I am going to put the adverb, indefinitely, in different places of a sentence.

(1) My contract will indefinitely be renewed.

(2) My contract will be indefinitely renewed.

(3) My contract will be renewed indefinitely.

I've heard from some of my non-native English speaking friends say that an adverb needs to be placed as close to a verb as possible. They also think that it's OK to put the adverb between "will" and "be" because it emphasizes the certainty of when an event will happen. Based on their reasoning, I think all the placements above are correct. Do you agree with them?

  • I think "indefinitely" should be located in a post-verbal position, so (3) would be my choice.
    – BillJ
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 19:33

2 Answers 2


Probably the third is best stylistically because the verbal phrase maintains its integrity, but the second is perfectly acceptable. The first may be grammatical, but it sounds awkward to my ear because what is indefinite is the term of the renewal so it is more natural English to place "indefinitely" close to "renewed."

  • Thanks for the comments you both made, Bill J and Jeff Morrow. What if I change the passive voice to the active passive voice as given below. (4) My boss will indefinitely be renewing my contract. Does that work?
    – ansonguy
    Commented Oct 31, 2017 at 21:59
  • Your fourth sentence suffers from the same awkward placement of the adverb as your first sentence. In addition, the future progressive does not make much substantive sense. Is he going to be renewing on Monday morning, Monday afternoon, Tuesday morning, etc.? A progressive tense indicates repeated or continuous action. "He will renew the contract indefinitely" is the most natural sounding sentence, but there is nothing wrong with "He will indefinitely renew the contract." Commented Nov 1, 2017 at 4:00
  • The first sentence may be grammatical, but is off semantically. To see why, change "indefinitely" to "definitely".
    – David42
    Commented Apr 2, 2021 at 14:59

I think none of them are correct.

It should be:

My contract will be renewed permanently.

"Indefinitely" means that it cannot be defined. We use this word when saying that something has been postponed and we cannot say when it will happen, but the inference is that it will happen, or could happen.

I don't think you are trying to say that your contract has been renegotiated in such a way that it might end, but you just don't know when - I think you are trying to say that you have been given a permanent contract, one that will not end.

As to the placement of the adverb - it sounds best at the end because it applies to the contract, not to the process of renewing it. Let's say that renewing a contract involves some paperwork. If someone said, "I am permanently renewing your contract" that could sound like the work of renewing your contract will take them forever.

  • 1
    As to time "indefinitely" means "for a long time stretching into the unseen future". For example, "We intend to renew this contract indefinitely." means that we expect to renew it again and again for many years to come.
    – David42
    Commented Apr 2, 2021 at 14:55
  • 1
    @Astralbee I cannot agree that "indefinitely" means "cannot be defined." It is frequently used (at least in the U.S.) to mean "without an agreed termination date." So a contract that says "This contract will stay in force until either party gives 90 days notice of termination to the other" is said to have an "indefinite term." It is quite clearly defined: a judge will have no difficulty at all in determining the intended meaning of the parties. Moreover, such a contract is not permanent; it is cancellable at will by either party. Commented Apr 2, 2021 at 18:58

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