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    #1

    Do frequency adverbs come before the contractions?

    In the book Digest which is a book on grammar, I read, frequency adverbs come before the contractions. How much can I rely on this statement?
    It is written that 'always' is an exception of this rule.

    1. I usually can't work more than 10 h a day.
    2. I can't always work more than 10 h a day.
    3. I usually don't work more than 10 h a day.
    4. I don't always work more than 10 h a day.

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Do frequency adverbs come before the contractions?

    I think you can rely on that rule. I have not been able to think of an exception.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Do frequency adverbs come before the contractions?

    Quote Originally Posted by atabitaraf View Post
    In the book Digest which is a book on grammar, I read, frequency adverbs come before the contractions. How much can I rely on this statement?
    I would take it with a grain of salt. The contractions you've used are all negations. Sometimes the effect is different.
    5a. "I can't usually come." 5b "I usually can't come." These mean close enough to the same thing and are both acceptable.
    6a. "I sometimes can't stand her!" 6b. "I can't sometimes stand her!" Only 6a is correct and colloquial. (Agrees with your rule).
    7a. "I often don't understand her." 7b. "I don't often understand her." This one disagrees with your rule. 7a tends to mean that you understand her more often than 7b.
    So, it depends on the adverb.

    "Always", as you say, can make a big difference.
    8a. "He always didn't believe her." (He never believed her). 8b. "He didn't always believe her." (Sometimes he didn't believe her).
    Last edited by Raymott; 16-Feb-2014 at 12:30. Reason: typo

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    #4

    Re: Do frequency adverbs come before the contractions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I
    7a. "I often don't understand her." 7b. "I don't often understand her." This one disagrees with your rule. 7b tends to mean that you understand her more often than 7b.
    There's a typo - One of the '7b's should be '7a'. However, I am not sure which - which must mean That I don't agree, whichever it is,

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Do frequency adverbs come before the contractions?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    There's a typo - One of the '7b's should be '7a'. However, I am not sure which - which must mean That I don't agree, whichever it is,
    My claim is that 7a. "I often don't understand her" is less serious than 7b. "I don't often understand her."
    A man who doesn't often understand his wife is worse off than one who often doesn't understand her. I think that 7a has more of a connotation of "Sometimes I don't understand my wife", while 7b. connotes, "I rarely understand her."
    But I'm not going to insist on this. It's not the best example. But I do still hold that there can be different connotations depending on whether the adverb comes first.

    9a. "I don't often take my car to work."
    9b. "I often don't take my care to work." (9a implies less often than 9b) - at least to me. The context in which these sentences are used probably makes the difference.
    Last edited by Raymott; 16-Feb-2014 at 12:42.

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Do frequency adverbs come before the contractions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    My claim is that 7a. "I often don't understand her" is less serious than 7b. "I don't often understand her."
    A man who doesn't often understand his wife is worse off than one who often doesn't understand her. I think that 7a has more of a connotation of "Sometimes I don't understand my wife", while 7b. connotes, "I rarely understand her."
    But I'm not going to insist on this. It's not the best example. But I do still hold that there can be different connotations depending on whether the adverb comes first.

    9a. "I don't often take my car to work."
    9b. "I often don't take my care to work." (9a implies less often than 9b) - at least to me. The context in which these sentences are used probably makes the difference.
    I tend to agree with you, but these nuances only work when the speaker/writer and the listener/reader have the same thought pattern.

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