Can I put the adverb "exponentially" after the intransitive main verb "grown" when the auxiliary verb "had" precedes the intransitive main verb "grown"? (auxiliary verb + intransitive main verb + adverb) Here is the example sentence.

The corn had grown exponentially since last year.

Or should the adverb come after the auxiliary verb and before the intransitive main verb?

The corn had exponentially grown since last year.

  • I much prefer the first option. But what research have you done to try to find out?
    – Jim
    Feb 26, 2021 at 4:30
  • @Jim I read through other answers to questions that are very similar to my question; however, the answers were not spot on. I also tried other websites, but there were too many answers that conflict with each other. Feb 26, 2021 at 4:39
  • Tommy, ok good, what would help us answer them, is to update your question summarizing what you found, describe why what you found conflicts, and what led you to believe that you couldn’t write it like you propose. Something like: I was taught a rule that says, “blah blah blah” and when I looked at <site A> it said <one thing> but <site B> said <a different thing>. As far as I can tell they are both reputable sites. How can either of them be wrong?
    – Jim
    Feb 26, 2021 at 4:46
  • This may help ell.stackexchange.com/questions/8870/…
    – tgdavies
    Feb 26, 2021 at 4:54
  • @Jim Thanks, but no thanks. I'd rather not spend that much time compiling that much information in an attempt to obtain an answer to a grammar question. How would that information help you or anyone else answer it? I believe I might have a better idea. The first sentence of your first comment was, "I much prefer the first option." Why do you prefer the first option? Is it because it sounds natural, or do you have information based on grammar rules? Feb 26, 2021 at 5:02

1 Answer 1


The first option sounds better to my ears, but either option is grammatically correct. But I would go so far as to say the second option is somewhat awkward. I think when you have an adverb that is five syllables long, you usually put it after the verb. And by putting the adverb after the verb, you're putting slightly more emphasis on the adverb by virtue of its placement at the very end of a phrase. I think "exponentially" warrants emphasis.

  • 1
    Agreed. You've already stated the verb; now you're talking about how it is different than its usual sense. Reading the sentence aloud naturally your ears pick up the emphasis in the adverb. Feb 26, 2021 at 13:44
  • Yes, if you are talking about several things that have grown exponentially, then the 2nd option sounds OK to me. For example: Peanuts had exponentially grown, soybeans had exponentially grown, and corn had exponentially grown. The audience is familiar with the shocking idea of something growing exponentially, so it's no longer necessary to emphasize it anymore -- let it split the noun and verb.
    – Ringo
    Feb 26, 2021 at 19:38

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .