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What I learnt from English grammar books is that an adverb can modify an adjective only in front of the adjective, except this word "enough",

but I just got curious whether native English speakers often violate the rule

For example

1. I'm not completely sure.
2. I'm not sure completely.
3. I'm not exactly sure about this.
4. I'm not sure about this exactly.

According to English grammar books, only sentences 1 and 3 are correct English because "completely" and "exactly" modify the adjective "sure" in front of "sure", but in fact, I often saw sentences like sentences 2 and 4 where an adverb post-modifies an adjective like "completely" and "exactly" post-modify "sure" in sentences 2 and 4.

So my questions are

Q1) Other than the adverb "enough", is it possible to use an adverb to post-modify an adjective like in sentences 2 and 4?

Q2) Like in sentences 2 and 4, do native English speakers often use an adverb to post-modify an adjective, violating the rule?

Q3) Are sentences 1,2,3,4 all correct English?

Q4) Do sentences 1 and 2 mean the same thing?

Q5) Do sentences 3 and 4 mean the same thing?

Q6) In sentences 1 and 3, do both "completely" and "exactly" modify the adjective "sure"?

Q7) In sentences 2 and 4, do both "completely" and "exactly" post-modify the adjective "sure"?

Q8) If so, could you make your example where an adverb postmodifies an adjective as well?

Thank you very much

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fire1Q1) Other than the adverb "enough", is it possible to use an adverb to post-modify an adjective like in sentences 2 and 4?

Sometimes. I would judge on a case-by-case basis. It can be done for emphasis, for example, "She is good absolutely." But I would advise an ESL student just never to do it. The effect is small, there are better ways to achieve the effect, it is odd and calls attenton to itself, and it rarely sounds idiomatic. For those reasons, I doubt I have ever done it.

fire1Q2) Like in sentences 2 and 4, do native English speakers often use an adverb to post-modify an adjective, violating the rule?

Not at all often, only very, very rarely and advisedly as an anomaly.

fire1Q3) Are sentences 1,2,3,4 all correct English?

"Correct" is a dirty word around here. I like to say things are standard, non-standard, dialect, jargon, possible, or not possible. In this case, I would say that 2 is perhaps barely possible, 1 and 3 are plain English, and 4 is possible.

fire1Q4) Do sentences 1 and 2 mean the same thing?

Yes.

fire1Q5) Do sentences 3 and 4 mean the same thing?

Yes.

fire1Q6) In sentences 1 and 3, do both "completely" and "exactly" modify the adjective "sure"?

Yes.

fire1Q7) In sentences 2 and 4, do both "completely" and "exactly" post-modify the adjective "sure"?

Yes.

fire1Q8) If so, could you make your example where an adverb postmodifies an adjective as well?

See 1.

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fire1Original post)Quote What I learnt from English grammar books is that an adverb can modify an adjective only in front of the adjective, except this word "enough",

If we were to see lions on our last evening, we'd need to get very lucky indeed.

I'm not sure if the adverb "indeed" postmodifies the adjective "lucky" in the sentence above; it may modify the main clause in that sentence.

anonymousanonymous

Thank you very much for your great explanation Emotion: smile

Maybe are you a native English speaker who teaches English as an ESL teacher? Or just a native English speaker?

I would like to know about this if you don't mind telling me of this.

fire1just a native English speaker

Right. American. My contributions here must be judged according to their value, not according to the source, but since you asked, I'm no longer young, and I've studied this stuff all along. I hope I've helped you with your question. Listen to everybody in here. We don't always agree, we each have a different focus, and each of us is sometimes wrong (but not for long).

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anonymousthe adverb "indeed" postmodifies the adjective "lucky"

Yes. Good catch. I wonder how many of these there are?