable in certain situations.

As you say, 'yesterday' is an adverbial of time; 'for two hours' is an adverbial of duration. Both of these types of adverbial typically come in end position. You can read more about this on this Cambridge Dictionary page on the position of adverbials.

I'd say that when there is no particular emphasis in a sentence and there are both adverbials of time and duration, the adverbial of duration usually comes first.

Hope this helps.

All the best,
Kirk
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Nagie23 on Mon, 15/05/2023 - 16:08

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Hello
I would like to ask if the following are correct
1.I am looking to teach face to face as well as online
2.I am looking to teach face to face and online
2. I am looking to teach both face to face and online
Thank you in advance

Submitted by Nagie23 on Sat, 13/05/2023 - 16:45

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Hello,
I would like to ask what is the difference between
In the end AND
At the end
Thank you in advance

Hello Nagie23,

In the end has a similar meaning to 'finally'. We use it to express a conclusion that was reached (a decision, an agreement, a result etc), especially after a period of uncertainty. It is never followed by 'of'.

At the end describes the point when something stops - a film, a football match, a day, a life etc. It is often followed by 'of': at the end of the day, at the end of the film etc.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Nagie23 on Wed, 01/03/2023 - 19:37

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Hello,
I would like to ask the following.If in a place rains a lot can we say
1. In this place there is much rain during the year and as such there are many trees
2. In this place there is enough rain during the year and as such there are many trees
Thank you in advance

Hi Nagie23,

Yes, both sentences are grammatically fine. For 1, it is actually relatively uncommon to use "much" in an affirmative sentence (it's more common in negatives like not much and questions like How much ...?). It may be more common to say something like there is a lot of rain or there is a considerable amount of rain

In 2, "enough" means "sufficient for (something)", so it does not necessarily mean that the amount of rain is a lot (since a small amount of rain may still be enough for a tree to grow).

Jonathan

LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Nagie23 on Mon, 20/02/2023 - 22:57

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Hello
I would like to ask the following
Is the following sentence correct?
Please if you have to cancel the lesson,you should inform me a day earlier
Thank you in advance

Hi Nagie23,

It is acceptable but it would be better to put "please" with the request. Here are two ways you can say it.

  • If you have to cancel the lesson, please inform me a day earlier.
  • If you have to cancel the lesson, you should inform me a day earlier, please.

You can also reverse the clauses.

  • Please inform me a day in advance if you have to cancel the lesson.

I hope that helps.

Jonathan

LearnEnglish team

Submitted by leo15722 on Sun, 12/02/2023 - 18:05

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Hello. Can I ask a question? So, in this following sentence "the two brothers walked home slowly yesterday", we have to follow the order of the adverbs which is "with verbs of movement like walk, the order is adverb of place, manner and time. Yet, why in this other sentence "He walked slowly to school in the afternoon" the adverb of manner comes before the adverb of place?

Hello leo15722,

The order of adverbials, particularly when there are three of them, is somewhat flexible. Sometimes we use a different order to emphasise one of the adverbials and sometimes when we're speaking we add information later, which means we often break the rules a bit.

Does that make sense?

All the best,
Kirk
LearnEnglish team

 

So, in this website https://test-english.com/explanation/b1-2/position-adverbs-adverb-phras…

we have this rule:

Manner, place and time

When we have to use different adverbs in final position, their order is usually manner, place and time.

E.g: They met by chance in England in 1999.

Note that when there is a verb of MOVEMENT, the order is place, manner and time.

E.g: He goes to school by car every day.

So, I would like to know the specific rule that makes the sentence "He walked slowly to school in the afternoon" correct because walk is a verb of movement. I'm trying to be an English teacher in my country. That's why I need to know the speficic rule if you don't mind. Thank you. I wish you all the best.

Hello again leo15722,

That looks like a very useful resource and the order explained there is a very good general rule, but in reality the order of adverbials is not completely rigid. Completely changing that order would sound unnatural -- for example, putting a time adverbial before a place adverbial (which is the order in Spanish and Catalan that I hear my students so often use) -- but there are exceptions to the general rule. This flexibility is mentioned in some explanations, e.g. this Free Dictionary page (see the Using multiple adverbs section). 

One could also say 'He walked to school slowly in the afternoon'; to my ears, it sounds equally correct as 'He walked slowly to school in the afternoon'. It's very difficult to explain why this is without knowing why the speaker or writer is saying this. Is it because he walks quickly in the morning because he's happy about his morning classes, but slowly in the afternoon because he doesn't like his afternoon classes? Or is it because he feels ill after lunch? Is it because he has to give a presentation and is nervous? Or is it that he has school in the afternoon only one day a week and doesn't like this?

As you can see, there are so many possible scenarios. Depending on what information is more important, we might shift the order of the adverbials one way or another.

If I knew of a simple rule that would explain this, I would happily share it with you, but I'm afraid I don't. I'm sorry!

All the best,
Kirk
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by Mohsen.k77 on Fri, 29/10/2021 - 19:05

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hi,
does the word of discuss take " about" as its preposition?
#the weather is a good topic to discuss about in uk.
#Is the weather a good topic to discuss about?
are any of these statement correct?
thx

Submitted by SonuKumar on Sun, 17/10/2021 - 22:40

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Sir,
This occurred or happened one year to the day of my marriage.
Does it mean this happened one year after the day of my marriage or one year before the day of my marriage ?

Hi SonuKumar,

It means it happened exactly one year AFTER the day of your marriage. I can see why 'to' seems to mean 'before', but it doesn't mean that in this phrase. :)

Jonathan
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Swan Htet Myint on Sat, 09/10/2021 - 05:43

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In a sentence"I listen to a song",Can we say that "to a song" is a adverbial phrase or not.Would you explain me.Sir?

Hello Swan Htet MyInt,

In this sentence the verb 'listen' is followed by a preposition ('to') and an object ('a song'). There is no adverbial phrase here.

Peter
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by SonuKumar on Mon, 04/10/2021 - 16:07

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Sir,
I'm going to my college.
I'm already running late.
Now in the way a friend of mine tries to stop me and I say I can't stop as I'm already late. If I stay here, I will be even more late because of you.
Or I will be even later because of you.
Are these last two sentences correct ?
Could I also say I'll be late even more because of you ?

Hello SonuKumar,

Yes, both of those first two sentences are fine. The last one you ask about is a little awkward -- I'd use 'even later' instead of 'late even more'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello SonuKumar,

This sentence with 'even later' is OK, but not with 'even more late'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by SonuKumar on Mon, 04/10/2021 - 00:15

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Sir,
I'm running late.
Can I also say "I'm getting late".
I'll be late.
Can I also say "I'll get late".
Can we use the verb 'get' with late, if not why not ?

Hello SonuKumar,

No, 'I'm getting late' is not correct. We do say 'It's getting late', but I can't think of a situation when a pronoun that refers to a person (e.g. 'I', 'you', 'she', etc.) could be used this way.

I'm afraid we don't say 'I'll get late' either. Instead we say 'I'll be late' or 'I'm going to be late'.

I'm afraid I can't really explain why the forms you asked about are not correct; we just don't say these things in standard British (or American) English.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by SonuKumar on Sat, 02/10/2021 - 10:42

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Sir,
The earlier you sleep at night
The earlier you will wake up in the morning.
The earlier you will sleep at night the earlier you will wake up in the morning.
Are these both correct or is only the first one correct ?

Hello again SonuKumar,
You need to use the verb 'go to sleep' here rather than just 'sleep'. Also, the sentence is functioning in the same way as a conditional with 'if', so a present form is needed in the first clause rather than 'will':

The correct phrasing here is as follows:
~ The earlier you go to sleep at night, the earlier you'll wake up in the morning.

Peter
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by SonuKumar on Fri, 01/10/2021 - 18:18

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Sir,
You will wake up as early as you sleep.
The earlier you will sleep the earlier you will wake up.

Do these sentences mean the same thing ?
And are these correct ?

Hello SonuKumar,
The first sentence is not correct. The second also is incorrect, but you could correct it as follows:

~ The earlier you go to sleep, the earlier you will wake up.

Peter
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Nevı on Mon, 29/03/2021 - 10:39

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Hi great team, I don't understand one thing about that sentence. "Police break up protests across Britain" Is "across Britain" an adjectival prep.phrase, which modifies 'protests' or adverbial prep. phrase,which says where police break up protests Could you explain me please? Best wishes

Hello Nevi,

There is no way to tell from the sentence alone whether it's meant to be adjectival or adverbial. In this case, it probably doesn't make a difference. Headlines in news items are often like this, but if you read the article or listen to the report, it usually becomes clear which is meant.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by elsa78 on Tue, 23/02/2021 - 18:56

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Hi! I have a question about the adverbs: How can I distinguish adverbs of time and frequency from adverbs of connecting & commenting if there's an adverb like "then". Thanks.
Profile picture for user Kirk Moore

Submitted by Kirk Moore on Wed, 24/02/2021 - 07:46

In reply to by elsa78

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Hello elsa78,

In the vast majority of cases, the context should make this clear. If there's a specific case you'd like to ask us about, please feel free to do so.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by PETER CHIN on Thu, 14/01/2021 - 02:53

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Hi I want to know the structure of the following sentence - I think about him 1) is the verb "think" an intransitive verb 2) If the verb "think" is an intransitive verb, then what follows is a prepositional phrase ("about him") that modifies the verb 3) If the phrase modifies the verb "think", is the phrase an adverbial phrase (function) ? 4) If it is an adverbial phrase, then what does that phrase answer; WHY, WHERE, MANNER, WHEN, TO WHAT DEGREE?
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Submitted by Kirk Moore on Thu, 14/01/2021 - 08:21

In reply to by PETER CHIN

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Hi Peter Chin,

As I understand it, 'think' is intransitive here, but I'm not sure how I'd label the function of the prepositional phrase. This is a great question for an in-depth syntax course, but I'm afraid we don't generally go into this much detail on our site since our main purpose is to help people learn to use English.

I'd suggest two resources for you. The first is a sentence parser. You can find one here, but there are others that I'm sure you can find by doing an internet search for 'sentence parsing' or something similar. The second is the English Language and Usage Stack Exchange, where there are loads of details about English syntax and you can ask questions.

Hope this helps.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Salum Hilali on Mon, 11/01/2021 - 06:56

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Hello.I have a question about nouns. Few days ago I read a post on Facebook by one of the NatGeo wild photographer ,He wrote 'A pride of lion .and another one was 'A trio of giraffe. So my question is why did he use lion instead of lions and giraffe instead giraffes. Is it incorrect saying a pride of lions? Also how about trio of giraffe.

Hi Salum Hilali,

It's an interesting question! Both lion and giraffe are countable, and a pride of lions and a trio of giraffes would be the normal forms to use. I can't be sure why the photographer didn't use those forms. It could be a language or typing mistake, or alternatively it could be to create an uncountable meaning of lion and giraffe (meaning a group of them, without considering the animals individually).

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Tluangtea on Tue, 29/12/2020 - 15:33

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Are there 'double adverbs' in English grammar ? Or Does English language have 'double adverb(s)' ?

Hello Tluangtea,

Could you please give us an example of what you're talking about?

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Our grammarians often say that Mizo language* is richest in 'double adverbs'. But I think what they referred to as double adverbs are not at all double adverbs. When I consult such excellent grammar books as (1) A grammar of contemporary English by Quirk et al, (2) A comprehensive grammar of the English language by Quirk et al, (3) A practical English grammar by Thomson & Martinet, (4) Practical English Usage by M. Swan, (5) The complete Grammar by Michael Strumpf, (6) Oxford guide to English grammar by John Eastwood, (7) Cambridge grammar of English by Carter & McCarthy, etc., etc., I do not find any 'Double adverb' mentioned in these books. So my question is - Does the English language have any 'double adverb' ?

Hello Tluangtea,

I'm not sure what you mean by 'double adverbs', but if you are asking if it is possible to use two consecutive adverbs in a sentence then the answer is yes:

He is almost always late.

The boy ran extremely quickly.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team