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I understand the badness of my examples when I see Jan's answer, sorry for that.

How about these examples

I lived with my grandparents in my childhood and moved another state 3 years ago in order to live with my parents.

I lived with my grandparents in my childhood and moved another state, 3 years ago, in order to live with my parents.

I lived with my grandparents in my childhood and moved another state in order to live with my parents, 3 years ago.

I suppose the 3 sentence above are all grammatical.

However, the first 2 sounds more natural. Is it true?

I am aware that "about three days ago" is a time adverbial phrase.

I guess "in order to live with my parents" is a purpose adverbial phrase, so it should be put at the end of a sentence. That's why first 2 sentences sounds more natural, right?

Note: the following are archived, only for corresponding to earlier comments.

I suppose these 3 sentence are all idiomatic and grammatical.

My parents bought these cups about three days ago for drinking tea.

My parents bought these cups, about three days ago, for drinking tea.

My parents bought these cups for drinking tea, about three days ago.

It seems that the post made up the sentences claims the first 2 sound more natural. Is it true?

I am aware that "about three days ago" is a time adverbial phrase.

I guess "for drinking tea" is a purpose adverbial phrase, so it should be put at the end of a sentence. That's why first 2 sentences sounds more natural, right?

  • We usually call them "tea cups" and that would make the sentence construction easier. – Weather Vane Mar 3 at 8:56
  • Yes - all your versions sound unnatural because cups for drinking tea is not something that most of us would say. – Kate Bunting Mar 3 at 9:14
  • I rolled back the edit because it made the sentences absurd – you don't need to call them tea cups and then explain want they are used for. An idiomatic sentence would be "My parents bought these tea cups about three days ago." – Weather Vane Mar 3 at 9:18
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As explained in the comments, "cups for drinking tea" are "teacups." Anyway, if I keep the original words to answer your question about the order of adverbs, then the suggested order, which is not a hard rule, is:

  1. Manner
  2. Place
  3. Frequency
  4. Time
  5. Purpose

The Freedictionary.com, which explains this order, also says: "Adverbs of purpose (sometimes called adverbs of reason) tell us why something happens or is the case." One of the examples they give:

I went to the store to buy some milk.

"To buy some milk" is an adverbial clause, which explains why I went to the store. It was I (the subject) who had the purpose.

In your sentence:

My parents bought these cups about three days ago for drinking tea.

..."for drinking tea" is not a purpose of your parents (a subject), but an adjective compound that modifies the noun "cups," so, they should be together:

My parents bought these cups for drinking about three days ago.

But if you say:

My parents bought these cups about three days ago to drink tea.

...then "to drink tea" is an adverb of purpose that reveals why your parents bought the cups.

The order of adverbs makes sense when you have more adverbs in one sentence. You see that adverb of purpose comes *last in that list, but this does not necessary mean "at the end of the sentence." It just means it should be the last adverb from all adverbs used in the sentence. Anyway, if you have an adverb of purpose as only adverb in the sentence, you can put it on different places, even at the start of the sentence:

To drink some tea, my parent bought some teacups.


About the other example, I'd write:

In my childhood, I lived with my grandparents and 3 years ago I moved to another state in order to live with my parents.

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  • Thanks for your answer. I still don't get the rule which one should be put ahead, time or purpose? – WXJ96163 Mar 3 at 11:02
  • @WXJ96163, you see in that list at the beginning of my answer that the time comes before purpose. I also made my version of your last example, where time (3 years ago) is before purpose. – Jan Mar 3 at 11:05

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