Common mistakes in English – Wrong position of adverbs (Part 1)

            Wrong position of adverbs

353. The adverb of definite time misplaced

Don’t say: I last night went to the cinema.

√ Say: I went to the cinema last night.

Adverbs or adverbial phrases of definite time like yesterday, today, tomorrow, last week, two months ago, are usually placed at the end of the sentence. If we want to emphasize the time, we put the adverb at the beginning Yesterday I was very busy.

Note: If there is more than one adverb of definite time in a sentence, put the more exact expression before the more general –> He was born at two o’clock in the morning on April 12th 1942.

354. The adverb of indefinite time misplaced

Don’t say: They come always to school by bus.

√ Say: They always come to school by bus.

Place adverbs of indefinite time like ever, never, always, often, seldom, soon, sometimes and the adverbs, almost, scarcely, hardly, nearly, even before the principal verb.

Note: With the verb to be place the adverb of indefinite time after the verb –> They are always beautifully dressed.

355. The adverb of time placed before the adverb of place

Don’t say: The builders will be tomorrow here.

√ Say: The builders will be here tomorrow.

When using an adverb of time and an adverb of place together in a sentence, the adverb of place must come first.

356. The adverb misplaced with a transitive verb

Don’t say: Janet wrote carefully her essay.

✓ Say: Janet wrote her essay carefully.

With a transitive verb, the adverb generally comes alter the object.

Note: If, however, the object is long, the adverb may come after the transitive verb –> She wrote carefully all the essays she had to do.

357. The adverb enough misplaced

Don’t say: Is the room enough large for .you?

✓ Say: Is the room large enough for you?

Place the adverb enough after the word it qualifies and not before

Note: when enough is an adjective it comes before the noun –> We have enough food for six people.

358. Not misplaced with a compound verb

Don’t say: I should have not gone …

✓ Say: I should not have gone …

Position not in a compound verb after the first auxiliary

Note: With the present or perfect participle, place not at the beginning –> Not having set the alarm, he was late for work. Not being rich, he couldn’t afford it.

359. Not misplaced with the negative infinitive

Don’t say: I told Liz to not come on Monday.

✓ Say: I told Liz not to come on Monday.

Position not in the negative infinitive immediately before the word to and not after it.

Common mistakes in English – Wrong position of adverbs (Part 1)
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