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  1. Odessa Dawn's Avatar
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    #1

    "Words that explain the verb usually come after/before ..."?

    11. Words that explain the verb usually come ( . . . ) the verb they modify.

    before
    after
    12. Words that explain the verb usually come ( . . . ) the complement or object.

    after
    before
    after for both. Correct?

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "Words that explain the verb usually come after/before ..."?

    I am very skeptical about rules that cover adverb placement.

    Quickly, she walked to the corner.
    She walked quickly to the corner.
    She walked to the corner quickly.

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    #3

    Re: "Words that explain the verb usually come after/before ..."?

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Odessa Dawn:

    Adverb placement drives me crazy, too.

    I wish to share the ideas of one scholar. Some people probably agree with him, and some people probably do not. I will NOT give my opinion. I will just share his ideas with you.

    The adjective "ravenous" means to be extremely hungry.

    1. "Ravenously, the child ate the candy."
    2. "The child ravenously ate the candy."
    3. "The child ate the candy ravenously."

    That scholar claims ( = it is his opinion) that "ravenously" in #1 and #2 is a modifier of the verb "ate."

    That scholar feels, however, "ravenously" in #3 is a complement IF the speaker feels that the adverb is essential to the meaning that the speaker wants to express in a particular context.
    As you know, "complement" comes from the word "to complete." That scholar feels that in some contexts, the meaning of a sentence would NOT be complete without a particular adverb at the end of the sentence.

    To that scholar, "He slowly spoke" may have a different meaning from "He spoke slowly." He claims that in the second sentence, "slowly" expresses "something more than merely [only] the fact of his speaking." He claims that everything depends on how much EMPHASIS you want to put on the adverb.


    *****

    Many years ago, there was an American comedy movie called "Mr. Roberts." It was about the captain of a Navy ship, whom all the sailors disliked. One day, the captain became very sick, and he called for the ship's doctor to come quickly and help him. Everyone who saw that film laughed when:

    4. The ship's doctor (who also disliked the captain) walked slowly to the captain's cabin. (The doctor was NOT interested in getting there too fast. He had no love for the captain.)
    5. The ship's doctor slowly walked to the captain's cabin.

    I am guessing that the scholar would claim that #4 would be more appropriate if one takes into consideration the whole context.

    Of course, I will keep my opinion to myself.


    James

    Source: John Clark Jordan (Former Dean of the Graduate School, University of Arkansas), Making Sense of Grammar (1962; 1980 revision).

    P.S. Several years ago, another scholar said that there was a slight difference between "He swam slowly" and "He slowly swam." Unfortunately, he did not explain the difference. But he was nice enough to say this: "Adverbs can come before or after verbs depending on which word is meant to be emphasized." -- Ben Yagoda, When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It (2007).

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "Words that explain the verb usually come after/before ..."?

    I disagree with your first scholar. It seems to me he has created a distinction without a difference.

  4. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "Words that explain the verb usually come after/before ..."?

    I see no difference between "The person slowly walked" and "The person walked slowly", but maybe it's just me. (TheParser, I have read several of your posts, and they always amaze me. (Interesting stuff.))


  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: "Words that explain the verb usually come after/before ..."?

    I don't see any difference in the slow walking either.

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