Where is the adverb of manner placed in a sentence in relation to adverbs of time and place? Is there an order like [place] [time] [manner] if you end up using multiple adverbs? Otherwise, what is the logic to their ordering?

  • Since you can place adverbs of manner before the verb, or after the object of the verb, I don't think there's a hard-and-fast rule. "He violently tore the paper" or "He tore the paper violently"
    – John Feltz
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 21:38

1 Answer 1


I don't know the facts are, but McCawley's theory of adverbs (in The Syntactic Phenomena of English) does make some predictions. Manner adverbs modify the verb phrase, while time and place adverbs modify the sentence. And the most usual place for modifiers is immediately before or immediately after whatever constituent they modify. So that predicts the order [S time/place adverbs [S subject [VP manner-adverb VP manner-adverb]] time/place-adverbs].

Adverbs occur in more positions than this simple scheme predicts, however, and McCawley in his chapter on adverbs spends some time discussing just where in sentences they do actually occur, theory aside.

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