UNIT 107. Adverbs with the Verb

Canada-09 grammar


Some adverbs (for example, always/also/probably) go with the verb in the middle of a sentences:
– Helen always drives to work.
– We were feeling very tired, and we were also hungry.
– The concert will probably be canceled.


Study these rules for the position of adverbs in the middle of a sentence. (They are only general rules, so there are exceptions.)

(1) If the verb is one word (drivers/fell/cooked, etc.), the adverb usually goes before the verb:

Adverb Verb
Helen always drives to work
I almost fell as I was going down the stairs.
  • I cleaned the house and also cooked dinner. (not cooked also)
  • Lucy hardly ever watches television and rarely reads newspapers.
  • “Should I give you my address?” “No, I already have it.”

Note that these adverbs (always/often/also, etc.) go before have to …:
– Joe never calls me. I always have to call him. (not I have always to call)

(2) But adverbs go after am/is/are/was/were:
– We were feeling very tired, and we were also hungry.
– Why are you always late? You’re never on time.
– The traffic isn’t usually as bad as it was this morning.

(3) If the verb is two or more words (for example, can remember / doesn’t eat / will be canceled), the adverb usually goes after the first verb (can/doesn’t/will, etc.):

Verb 1 Adverb Verb 2
I can never remember her name
Claire doesn’t often eat meat.
Are you definitely going to the party tomorrow?
The concert will probably be canceled.
  • You have always been very kind to me.
  • Jack can’t cook. He can’t even boil an egg.
  • Do you still work for the same company?
  • The house was only built a year ago, and it’s already falling down.

Note the probably goes before a negative (isn’t/won’t etc.). So we say:
– I probably won’t see you. or I will probably not see you. (not I won;t probably)


We also use all and both in these positions:
– We all felt sick after we ate. (not we felt all sick)
– My parents are both teachers. (not my parents both are teachers)
– Sarah and Jane have both applied for the job.
– We are all going out tonight.


Sometimes we use it/will/did, etc. instead of repeating part of a sentence.
Note the position of always/never, etc. in these sentences:
– He always says he won’t be late, but he always is. (= he is always late)
– I’ve never done it, and I never will. (= I will never do it)

We normally put always/never, etc. before the verb in sentences like these.

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