Adverb complements

Some sentences are incomplete without adverb complements. For example, a sentence with put will not make sense if you do not say where something is put. In the same way, a sentence with go will not make sense if you do not say where somebody goes.

If we want to say how long something lasts, we need an adverb of time. Similarly, to say how well somebody does something, we need an adverb of manner.

These adverb complements usually go in end-position. If the sentence contains other adverbs, then these ‘complements’ go before them.

  • Put the money in the box at once. (NOT Put the money at once in the box.)
  • Let’s go to bed early. (NOT Let’s go early to bed.)
  • The program lasted three hours.
  • She sang well last night. (NOT She sang last night well.)

Adverbs of manner, place and time usually go in end-position

  • She drives carefully. (Adverb of manner)
  • The children are playing upstairs. (Adverb of place)
  • I saw Peter this morning. (Adverb of time)

When more than one adverb appears in a sentence, they usually come in the order manner, place, time.

  • I slept well (adverb of manner) last night (adverb of time).
  • She performed well (adverb of manner) in the town hall (adverb of place) yesterday (adverb of time).