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    #1

    Adverb Placement

    Dear all,

    Please check the followng, which One is right and why.

    1.He has not yet reached.
    2.He has not reached yet.

    3. He was caught brilliantly.
    4. He was brilliantly caught.

    Thanks

  1. RonBee's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Adverb Placement

    Quote Originally Posted by rajan View Post
    Dear all,

    Please check the followng, which One is right and why.

    1.He has not yet reached.
    2.He has not reached yet.

    3. He was caught brilliantly.
    4. He was brilliantly caught.

    Thanks
    1&2--not OK. The verb "reach" has to take an object.
    3&4--OK. the adverb can come before or after the verb.



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    #3

    Re: Adverb Placement

    But the adverb can't come after the verb if there is a direct object, correct?

    "He lost unfortunately the game."

    But if there isn't a preposition, it would be okay, like:

    "He lost unfortunately after the game."

    Right?

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Adverb Placement

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop View Post
    But the adverb can't come after the verb if there is a direct object, correct?

    "He lost unfortunately the game."

    But if there isn't a preposition, it would be okay, like:

    "He lost unfortunately after the game."

    Right?
    That sounds close. The adverb cannot come between the main verb and the direct object.
    In a transitive sentence, you can put an adverb:
    i. between the auxillary and main verbs.
    ii. after the direct object.
    iii before the main verb if no auxillary.

    1. He has not yet reached his goal. Yes (between auxillary and main verb)
    2. He has not reached yet his goal. No (between main verb and direct object)
    2b He has not reached his goal yet. Yes. (after the direct object)
    ("Yet" is not a typical adverb though as far as position goes).

    3. He caught brilliantly the ball in the outfield. No (between main verb and direct object)
    4. He brilliantly caught the ball in the outfield. Yes.
    4b. He caught the ball brilliantly in the outfield. Yes. (after the direct object) Best, IMO.

    5. She politely said no. Best
    6. She said politely no. No
    7. She said no politely. OK.

    You can put the adverb straight after the verb in a intransitive sentence.
    8. He quickly died after being shot. Yes
    9. He died quickly after being shot. Yes

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    #5

    Re: Adverb Placement

    So according to Raymott rules are the following correct?

    1) He speaks English well.
    (only ? “well” can never precede a verb? )

    2) a) He only speaks English.
    b) He speaks English only. (is there a difference in meaning?)

    3) a) The price of computers has gone down significantly.
    b) The price of computers has significantly gone down.

    4) a) Slowly she drew the curtains. (possible ?)
    b) She slowly drew the curtains.
    c) She drew the curtains slowly.

    5) a) This example perfectly illustrates the problem.
    b) This example illustrates the problem perfectly.

    6) a) One day, I want to join the police.
    b) I want to join the police one day. (no comma before “one day”?)

    7) a) Do you still work here?
    b) Do you work here still? (incorrect ? / informal ?)

    8) I haven’t done the washing up yet.
    (why can’t we use “yet” elsewhere? Is there a rule?)

    9) a) If the weather is good, we will leave tomorrow at noon.
    b) If the weather is good, we will leave at noon tomorrow.

    Regards
    Last edited by hela; 31-Jan-2009 at 13:51.

  3. RonBee's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Adverb Placement

    I will put my comments inside the quoted material (in bold print).

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post
    1) He speaks English well.
    (only ? “well” can never precede a verb? )
    This one always goes after the verb.

    2) a) He only speaks English.
    b) He speaks English only. (is there a difference in meaning?)
    Both are used and mean the same thing.

    3) a) The price of computers has gone down significantly.
    b) The price of computers has significantly gone down.
    Both are used and mean the same thing.

    4) a) Slowly she drew the curtains. (possible ?)
    b) She slowly drew the curtains.
    c) She drew the curtains slowly.
    A good example of how an adverb can often be used in several different places in a sentence. (All three sentences mean the same thing, but it is possible that there are slight differences in meaning depending on context.)

    5) a) This example perfectly illustrates the problem.
    b) This example illustrates the problem perfectly.


    6) a) One day, I want to join the police.
    b) I want to join the police one day. (no comma before “one day”?)


    7) a) Do you still work here?
    b) Do you work here still? (incorrect ? / informal ?)
    Both are good.

    8) I haven’t done the washing up yet.
    (why can’t we use “yet” elsewhere? Is there a rule?)
    You could also say:
    I haven't yet done the washing.
    You can put "yet" before or after the verb phrase but not in the middle.

    9) a) If the weather is good, we will leave tomorrow at noon.
    b) If the weather is good, we will leave at noon tomorrow.


  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Adverb Placement

    2) a) He only speaks English.
    b) He speaks English only. (is there a difference in meaning?)
    Both are used and mean the same thing.
    In writing, maybe. But if you put contrastive stress on speaks, then a means 'He speaks English, but can't write it.' Then b, with the sentence stress on 'only', means 'He speaks English, but not [for example] French'.

    In summary, when 'only' immediately precedes the verb, and there is contrastive stress on the verb, the 'only' applies to the verb and not to the verb's object.

    [Some teachers don't care about the stress and insist that 'only + <verb>' always has the verb-specific meaning. But this flies in the face of everyday usage, which - in the absence of contrastive stress - is as Ron said.]

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 01-Feb-2009 at 17:31. Reason: Typo

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    #8

    Re: Adverb Placement

    Hello Bob,

    Could we also say: "HE ONLY speaks English" = only him and nobody else ?
    And the stress would be on "he" ?

    See you

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    #9

    Re: Adverb Placement

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post
    Hello Bob,

    Could we also say: "HE ONLY speaks English" = only him and nobody else ?
    And the stress would be on "he" ?

    See you
    Not really. I was over-simplifying a bit in my last post, about the 'rule' insisted on by some teachers. They would say that, given the sentence 'He speaks English', there are three possible positions for 'only', each of which carries a different meaning (with a possible fourth positio right at the end:

    Only he speaks English -> He's the only one who does
    He only speaks English -> ... but he can't write it
    He speaks only English /->
    He speaks English only /...... and not French or some other language.


    (In each case - except the last - 'only' immediately precedes the word with contrastive stress.)

    But although this would be quite a neat rule if it were true, I don't think it reflects linguistic reality. In reality people can use these word orders, but often they use some sort of periphrasis, such as 'He is the only one who speaks English' (to equate to the first order) or 'All he can do is speak English' (second), or 'The only language he speaks is English (third and fourth).

    Unless you're confident about your use of contrastive stress, it's safer (and perfectly colloquial) to use this sort of periphrasis.



    b

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    #10

    Re: Adverb Placement

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    In writing, maybe. But if you put contrastive stress on speaks, then a means 'He speaks English, but can't write it.' Then b, with the sentence stress on 'only', means 'He speaks English, but not [for example] French'.

    In summary, when 'only' immediately precedes the verb, and there is contrastive stress on the verb, the 'only' applies to the verb and not to the verb's object.

    [Some teachers don't care about the stress and insist that 'only + <verb>' always has the verb-specific meaning. But this flies in the face of everyday usage, which - in the absence of contrastive stress - is as Ron said.]

    b
    That is exactly right. You might say (speaking):
    He only speaks English. (He doesn't write in English.)

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