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Hello! Since I am a new user of this very helpful forum I want to introduce myself first. My name is Jake, 16, I am from Switzerland (mother language German). Right now I am, because of an exchange year, staying in the USA. I think this is a great possibility for me to learn English very well . But I have a lot of questions which can't be answered really well.

I was first shocked too from the VERY liberally spoken English in my town. For example : "There IS five men" "Where IS the apples??" "I did horrible" ...

Anyway I greatly appreciate ANY help and can offer help in German, French, and a little bit in Latin.

My first question is, how is the English sentecne construction? Time adverbs always at the end of the sentence? "I have not eaten yet." "We will arrive tomorrow." Whats about "also"? You ALSO can start talking fast. Or: You can ALSO start talking fast. Or: something else. Is a finite verb strictly conditional after a subject? (In questions inverse?)

Thanks for sharing your time!

PS.: Can you please help me to correct wrongly written sentences. Let me know what I can't say this way, what is completly messed up grammar etc...
Comments  
Hi, Jake-- welcome to English Forums.

1-- adverb placement in part depends on the sort of adverb. Adverbs of frequency, for example, are quite versatile:

I see him sometimes at the coffee shop.
I sometimes see him at the coffee shop.
Sometimes I see him at the coffee shop.
I see him at the coffee shop sometimes.


Other adverbs are more restricted:

I'll see him early at the coffee shop.
I'll see him at the coffee shop early
.

Adverb placement depends upon type (frequency, manner, etc), structure (single word, prepositional phrase, clause), and stress (end position is usually a strong one)-- so there are no hard and fast rules. You will have to learn what is natural.

2--
Is a finite verb strictly conditional after a subject?
-- I'm not sure I understand what you want to know, but the answer is probably 'No', as very little of English is strictly so. In the following sentence, the subject is separated from its finite verb by two nonfinite clauses:

My dog, covered in mud and howling miserably, cowered beneath the aquaduct.
Thanks.

My dog, covered in mud and howling miserably, cowered beneath the aquaduct

I see, but when you go by main clause the subject (My dog) is still right in front of cowered. I mean covered in mud and howling miserably is an "interjectional subordinate claus". Do you know what I mean?

So, is what I asked always correct in the main clause?

adverb placement in part depends on the sort of adverb -interesting. Do you have some rules? I mean I have to learn it, I don't have the feeling: "Does it sound correct"?

Jake
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Jake,

Were you asking if the verb always follows the subject (except in questions)?
If so, the answer is "No. There are other cases where the verb occurs before the subject."
For example, when a negative phrase begins the sentence:

I have never seen it. (Subj: I, Verb: have (seen))
But:
Never have I seen it. (The negative "never" triggers subject-verb inversion.)

CJ
Thank you all!

Jake
Hi Jake - I'm just curious -- what part of the U.S. are you living in, where English is spoken so poorly? I hope at least if you are in high school the teachers speak more correctly than that.

It's obvious from your post that your English is very good already. We will be happy to help you here, but sometimes there are no rules to explain why a sentence is one way and not the other. Also, if you have questions about American customs or attitudes that surprise you, feel free to post them in the "Cultural Anecdotes" section of the forum. I'm always interested to hear what visitors think of the U.S.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
It seems to me that Jake is somwhere in Indiana,US.