Posts Tagged ‘focusing adverbs’

Position of focusing adverbs

August 18th, 2011 in English Grammar

Focusing adverbs point to one part of a clause. Examples are: also, just, even, mostly, mainly, either, neither, or, nor

Focusing adverbs usually go in mid-position with the verb.

Study the patterns given below.

Auxiliary verb + adverb + other verb

We are only going for two days.

She has just arrived.

Is / am / are / was / were + adverb

He is my Dad, but he is also my friend.

The people at the meeting were mainly teachers.

Adverb + other verb

She just needs some practice.

Focusing adverbs can go directly before the words they modify.

Notice how the meaning of the sentence changes with a change in the position of the adverb only.

Only David may borrow the car. (David and nobody else may borrow the car.)

David may only borrow the car. (David may borrow the car, but he can do nothing else.)

David may borrow the only car. (David may borrow the only car there is.)

The focusing adverbs too and as well usually go in end position.

She not only sings; she plays the piano too. (NOT …she too plays the piano.)

We have meetings on Sundays as well. (NOT We have as well meetings on Sundays.)