Position of adverbs of time and frequency

December 22, 2011pdf

Adverbs of time and definite frequency say when or how often something happens. Examples are: today, yesterday, in the afternoon, last night, last week, last year, two months ago, already, soon, still, finally, weekly, daily, every year, monthly etc.

Adverbs of time and definite frequency usually go in end-position.

  • I will see him tomorrow.
  • He died two years ago.
  • I am going to London next week.
  • I see him every day.
  • He visits his parents every week.

Sometimes these adverbs go in initial position. This usually happens when the adverb is not the focus of the message.

  • Today I am going to London.
  • Yesterday I saw him.
  • Every week he visits his parents.

Adverbs of indefinite frequency usually go in mid-position. Examples are: often, ever, frequently, occasionally etc.

  • He is often bad-tempered.
  • I have never seen a whale.
  • I am seldom late for office.

The adverbs finally, already, soon and last can also go in mid-position.

  • He has finally got a good job.
  • I have already paid the bill.

The adverbs still and just can only go in mid-position.

  • I still love you.
  • They have just come.

Notes

Mid-position adverbs go after auxiliary verbs and is / am / are / was / were and before other verbs.

  • I am never late for office. (NOT I never am late for office.)
  • He has probably arrived. (NOT He probably has arrived.)

In American English, mid-position adverbs often go before auxiliary verbs and is / am / are / was / were.

  • We have finally got here. (GB)
  • We finally have got here. (US)
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