Where to place 'once again' in a sentence, especially if it's a question? For the sentence: 'Will someone prove something right'

Is it a) Will someone prove something right 'once again'(?) b) Will someone 'once again' prove something right(?)

I think the difference is that in the first the emphasis is on 'what will be proven' whereas in the second one the emphasis is on 'that person' proving something 'again'. I might be mistaken.

  • 3
    As an aside, please spell out the words "someone" and "something". English speakers don't abbreviate them to to "sm" and "sth"; only dictionaries do that. – stangdon May 24 '16 at 16:42

I think you're mostly correct. Take this example:

Will Mary prove the math equation right once again?

Because "once again" is closest to "prove the math equation right," the act or process of proving the equation right is the emphasis. Mary must do certain things to prove the equation is true -- things that she has already done in the past. So the question is asking if Mary will go through this process once again.

Will Mary once again win the election?

In this case, once again is closest to Mary. This implies that who is important. Will Mary win the election again, or will someone else win this time?


Where the phrase "once again" is placed does not really matter. Placed at the beginning of the sentence, "Once again, Mary wins the 100 meter dash!" means she has won before. Placed at the end, "Mary wins the 100 meter dash once again!" means the same thing. Same thing even if a question was being asked "Will Mary win the race once again?"

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