Positions of adverbs

There are 3 positions for adverbs in a sentence:

  • front position (at the beginning of a sentence)
  • end position (at the end of a sentence)
  • mid-position (in the middle of a sentence).

front position

adverb subject (auxiliary 1) (auxiliary 2) main verb (object)
1. Suddenly, the man saw the house.
2. Surpri­singly, our bird could speak (French.)
3. Finally, the speaker ended his presen­tation.
Usually in front position: sentence adverbs (examples 1 and 2) and linking adverbs (example 3)
Many other types of adverbs can go in front position if they are emphasized!

end position

subject (auxiliary 1) (auxiliary 2) main verb (object) adverb
1. I shouted (at her) angrily.
2. My sister is sleeping in the garden
3. Mary will be sleeping at ten o’clock
4. She has called him twice.
Usually in end position: adverbs of manner (example 1), place (example 2), definite time (example 3) and definite frequency (example 4).
Many other types of adverbs can go in end position if they are emphasized!

More than one adverb in end position

For more than one adverb in end position the rule is:

  • manner → place → time
  • more specific → more general.
manner place time
1. Jason is flying to New York at 8 o’clock on Saturday.
2. Gina behaved strangely at the party last night.


For adverbs in mid position, there are three basic rules:

(A) The adverb goes between subject and verb.

subject adverb main verb object
1. We often go to the disco.
2. The sun always rises in the east.

(B) If the verb is a form of »to be«, the adverb comes after the form of »to be«.

subject main verb adverb object
1. Mary is often at home.
2. Chris is sometimes nervous before tests.

(C) If there is one auxiliary or more, the adverb comes after the first auxiliary.

subject auxiliary 1 adverb (auxiliary 2) main verb object
1. Mary has just been called to the doctor.
2. People will always eat chocolate.
3. Our parents are soon going to leave the house.
Usually in mid-position: short adverbs of indefinite time (examples C.1 and C.3), adverbs of indefinite frequency (all other examples).

More information

  • Position of Adverbs (this page explains the position of adverbs based on their type:
    • Adverbs of manner (Adverbien der Art und Weise) – they give you information about »HOW« something happened.
      • they don’t mention: Adverbs of degree (Gradadverbien) – »HOW MUCH« – They are sometimes put with the adverbs of manner as one subgroup (Teilgruppe) of those. You can learn more about different types of adverbs here: Kinds of Adverbs
    • Adverbs of place (Adverbien des Orts) – »WHERE«
    • Adverbs of time (Adverbien der Zeit) – »WHEN«
    • Adverbs of frequency (Adverbien der Häufigkeit) – »HOW OFTEN«


englisch/positions-of-adverbs.txt · Zuletzt geändert: 06.08.2020 (11:28) von

Donate Powered by PHP Valid HTML5 Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki