November 26, 2008


As you know adverbs or adverbials are jewels of verbs, they cannot be so unless you discipline them and put them in their proper places.  Adverbs cannot be placed haphazardly and any indiscipline placing means de-beautifying a sentence.  And I know very well that you will not like your sentences without beauty.  It is the beauty that makes or mars a sentence and shows the difference between two different writers.  The same thing can be put to a sentence in different ways by different peoples.  And the difference is nothing but discipline or cultured placing of jewels like Adverbs or Adjectives or Adverbials.  There are some sets of grammatical rules regarding the placing of adverbs, though there is room for flexibility.  But remember the flexibilities available can be used to the fullest extent once you know the rules.  So how about learning some rules?  In this regard, I would also like you to re-read one of my previous articles entitled “Orders of Adverbs”

A sentence has three distinct parts, the beginning, the middle part and the ending.   And you put the adverbs in these parts.  Let me analyze the rules. 

Before the subject of a sentence
After auxiliary verbs.
Before the verb or when verb is two or more words, after the first word
End               (After)
Verb+(Without Object)
There is/Are+Noun

Let me illustrate the positions in some sentences.

First position:
  • Once I visited Washington D.C with my girl friend. (I, subject)
  • Fortunately, no one was hurt in the mishap. (No one, Subject)
  • Perhaps, we are going to have clement weather. (We, Subject)

Second Position:  After auxiliary verbs.
  • I am always afraid of vamps in Indian tele-serials.
  • We were very delighted after reaching the spot.
  • She is usually late for the rehearsal.
  • The girl is beautiful. She is also cunning.  

Second Position: Before verbs.
  • Misfortune never comes alone.
  • The burglar cautiously opened the door.
  • I cleaned the utensils and also cooked the food.
  • He almost fainted when he heard a rattling sound.
  • Boatmen often tell about a crying girl in the high sea.
  • We quickly understood his trick and unsubscribed.
Have to, used to and ought to may be considered as part of the main verb and take adverbs like Usually, Definitely, Really, Always, Often etc. before them. 

  • The workers usually had to do more than eight hours’ of duty.
  • I definitely used to beat him in wrestling.  
  • You really ought to express your gratitude to the group.

Position Second: Before verbs
  • He didn’t even say good bye.
  • I have just seen him.  He was getting down from a bus.
  • You will soon repent your wrong doings.
  • Students are still having online lessons from Aniya’s website. 
  • He has often complained of mal treatment in school.
  • Aniya has probably forgotten my mail id.
  • They probably don’t remember him (Before auxiliary  Verbs and not, Negative)
  • We are all going on a picnic next Sunday.

Position Three: After Verb without Object.
·        They slept soundly for three hours.
·        Wild fire spread rapidly.
·        The woman billowed at the loss of her only husband!
·        My mother is going to Puri on a pilgrimage tomorrow.

Position three: After verb with object.
·        We all know him well as a pickpocket.
·        Clean your room everyday in the morning.
·        Everyone should bear his grief composedly.

Position three: After introductory there.
·        There are lots of funny animals in the national zoo.
·        There was a bomb explosion in the shopping mall.

     Note:  Adverbs may be one word or more than one word (Adverbials)
Adverbials of Manner, Place and Time.

(How, in what way/ by what means etc.)
(When/How long etc.)
(How, in what way/ by what means etc.)
In what way?
Last night
Yesterday morning
In the country
Next month
Outside the town
At 9 o’clock
By bus
By what means?
Near the sea
On Monday
By train
At the station
In November
By post
On the dais.
For three days
By air
Outside the store
All day long
With a dagger
With what instrument?
In front of the cinema
Throughout the day
With a pen knife
In the middle of the town
Till noon

Observe the order in which these adverbs are used in sentences:
·        She was sitting quietly (Manner)/ in her armchair (Place)/ yesterday evening (Time).  (M P T)
·        We waited the train silently /at the station /for two hours.
·        I have to go to hospital/ next Monday.  (PT)
The usual order is Manner Place and Time.  But there is a change in the following cases.

i)                    With verbs of Movement like come, go, arrive Place comes before Manner.
·        The half charred bus arrived in New York(Place) safely (Time). 
·        She went home quickly.
ii)                   Time Adverbs can be used in Position One as well as Position three. 
·        I shall be at home on Monday.
·        On Monday I shall be at home.

Note: Early and Late though time adverbs cannot go in position one that is in the beginning of a sentence.

Tom goes to be bed late, but gets up early.
(Not late Tom goes to bed, but early he gets up.) 

When two or more Time adverbials come in Position Three, the smaller Unit usually comes before the Larger Unit. 

·        The match begins at 10 o’clock in the morning on the 27th of June, 2008.
·        The results are to be declared at 10 o’clock on the 25th instant. 

If you put the smaller unit at the end of the sentence, you will emphasize it or draw attention to that part.
  • I’ll see you on Monday at half past twelve
It is after reading good books, novels, periodicals the rules are instilled into your minds and you will without your knowledge follow the rules.  Human Mind is so disciplined that it supplies the required input at the right time.  So, don’t worry that these rules are complicated.  If reading happens to be one of your hobbies, then you will notice that the rules are followed by all experience writers. 

In informal chatting not always the rules are obeyed.   The advent of the short messaging services (SMS) thanks to the cell phone revolution, a new language without any formal written rules has developed.  Of late, this language has entered into blogging, informal writing wherein you will not find any grammatical rules followed to the letters and spirits. Students happen to use a language without grammatical rules.  No doubt they ensure the required emphasis on the subject or theme and ensure that the chat goes on without any misunderstanding as well. 

Grammar is grammar without any alternative and after a while everyone loves it.  Time comes when one tends to bend towards good English.  So, use any stream of language either the SMS one or the informal student type, don’t lose your grammar sense as after the end of student or bubbly life, you will need the grammatical English in its purest form. 

Haven’t you seen or heard proof reading service? Haven’t you heard website owners submitting their writing to independent agency for correction of their texts?  I know you have.  Should you go through a website with lots of grammatical and spelling mistakes, I bet, you will not patronize such websites and develop a sense of nostalgia towards such writing, irrespective of the fact that in your school days you were using such languages.  But English is such a living and dynamic language that it is still evolving.  New words and new rules are being added on daily basis.  In fine, I must say that good English is loved by all and sundry.  Good English is nothing but simple English with less or no grammatical mistakes. 

Don’t worry if you don’t know the rules.  Don’t forget that the writers you love have mastered the rules beginning from a position similar to you or somewhat lower in position than that of yours.  First of all, don’t fear to commit mistakes.  Let mistakes be your platform for good English.  Ask your friends having authority on English grammar to rectify you and suggest you the right things.  Ask your elders to guide you in case you falter.  Refer to good grammar books to enlighten you in using various grammatical entities flawlessly.  So, start today who knows tomorrow you will be participating in the Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month contest) and win the same.  Can’t you?  I know you can.  Just develop a positive sense within you and emphasize the same to dispel any pessimism creeping into your earnest effort to realize your pet dreams. Share and Smile will be there right behind you with ready references available on mouse clicks.  I wish you mastered the grammar and cracked the NANOWRIMO!!

Let me suggest you some blogs that you may like to browse at your leisure time that I also browse regularly. No if you don’t like, no string attached as I know you are the master of your mind and know how to manage your spare time.  

Till the next lesson on Adverb it is bye, bye for now.  Wish you a blizzard of grammar in your backyard!!   Thank you very much for going through this article.

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