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Is it true that the adverb of frequency can be used at the end of a sentence when it follows an intransitive verb or a direct object of the subject.
  • He speaks seldom.
  • I visit her frequently.
What's wrong with;
  • He seldom speaks.
GB
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There is nothing wrong with He seldom speaks. To my ear it is preferable to He speaks seldom. Both I visit her frequently and I frequently visit her are acceptable.

Adverbs of frequency usually occur nearer the beginning of the sentence (but after the subject), but a few of them are unobjectionable at the end.

I would certainly not place always or never at the end, however. Say He always visits her and He never visits her, for example.

CJ
Well then can you tell me tha why website like the one given below draw certain fixed rules for the placement od adverbs and adjectives.

http://www.fortunecity.com/bally/durrus/153/gramch24.html

Can you give me certain set of rules or exampes where placing an adverb would be blatantly wrong and unacceptable.

GB
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
I would regard the advice on that website as guidelines, not fixed rules. But whatever the case, the most natural position of adverbs of frequency is what that site calls the "middle position", i.e., after the "operator" if there is one (a form of to be, a modal, an auxiliary do or have).

always, frequently, generally, never, often, rarely, seldom, sometimes, usually

The Jones family [always / frequently / generally / never / often / rarely / seldom / sometimes / usually] goes on vacation in August.
[*Always / Frequently / Generally / *Never / ?Often / ?Rarely / *Seldom / Sometimes / Usually] the Jones family goes on vacation in August.
The Jones family goes on vacation in August [*always / frequently / ?generally / *never / often / ?rarely / ?seldom / ?sometimes / ?usually].


Of these, generally and sometimes are quite happy to be placed at the beginning of the sentence; frequently and usually work there too. And frequently and often can comfortably be placed at the end, but in all cases the middle position is just fine.

CJ
Grammarian-botIs it true that the adverb of frequency can be used at the end of a sentence when it follows an intransitive verb or a direct object of the subject.

  • He speaks seldom.

  • I visit her frequently.
  • What's wrong with;

    • He seldom speaks.
    There are no rules about adverbs.

    However, people tend you use some adverbs in front and another after a verb.

    I'll explain for a frequency adverb but it is similar for any other type of adverbs.

    A position of a frequency adverb says what is modified or stressed by it: action, repetition, frequency of object usage, habit...

    Look at this sample:

    1. What is your role in the band? Frequently I play guitar.

    2. What do you frequently do? I frequently play guitar.

    3. What do you frequently play? I play frequently guitar.

    4. What do you do for leisure? I play guitar frequently.
    Most of the time we have the case number 2. (the case number 3. may, like in this sample, slightly change what adverb is focused on) so that position is preferable. In order to decide where to put an adverb very simple rule is to try ALL possible positions and decide which one works for you best in every particular situation.

    We have the same situation with other adverbs and adverbials. If you simple follow the rules, you will never understand what the fuss is all about.

    The most frequent position of an adverb does not say how you should use it, rather what it stresses or changes mostly by its presence: subject, object, action... everything is possible. Yet, in your particular case, that might be totally different. Try and see.

    • He seldom speaks English because he doesn't speak it well.

    • He seldom speaks English because he prefers German.

    • He speaks seldom English because he prefers German.

    • He speaks seldom English, I could hear only his Spanish being good enough.
There are no rules about adverbs.
This isn't really true.
There are at least two kinds of adverbs with respect to placement: sentence adverbs and verb-phrase adverbs.
Sentence adverbs can only occur at the beginning or end of a sentence or between a subject and operator or between an operator and its accompanying verb.
Verb-phrase adverbs are more restricted and can only occur between an operator and its accompanying verb or at the end.

Note that neither of these types of adverbs can occur between a verb and its object.

*He speaks [seldom / frequently / certainly / often / beautifully] English. (all impossible)
*I play [seldom / frequently / certainly / often / beautifully] (the) guitar. (all impossible)

This pattern is quite common in other languages, but it is not English!

x the team x can x rely on my support x. (Sentence adverbs like certainly can only go at the positions marked with x. Positioning at the end is the least used.)
The team can x rely x on my support x. (Verb-phrase adverbs like completely can only go at the positions marked with x.)

There are more complications with adverbs with negative polarity, like seldom, which requires subject-verb inversion when used at the beginning of the sentence, but the points above cover the main ideas.

always is even more restricted, being confined almost exclusively to the position after the operator (or before the lexical verb if there is no operator).

*Always I enjoy funny movies.
I always enjoy funny movies.
*I enjoy always funny movies.
*I enjoy funny always movies.
*I enjoy funny movies always.

*Always he is late.
?He always is late.
He is always late.
*He is late always.

*Always he has done it that way.
?He always has done it that way.
He has always done it that way.
*He has done always it that way.
*He has done it always that way.
*He has done it that always way.
*He has done it that way always.

never has the same distribution as always, except that initial never with inversion is possible.

Never do I enjoy funny movies.
Never is he late.
Never has he done it that way.


CJ
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
CalifJimCJ
I said the same: try and see.

If it does not go it does not go. If there is no reason why this one or that one cannot go before or after a verb then you can't define a rule apart from saying it is not used that way. That is not a rule but a restriction based on who knows what. All restrictions in every language are logical but sometimes very difficult to define, I agree.

For example I see no problem with: She is a sad old lady, who talks seldom.

So I agree that there are rules, but before using a rule I think that one should try to feel where the rule came from. For a native it is far easier, they have the feeling in advance so they can speak about rules if they wish, but if you try to use bookish rules, you soon get nowhere, billions of rules with trillion of exceptions in every next language. A native follows no rules but the feeling, the logic.

One should be aware where certain adverbs are found, but every time to try to understand why. It is far easier and much faster that way. Pure memorizing leads nowhere.
For a native it is far easier
I often wonder if that is true! Especially when it comes to explaining it all. Emotion: smile

CJ
CalifJimThere is nothing wrong with He seldom speaks. To my ear it is preferable to He speaks seldom.
I agree.
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