Adverbs of indefinite frequency
Some adverbs of indefinite frequency, which say in an indefinite way how often something happens, usually go in mid position. These include hardly ever, often, rarely, regularly, seldom,and also never and always
She regularly comes home after midnight.
Other adverbs of indefinite frequency, such as normally, occasionally, sometimes, and usually,can also go in front or end position:
I normally (= mid) get up at six o’clock, but sometimes (= front) I have to be up by five.
In formal, literary English, adverbs of indefinite frequency which have a negative meaning can go in front position. The subject must come after an auxiliary verb or a main verb be in sentences like this:
Not once was he at home when I phoned, (not Not once he was…)
Other adverbs like this include hardly ever, rarely, seldom, and also at no time.
If there is no auxiliary verb, we use do. Compare:
At no time did he admit that his team played badly, (not At no time he admitted…)
Longer adverbial phrases describing frequency normally go at the end of the sentence.
I visit my grandmother as often as I can
I try to go to the gym twice a week
Adverbs of probability are often used in conversation as single-words answers.
Will the election result be close? Undoubtedly
If the verb refers to what will not happen , it goes before the negative auxiliary
My mother still doesn’t belive me
Generally we don’t put an adverb between a verb and its direct object.
Adverbs of time
Adverbs of time, which indicate a definite point or period in time or a definite frequency, usually,go in front or end position, but not in mid position:
I went to see my nephew yesterday. or • Yesterday I went to see my hephew
However, the adverbs daily, hourly, monthly, weekly etc. only go in end position:
The train leaves Paddington station hourly, (not Hourly the train leaves…; not The train hourly leaves…)
Adverbs of manner
Are often found next to the word they describe
I understand perfectly what you mean
Sometimes changing the position of an adverb can subtly change meaning
He was perfectly aware that we could see him
He was aware that we could see him perfectly
D e g r e e a d v e r b s : v e r y , t o o , e x t r e m e l y , q u i t e , e t c .
Degree adverbs can be used before adjectives, verbs, or other adverbs to give information about the extent or degree of something.
I hate travelling by plane at night . and I really hate travelling plane at night
He’s always late. and He’s almost always late.
Other degree adverbs include completely, fairly, quite, rather, slightly, too, totally, very (much).
Very and too
Before an adjective or another adverb we use very when we mean ‘to a high degree’, and too when we mean ‘more than enough’ or ‘more than is wanted or needed’.
The weather was very hot in Majorca. Perfect for swimming, (not …too hot…)
It’s too hot to stay in this room – let’s find somewhere cooler, (not …very hot…)
However, in informal spoken English, particularly in negative sentences, we can sometimes use ‘too’ to mean roughly the same as ‘very’:
It’s not too/very warm today, is it?
Very and very much
We don’t use very before verbs, but we can use very much before some verbs to emphasise how we feel about things:
I very much agree with the decision, (not …very agree…)
We (very) much enjoyed having you stay with us. (not …very enjoyed…)
Verbs like this include agree, doubt, fear, hope, like, want; and also admire, appreciate, enjoy, and regret. We can use very much or much (but not very) before the last four verbs.
We can use very but not (very) much before participle adjectives
She was very disturbed to hear the news, (not She was very much disturbed…)
It’s very disappointing, (not It’s very much disappointing.)
However, we use (very) much but not very before a past participle which is part of a passive:
The new by-pass was (very) much needed.
Extremely, very, absolutely, completely, etc.
We usually use extremely, very, etc. with gradable adjectives and absolutely, completely, etc. with ungradable adjectives Here are more adverbs like these and adjectives which commonly follow them:
Extremely…Effective, diffcult, hard
Dreadfully…Angry, dissapointed, sorry
Absoluty…Clear, necesary, sure, true
Simple…Awful, enourmus, terrrible
Quite has two meanings: to a particular degree, but not ‘very’ (= ‘fairly’); and to a large degree,or ‘very much’ (= ‘completely’).
I was quite satisfied with the result. (= ‘fairly’)
No, you’re quite wrongl (= ‘completely’)
When quite is used with ungradable adjectives it means ‘completely’:
Mary isn’t coming until tomorrow.’ ‘Are you quite certain?
Verbs such as feel, look, seem, , sound, taste, and smell usually take and adjective , not and adverb
That’s smells nice / not that smells nicely
With look good/ well , both and adverb and an adjective are possible with a change of meaning.
You’re looking good (attractive)
you’re looking well( healthy )
Some comment adverbs
indicate how likely we think
apparently, certainly, clearly, definitely, in theory, obviously,
presumably, probably, undoubtedly
indicate our attitude to or
opinion of what is said.
astonishingly, frankly, generally, honestly, to be honest,
interestingly (enough), luckily, naturally, in my opinion,
personally, sadly, seriously, surprisingly, unbelievably
show our judgement of
bravely, carelessly, foolishly, generously, kindly, rightly,
stupidly, wisely, wrongly
Most common comment adverbs can occur at the front, middle or end of a sentence
There are other possible positions for each of the comment adverbs in this examples. To show that they apply to the whole sentence, we usually separate them from the rest of the sentence,particularly in front and end positions, by a comma in writing or by intonation in speech.
A number of phrases and clauses can be used in a similar way to comment adverbs to indicate our attitude to, or opinion of, what is said. For example:
To my disappointment, he didn’t ask me why I was wearing a false nose. (Also Tomy surprise/astonishment, etc.)
To be frank, I don’t think she’s the best person to do the job. (Also To be
To put it simply (or Putting it simply), we need to spend less. (Also To put it (or Putting it) bluntly/briefly/mildly, etc.)
We use these adverbs to make it clear from what point of view we are speaking:
Financially, the accident has been a disaster for the owners of the tunnel.
The brothers may be alike physically, but they have very different personalities.
Other examples include biologically, chemically, environmentally, ideologically, logically,morally, outwardly, politically, technically, visually.
A number of phrases are used in a similar way: morally speaking, in political terms,from a technical point of view, as far as the environment is concerned, etc.
Focus adverbs: even, only , alone and especially
Even and only usually go in mid position but if they refer to the subject they
come before it.
Even is used to emphasise that the followings words or information is extreme or surprising
I did everything I could to have the better marks I even asked my teacher how to improve in my lessons.
Only has a limiting effect.
My mother has only brought some food. (= She hasn’t brought anything else)
Only my mother has brought some food. (= my mother and nobody else) (not My mother only…)
When we use alone to mean ‘only’, it comes after a noun:
It isn’t possible to become a great artist by hard work alone. (= other things are needed)
Especially emphasis that the information is more than the others.
I like all kinds of sport, specially hockei
*Particulary works in the same way
Adverbs of indefinite frequency