I just wrote this comment ten minutes ago, pondered over it for five minutes, and then the edit time limit had ran out, so I joined this site because I need to set my mind straight.

Methodologies frequently take existing concepts and give them a much narrower meaning within the context of their system (which I have honestly struggled with myself on occasion).

It's the bit between parentheses that I'm having trouble phrasing right. "on occasion" at the very end makes me feel itchy and I can't explain why. But there's many other ways to phrase it.

...which I have on occasion struggled with myself, honestly

...which, honestly, I have on occasion struggled with myself

...which I have occasionally struggled with myself, to be honest

Which one of these sounds the most natural? Or, what other phrasing would be best? Hearing a rule for these things would be great but I get that that's not how languages work, so I'll be happy with any pointers that are available.

  • To be honest, there is no "rule". But my advice would be to stick with that form (as a "whole sentence adverb") - either immediately before or immediately after the assertion that you're making in all honesty (that second highlighted alternative being an equally "safe" choice). Maybe it's just me, but I feel the shorter adverbial form (honestly) is a bit "lightweight" for "whole sentence adverb" contexts (it works better when it's more obviously modifying a single verb, rather than an entire statement). But this is a very fine point of style, not "correct grammar". Jan 16, 2020 at 14:52
  • Note that in my comment text above, my highlighted in all honesty specifically modifies preceding verb making (the "honesty" is thereby associated with you - the "example persona" making an honest assertion). But if it had been preceded by a comma, that would make it a "sentence adverb" ("honesty" associated with me; it's referring to my honesty in giving the "candid" advice). Jan 16, 2020 at 14:57
  • I, uh... think I would parse your comments better if they were in answer form, in all honesty ^^; But good point on the sentence adverb thing; Wikipedia calls it a disjunct: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disjunct_(linguistics)
    – KeizerHarm
    Jan 16, 2020 at 15:01
  • In all honesty, I still can't make up my mind whether to closevote this question as a duplicate of Why are these adverbs sentential, and not regular, adverbs? But if you don't think this one is a duplicate, and you think the text of my comment here better answers your question than my actual Answer to the earlier one, feel free to copy and past it into an answer to your own question (with appropriate formatting to make it easier for you or others to parse, if that seems to be a problem). Jan 16, 2020 at 15:19

1 Answer 1


To avoid unclear word combinations like '(their system) which I struggled with' or 'struggled with myself', I'd suggest to attach (or to write as a separate sentence) the words in this order:

... and, on occasion, I honestly struggled with that myself.

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