I can't figure out which is the correct order of adverbs in the sentences below.
- We met each other in the subway by chance yesterday.
- We met each other by chance in the subway yesterday.
Could you provide a rule or explain?
They're both correct and perfectly ordinary English. English allows a lot of flexibility in the placement of prepositional phrases and adverbs in general. Here are some variations, which are also grammatical:
Yesterday, we met each other by chance in the subway.
Yesterday in the subway, we met each other by chance.
In the subway yesterday, we met each other by chance.
We met each other by chance yesterday in the subway.
We met each other yesterday, by chance, in the subway.
In the subway, purely by chance, we met each other—yesterday!
These all vary the emphasis, of course.
There are limits to the flexibility, though. This sounds extremely strange and many if not most fluent speakers would judge it ungrammatical:
We met yesterday by chance each other in the subway.
"Met each other" doesn't seem to want to be broken up, or the sentence becomes too hard to follow.
I think yesterday is an adverb and in the subway and by chance are prepositional phrases acting as adverbials.
I do not think there is no specific rule to arrange them in a sentence but we have to see that the construction is not clumsy.
We met each other in the subway by chance yesterday.
We met each other bychance in the subway yesterday.
Yesterday, we met each other in the subway by chance.
I think all the above three sentences are correct.
The adverb yesterday can come even in the beginning of a sentence