My editor changed "this often happened" to "this happened often."

I checked on ngrams and discovered that their frequency is almost the same.

Maybe the order doesn't matter? Or one is more common than the other in certain situations?

  • Possibly. Without more context it's hard to say why your editor made that suggestion. Was that the whole sentence?
    – Katy
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 8:17

1 Answer 1


'Often' is an adverb, and while a few say adverbs should go before the verb, the order doesn't usually matter.

Or, the order doesn't matter, usually.

Or even, the order usually doesn't matter!

There are three common positions for adverbs in a sentence:

  1. before the subject
  2. between the subject and the verb, or immediately after 'be' as a main verb
  3. at the end of the clause.

A similar example involving these three positions has already been answered on this site:

  • Why did they target us specifically?
  • Why did they target specifically us?
  • Why did they specifically target us?

A broader question about adverb position was also answered on a neighbouring SE site here.

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