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Which one is the correct format to use the adverb "reluctantly"? Or are both correct?

"I do not know..." reluctantly, responded one of them.

OR

"I do not know..." responded one of them reluctantly.

Thank you very much!

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In the first example:

"I do not know..." reluctantly, responded one of them.

I can't tell what the adverb is modifying. Due to the comma, it doesn't seem to modify "responded".

The second example is OK.

In general, it is more natural to place an adverb modifying a verb after the verb. Better might be:

"I do not know...", one of them responded reluctantly.

I do not know... needs quotes because it is what was said. A comma can separate it from the rest of the sentence.

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  • Thank you very much! If the emphasis is to be on "reluctantly," then how should the punctuation be?
    – asdhkashd
    Jul 8 '15 at 0:11
  • I added some detail to my answer.
    – user3169
    Jul 8 '15 at 2:05

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