I know, that in English, changing the place of an adverb slightly changes the meaning of the sentence. For example: only. But for these three sentences, I can't get my head around the difference in meaning each one have.

She is quietly waiting.

She is waiting quietly.

Quietly she is waiting.

1 Answer 1


The position of the adverb doesn't always affect the meaning - only is a special case. The only difference between your examples is that putting the adverb at the end emphasises that she is waiting quietly, not impatiently, angrily etc. Your third version is unlikely unless you were consciously using an artificial, 'poetic' style.

  • But that doesn't mean that the first example imply that she's waiting impatiently or angrily, right? The only difference between the first and the second is the emphasis we made on the adverb by changing its place, that the listener is used to, forcing him to focus more on it.
    – Manar
    Commented Dec 14, 2022 at 16:07
  • 1
    No, I said that it emphasises the adverb, not that a different word order means something different. Commented Dec 14, 2022 at 16:29

You must log in to answer this question.

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