Position Of Adverbs

Adverbs should be placed as near as possible to the verbs they modify. When the verb has no object, place the adverb immediately after it.

  • They played (verb) well (adverb).
  • She worked (verb) hard (adverb).
  • He spoke (verb) fluently (adverb).
  • They danced (verb) merrily (adverb).

When the verb has an object, place the adverb immediately after the object.

  • He gave (verb) his reply immediately (adverb).
  • He drew (verb) the picture nicely (adverb).
  • She sang (verb) a song sweetly (adverb).
  • They offered (verb) their help willingly (adverb).
  • She suffered (verb) the pain bravely (adverb).
  • She accepted (verb) the offer reluctantly (adverb).

Adverbs of time and frequency are placed before the verb. Examples are: seldom, always, often, before, never etc.

  • She seldom (adverb) writes (verb) to me.
  • They never (adverb) visit (verb) us.
  • We always (adverb) try (verb) to help them.

When the sentence consists of an auxiliary verb and a principal verb, the adverb is placed between the two. If there are two auxiliaries, the adverb is placed between them.

  • I have always wanted to become famous. (auxiliary verb + adverb + main verb)
  • I should never have thought it possible. (first auxiliary verb + adverb + second auxiliary verb + main verb)
  • He was greatly praised for his contribution to the field.

An adverb is placed before an adjective or another adverb which it modifies.

  • She is very (adverb) beautiful (adjective).
  • You are absolutely (adverb) right(adjective).
  • He is a rather (adverb) careless (adjective)fellow.

Note that the adverb enough comes after the adjective which it modifies.

  • He was foolish (adjective) enough (adverb) to trust her.
  • She is not old (adjective)enough (adverb) to become a grandmother.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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