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How to Write Clear, Readable, Effective Sentences that Readers Love!
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How to Write Clear, Readable, Effective Sentences that Readers Love!

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Difficulties in Using Adverbs

Difficulties in Using Adverbs Adverbs present some difficulties which you can easily avoid.

1) There are no such adverbs as anywheres, nowheres, somewheres, and someplace. The correct forms for the first three are anywhere, nowhere, somewhere.

To use someplace in the sentence, such as I must have left it someplace, use the word somewhere.

It is, of course, correct to use some place (two words) in a sentence: We must find some place for our books.

2) The word there contains no independent meaning in a sentence. There often stands first in a sentence as the subject. Since there appears to be singular rather than plural, you may incorrectly follow it by a singular verb instead of a plural.

EX.— There was four girls is incorrect; for the subject is boys, a noun plural in number, and the plural subject calls for a plural verb. The sentence should read, There were four girls.

3) As mentioned before, we might wrongly use adverbs as adjectives and adjectives as adverbs. The uneducated person may say, I sure did have a great time, whereas he should say, I surely did have a great time. Or he may say, How nicely it looks, meaning How nice it looks.

4) Errors arise through the improper placing of adverbs. The natural position is after the verb.

EX.— We walked slowly.

Sometimes an adverb divides a verb phrase.

EX.— We could not hear.

Sometimes an adverb comes first in the sentence.

EX.— Cautiously we approached the car wreck.

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