2011/12/07

Position of adverbs of certainty and place


We use adverbs of certainty to say how sure we are of something. Examples are: certainly, definitely, clearly, obviously and probably.
Adverbs of certainty usually go in mid-position.
Study the following patterns.
Auxiliary verb + adverb
  • She will probably come.
  • The train has obviously been delayed.
Am / are / is / was / were + adverb
  • She is certainly right.
  • There is clearly something wrong.
Adverb + other verb
He probably thinks that he is the smartest. (NOT He thinks probably that …)
  • I certainly feel better today.
Grammar notes
Maybe and perhaps usually come at the beginning of a clause.
  • Maybe you are right.
  • Perhaps he will come.
Adverbs of place
Adverbs of place say where something happens. Examples are: upstairs, around, here, in London, out of the window
Adverbs of place usually go at the end of a clause.
  • The children are playing in the garden.
  • Don’t throw things out of the window.
  • The old man sat in the corner.
  • There was a very tall tree at the end of the garden.
Initial position is also possible. This usually happens in a literary style.
  • At the end of the garden there was a very tall tree.

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