1

I can understand that 'hardly' was put soon after 'I' to give stress on the adverb.

Why does it feel incorrect if someone says, "I early came" or "I, early, came".

It seems some people often use "I, early, came to know about you". This seems correct.

"I, early, came here" - This seems wrong.

I feel like I understand why. But I can not put it into an explanatory form.

It was my colleague who once said "I early came". And he frequently uses poor sentence structure. He is not at all used to English. So, is there any way I can explain to him how to place adverbs correctly and also how to avoid mistakes like this (if it is, in fact, a mistake)?

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Jun 25 '16 at 21:34

This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

2

Each type of adverb generally has a preferred position, but under some circumstances other positions are valid. This link gives some guidance about adverb position.

Early is an adverb of time: the preferred position is at the end, but it is also possible to put the adverb at the beginning. early doesn't seem right in this position, but earlier or early this morning sound OK.

I came early

Earlier, I came and there was a band playing

Early this morning, the birds were singing

Hardly is an adverb of degree, which generally goes in the middle position- between the subject and verb:

I hardly know you

  • So, no need to put comma here? - "I, hardly, know you" – GP92 Jun 26 '16 at 4:10
  • If you put the adverb in the preferred position, no comma is necessary. Sometimes people add commas if they put it in an unusual position. – JavaLatte Jun 26 '16 at 10:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.