An ELL post says

That doesn't mean I necessarily am going to buy a Ferrari, it's just an option. If I said "If I won a million dollars I would buy a Ferrari", I mean that I necessarily am going to buy a Ferrari. I will buy a Ferrari.

which puts "necessarily" in between "I" and "am going to".

Per Cambridge Dictionary, there are at least eight different kinds of adverbs and these are adverbs of manner, adverbs of frequency, adverbs of time and place, adverbs of relative time, adverbs of degree, adverbs of quantity, adverbs that focus, adverbs that function as attitude markers.

Although the adverb "necessarily" is not in that list, I guess I could consider it as a degree adverb, as "necessarily" has a similar meaning to "absolutely" and the latter is in that list.

Such an adverb usually appears after modal verb, which is "am going to" in the quoted example.

So, is the following version the right position of "necessarily"

I mean that I am going to necessarily buy a Ferrari.

update: thanks to @Foogod

Google Ngram gives this plot

enter image description here

  • I think you're getting confused between That doesn't necessarily mean I will buy it (what it doesn't have to mean), and That doesn't mean I will necessarily buy it (what I don't have to buy). Not quite the same thing, although in practice most people wouldn't bother deconstructing to that level of detail. Mar 20, 2020 at 16:59

1 Answer 1


Actually, I believe given those classifications, "necessarily" should be classified as a "focusing adverb". Its function is similar to words like "particularly" or "especially". These adverbs generally go before the verb in question. (Note also that many words like "absolutely" could be interpreted as either a "focusing adverb" or a "degree adverb" depending on the context, and are often used in both places)

However, the use in your quote is still a bit odd, because when you have a verb tense that starts with some form of "to be", focusing adverbs are usually placed after the "to be" word, but before the rest of the verb:

I am necessarily going to buy a Ferrari.

This also is a little unusual because the word "necessarily" usually has an implied negative context, which means it generally isn't used with affirmative verbs, but only with negative verbs, so it would be common to say:

I am not necessarily going to buy a Ferrari.

but "I am necessarily" sounds a bit strange. I think that the original author may have used it there in order to draw a parallel between the same use of "necessarily" in the previous sentence, which does make some sense in this particular case, though.

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