I've come across these sentences:

"American society today is a world of conflict, challenge, struggle, and potential."

"Traffic jams today are hardcore"

They both violate the rules of placing adverbs of definite time in a sentence. I've searched and haven't found any rule other than: You ought to put it in the front position or in the end of a sentence. Like "Today I'm going to buy ice-cream" or "I'm going to buy ice-cream today".

Is there such a rule?

  • Where did you find your rule about the placing of adverbs? Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 11:04
  • @RonaldSole I found that in almost any grammar book I took, i. e., in general, you should structure sentences in this order [the subject][the simple predicate][the direct object][the adverbial (manner,place,time)]
    – Let
    Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 7:27

1 Answer 1


Today can be placed there because in these sentences it does not attach to the verb but to the subject noun phrase.

[Traffic jams today] are hardcore.

Other expressions of time can do the same thing:

[The meeting last week] was productive.

A noun phrase can be qualified this way whatever its role:

He's going to tell me about [the meeting yesterday]

In some contexts it can be ambiguous where the time expression does attach, but this is usually not a problem, eg

He told me about the meeting yesterday.

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