Re: Adverb placement/usage (use frequently vs. frequently use)

Subject: Re: Adverb placement/usage (use frequently vs. frequently use)
From: Marc Santacroce <epubs -at- ricochet -dot- net>
To: "Zaininger, Kathy" <Kathy -dot- Lynch -at- xpedior -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 17:38:53 -0800

Kathy, My reference is the Handbook of Technical Writing, third edition.

Placement of Adverbs

An adverb may appear almost anywhere in a sentence, but its posiiton may affect the meaning of the sentence. Avoid placing an adverb between two verb forms where it can be read ambiguously as modifying either.

Change: The operator tried belatedly to close the relief valve.
To: The operator belatedly tried to close the relief valve.

The adverb is commonly placed in front of the verb it modifies.

So, in your example, I vote for A.

Hello All,

What is the correct (or preferred) placement of an adverb: preceding or
following the verb it modifies? What if the adverb is separated from the
verb? Which of the following statement is the correct (or preferred) usage:

A. If you frequently use the Dictionary, you can.....

B. If you use the Dictionary frequently, you can....

Sorry to clutter your Inboxes with such a basic question. I know that there
is a correct or preferred way to do this (and I've heard tech writers
arguing vehemently about it), but I can't remember what it is!

Your assistance is much appreciated.

- Kathy

Marc A. Santacroce

Senior Technical Writer/President
ePubs, Inc.

epubs -at- ricochet -dot- net

"Everything has a fifty percent probability; either it's going to happen, or it's not."

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