Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Adverb position and meaning (with example)

The position of the adverb can affect the meaning of the sentence. The most common error involves misplacing the adverb only. Make sure that the adverb position conveys what you intend to say.
Unclear: We only walked to the store and not to the bank. (Did the speakers only walk and not run? Or did they walk only to the store and not elsewhere? The meaning is unclear.
Clear: We walked only to the store and not to the bank.
Unclear: She frequently calls the magazine editor. (Does she call the magazine editor more frequently than anyone else? Or does she simply call the editor many times [frequently]?)
Clear: She calls the magazine editor frequently.
NOTE: In general, avoid splitting the verb phrase when using an adverb. While this rule is not carved in stone, it is a good one to keep in mind.
Avoid: I have also given the matter my attention.
Better: I also have given the matter my attention.
Avoid: He had accurately filled out the form.

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