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Hi,
this has been asked more than once I guess, but I decided to put it neatly this way:
Consider: usually, often, rarely, sometimes.
Where is it possible to place them in a sentence? I wrote my choices in blue.

I do it.<--- this is an affirmative sentence.
At the beginning: often (with or without comma), rarely (with comma), sometimes (with or without comma), usually (with or without comma)
Before the main verb: all of them
At the end: usually (with comma), often (with or without comma), rarely (with or without comma), sometimes (with or without comma)

I don't do it. <---- this is a negative sentence.
At the beginning: often (with or without comma), rarely (with comma) sometimes (with or without comma), usually (with comma)
Before the negation: all of them
After the negation: usually, often
At the end: all of them (with or without comma) Note: the comma changes the meaning and the stress in the sentence

Other note: I am aware that the position of adverbs in negative questions influences the meaning.

Thanks in advance. Emotion: smile
Comments  
Hi Kooyeen

Starting a sentence with 'rarely' or 'only rarely' will usually result in subject-verb inversion.

Rarely have I witnessed such an extreme lack of control.

Only rarely does he drink so much beer that he forgets his name.

.

.

Haven't you said that you were fond of that sort of thing (inversion)? Emotion: stick out tongue

I suppose a comma might help you avoid inversion, but I think the inversion is actually more typical (descriptively speaking, of course). Emotion: wink
Argh! The adverb question again! Emotion: smile
Have you gone through this one yet? Proper use of adverb of frequency

Here's a new take on the subject. If it doesn't appeal to you, toss it in the trash! Emotion: smile

Safe and typical practice: Use contracted forms wherever possible. Then place the adverb of frequency after the first contraction -- or after uncontracted not. Place sometimes at the beginning: certainly for a negative sentence, but also good for an affirmative. Note: rarely and seldom (and never, of course) have negative polarity already, so don't use in a negative sentence. And don't prepose them unless you want to struggle with the inversions, as Amy points out. Emotion: smile

[I'm, you're, he's, she's, we're, they're] (not) [usually / always / often] ...
[I've, you've, he's, she's, we've, they've] [sometimes / usually / always / often / rarely / seldom / never] ...
[I'll, you'll, he'll, she'll, we'll, they'll] [sometimes / usually / always / often / rarely / seldom / never] ...
[I'd, you'd, he'd, she'd, we'd, they'd] [sometimes / usually/ always / often /rarely / seldom / never] ...
[I, you, we, they] [don't / didn't / haven't / won't / wouldn't / shouldn't / can't / ...] [usually / always / often] ...
[he, she] isn't [usually / always / often] ...
[I, he, she] wasn't [usually / always / often] ...
[you, we, they] [aren't / weren't] [usually / always / often] ...

If no contractions, place after the modal verb.

[I, you, he, she, we, they] [can / could / may / might / will / would / ...] [sometimes / usually / always / often / rarely / seldom / never] ...

No contractions? No modals? Just subject followed by a non-modal verb? Place the adverb of frequency between them.

[I, you, he, she, we, they] [sometimes / usually / always / often / rarely / seldom / never] [go / do / like / want / think / ...]

Not using subject pronouns? Using nouns instead? The order doesn't change.

The boys aren't [usually / always / often] ready on time.
The Browns don't [usually / always / often] eat in restaurants.
Fred has (Fred's) [usually / always / often / rarely / seldom / never] recovered from a cold in a week.

CJ
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Thank you so much... yeah, I think I read that thread, but I see you don't like "often" at the beginning, and "sometimes" at the end.

You wrote a lot in yur post, and I know that stuff, it's not difficultm because that's the "common" position of adverbs, isn't it? It is simple to remember what's the normal position for adverbs... don't you think explain that just by saying "put the adverb where you would put NOT, or after NOT or the negative word if it is already a negative sentence"?

I am there. I am not there. I am always there. I am not always there.
Are you here? Are you not here? Are you always here? Are you not always here? Aren't you always here?
I would not have bought it. I would rarely have bought it...
etc.
Of course there are exceptions, because in negative sentences the meaning can change. So you have "Still not" (before the negation), and "not yet" (after the negation).

Anyway, that's not my problem. Here's the real problem... To put it another way, I'd like to say and write sentences like these:

Often you need to consider too many variables to be able to solve a problem in a reasonable time.
Often, you need to consider too many variables to be able to solve a problem in a reasonable time.
I also take long rides on my bicycle sometimes, when I have enough time.
I also take long rides on my bicycle, sometimes, when I have enough time.
I often don't check the server status for more than 6 hours.
I usually don't need a dicitionary to post about simple subjects, like asking for help in this section.

There you see "often" at the beginning, "sometimes" at the end, and other adverbs BEFORE the negation (and I have to say I usually put them before the negation).

Thanks Emotion: smile
To put it another way, I'd like to say and write sentences like these: Such perverse desires! Emotion: smile

Often you need to consider too many variables to be able to solve a problem in a reasonable time. OK
Often, you need to consider too many variables to be able to solve a problem in a reasonable time. OK
I also take long rides on my bicycle sometimes, when I have enough time. OK
I also take long rides on my bicycle, sometimes, when I have enough time. OK. Why another comma?
I often don't check the server status for more than 6 hours. OK
I usually don't need a dicitionary to post about simple subjects, like asking for help in this section. OK

CJ


Most of the research has been done on the vanilla cases, so you'd have to research a lot of these less usual cases on your own. I'm afraid I don't have any statistics on where each of these adverbs occurs and how frequently, and I don't know where you could obtain them. Emotion: sad I suspect that with intonation you could make just about any position of just about any adverb sound correct, but I don't think that's precisely what you're looking for.

CJ
CalifJimI suspect that with intonation you could make just about any position of just about any adverb sound correct, but I don't think that's precisely what you're looking for.
Yes! I suspected that too. I mean, when we write here, we have no idea how the others are going to read our sentences. And you can't put an adverb in particular position without a reason and without reading the sentence with a certain intonation. A little example:
- And... tell me, do you go to church... sometimes?
- I don't go to church sometimes, I always go to church! Who do you think I am, you pagan? LOL Emotion: wink

Anyway, I understand. Thank you for your help Jim, good as always. Emotion: smile
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Or:

-- Do you go to church anymore?
-- Well, I couldn't possibly go any less!
Emotion: big smile

CJ
Is that Okay if I make a sentence like "However, she always doesn't listen."?

In this case, "However, she doesn't always listen." is more natural? Please, send your reply to my e-mail. Email Removed" mce_href="mailto:Email Removed">Email Removed Thanks in advance
AnonymousIs that Okay if I make a sentence like "However, she always doesn't listen."?
No. Not OK. This means she never listens, and that's how it should be said:

However, she never listens.

The other sentence means something different. It means sometimes she listens, but not always:

However, she doesn't always listen.

CJ
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