2

What do you prefer, or which one is more acceptable; putting the adverbs or phrases before the preposition, or after.

  • He has been jailed at least/nearly for 5 years.

  • He has been jailed for at least/nearly 5 years.

0

I think the second one is much more common. For example, google found "for nearly one year" about 16,400 times, and "nearly for one year" about 222 times in books.

I'm not sure about the grammatical reason. But it seems that the adverb "nearly" directly modifies the noun phrase "one year".

0

"at least" modifies "5 years", so it is more idiomatic that "at least" sits closer to "5 years".

He has been jailed for at least/nearly 5 years.


In writing, using the inversion:

He has been jailed at least/nearly for 5 years.

will move the stress slightly to "at least", and is also correct, even though less usual.

However, in spoken language, the stress can be moved freely without changing the word order.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.