– Adverbials of place describe where something happens/happened.

eg. John held a meeting with his colleagues in the conference room.

– Adverbials of time describe when something happens/happened.

eg. Nowadays it is common for people to travel all over the world.

– Adverbials of manner describe how something is done.

eg.The police disarmed the gunman by force.

– Adverbials of indefinite frequency describe how often something happens.

eg. Being asked to speak on camera often embarrasses people.

– Adverbials describing level of certainty say how likely it is that something happens.

eg. Bullying is most likely due to a lack of confidence.

– Adverbials of comment are used to express an opinion

eg. Strangely, no one lives in that house on the hill.

– Adverbials of definite frequency describe how often something happens.

eg. Big Ben in London chimes every hour.

In front position, the adverb comes before the subject.

We can use adverbials of comment, level of certainty, time, definite frequency and indefinite frequency in front position.

eg. Surprisingly, all the students had done their homework.

Surely universities need more funding.

NB: when we use a negative adverbial of time in front position, we invert the subject and the verb.

eg. Not once have I lied to you.

In mid position, the adverb comes between the subject and the verb or immediately after either ‘be’ or an auxiliary verb.

We can use adverbials of indefinite frequency, level of certainty, degree, manner, place and time in mid position.

eg. He’ll probably resign when he receives the news.

She reluctantly gave up her seat.

In end position, the adverb goes immediately after the verb or at the end of the clause.

We can use adverbials of manner, place, time, definite frequency and indefinite frequency in end position.

eg. I walk my dog every day.

I work at home now and then.

NB: When there are several adverbials at the end of a clause, the usual order is manner, place, time.

eg. She danced gracefully in the ballet concert last night.

Focusing Adverbials

– come before the word/phrase we want to stress.

– the position of focusing adverbials can affect the meaning of the sentence.

eg. David and I only went to the British Museum. (We didn’t go anywhere else)

Only David and I went to the British Museum ( Nobody else went)


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