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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.


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.


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.


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


Adverbials of place 2


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


Adverbials of place 4




Hi Melita
because they do not show location here but moving there the next means move o Germany(toward Germany).this is actually direction.

Hello! I didn't understand why in the first question the answer is direction and not location, Germany isn't supposed to be a place? 
Thanks :)


The sentence reads:"He's going to Germany", so a movement towards a destination is being expressed.

Thankz so much....i cherish this site

Thank you for this site.It helps me a lot.I can understand more about grammar.

Don't you think the second sentence in the exercise is incorrect?? The sentence "put bottles in the recycling bin" describes a movement, doesn' it?

You are right that the sentence in question 2 describes movement, but the key is what the adverbial is talking about. In that sentence, 'in' is being used to describe the location where the bottles should go, not the direction they are moved in.
I hope that helps.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

well i'm amazed by my skill

Hi Josef Kraus

It's great that you like the site. I'm an English teacher but I'm not a grammar specialist. I'll try to answer your questions.

Firstly you asked about between and among.

I use the word 'between' to describe an objects place in relation to two objects and 'among', in relation to more than two objects.

The bank is between the cinema and the book shop.

The old windmill stands among the trees.

This is an over simplified description so think of it as a guide rather than a rule. I think that the word among is more commonly used in a more general sense and is quite rarely used as an adverbial of place. 

As far as I'm concerned, besides and next to as adverbials of place mean the same thing.

Near and by are very close in meaning. I'm not certain but I think that by indicates that something is closer than near does but that might just be me.

If I tell someone - 'I live by the lake,' I would expect them to be able to find my house if they know where the lake is. However, if I tell them 'I live near the lake,' they might need further instructions.

I think that underneath and beneath both mean directly lower than you and below simply means lower.

Consider the following:

When you are in a hot air below, you have nothing but air beneath you. The ground is far below.

I hope this helps.

I'm not a specialist and so I may be wrong about these words. If anyone disagrees with the way I have described these words, please leave a comment.


Jack Radford

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you for a very good site dedicated to English grammar. I only miss a closer look at adverbials of place. E.g. What is the difference between (or among?) 'next to / beside / near / by'? And how do 'under / underneath / beneath / below' differ?