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    maoyueh is offline Member
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    Default positions of adverbs

    Adverbs placed in different places may change the meaning of a sentence. But what are the differences in meaning between A and B in each of the following pairs of sentences? Thank you very much.

    1. A. Some impressionists show hardly any interest in making their paintings
    understood.
    B. Some impressionists hardly show any interest in making their paintings
    understood.
    2. A. He studies very hard; he works even during Christmas holidays.
    B. He studies very hard; he even works during Christmas holidays.
    3. A. He was fatally wounded and he has only a few days left to live.
    B. He was fatally wounded and he only has a few days left to live.

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: positions of adverbs

    Quote Originally Posted by maoyueh View Post
    Adverbs placed in different places may change the meaning of a sentence. But what are the differences in meaning between A and B in each of the following pairs of sentences? Thank you very much.

    1. A. Some impressionists show hardly any interest in making their paintings
    understood.
    B. Some impressionists hardly show any interest in making their paintings
    understood.
    2. A. He studies very hard; he works even during Christmas holidays.
    B. He studies very hard; he even works during Christmas holidays.
    3. A. He was fatally wounded and he has only a few days left to live.
    B. He was fatally wounded and he only has a few days left to live.
    Most native speakers would not notice a difference in meaning, even though some might suggest that one alternative is better than the other.
    The only one I want to comment on is 3. 3A is better. "Only" refers specifically to three days, and should come directly before it. To say that he "only has something" is wrong. He has a lot of things other than "three days to live". But since situations do not arise in which a person has only three days to live and nothing else, 3B means the same in practice.
    (You might see the difference by changing "only" to "just")

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