Adverbs

Adverbs can appear in three positions: front, middle and final, depending on the type of adverb.

Remember:

Adverb positions can strike you as confusing, but when you practise a bit, they'll sound natural.

Reading well-crafted fiction will help you improving your awareness of where to place an adverb in an implicit way.

Adverbs moving around

One of the main issues speakers of Spanish have with English adverbs is their position. The position of adverbs in Spanish is quite different from the one in English, as the patterns of their collocation in Spanish are less rigid and allow more flexibility. For example, in Spanish adverbs of frequency often can be seen at the beginning of the sentence, but that is not the case in English (Cowan, 2008).

The other typical problem emphasized by a number of experts is the use of negative adverbs, such as never, rarely, seldom and hardly at the beginning of a sentence. In the Spanish language, these adverbs do not undergo subject-auxiliary inversion and may result in errors like this (Cowan, 2008, 259):

 

*Rarely he forgets to do his homework. (Raramente olvida hacer sus deberes).

And this is only frequency adverbs. We must pay attention to the behaviour of other types of adverbs (manner, place, time).

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More information:

  • Bobkina, J. & Stefanova, S. (2018) A Corpus-based Study of Adverbs of Frequency in a Goal-oriented Distance Learning Forum. Elia, 18, 15-49. http://dx.doi.org/10.12795/elia.2018.i18.02

  • Cowan, R. (2008). The teacher’s grammar of English. Cambridge University Press.