1. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Placing the adverb

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by HorusEye, Aug 5, 2011.

    Ignoring for a moment the bad rep of adverbs...

    On occasion I use one, and on some of those occasions I'm a bit unsure about the correct placement of them. For example:

    "He would likely have wanted to talk."

    "He likely would have wanted to talk."

    Based on a bit of googling, both seem to be correct, or acceptable, sentences. What is the difference? When would you favor one over the other, and why?

    Cheers.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    only the first sounds right to me, regardless of whether the second is grammatically correct...

    i would always favor what 'sounds' right over what doesn't, unless it's dialog and you want the character who's speaking to say something that doesn't...

    in my roles as editor and mentor i all too frequently come across fledgling writers who put adverbs in the wrong place, so it's a pet peeve of mine, if you will...
     
  3. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks,

    But "the wrong place" is purely based on aesthetics, am I right? There's no grammatical basis? If not, it becomes subjective, doesn't it?

    Phonetically, I agree that the first one flows best, probably because "likely would have wanted" becomes an odd jumble of W's when spoken, but that's all I'd have to base it on.

    Yeah, I'm still a little confused, as you might guess. ;)
     
  4. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Where's the confusion? Sometimes you are able to mess about with word order without upsetting grammarians (too much) or greatly affecting meaning and sometimes you're not.:)

    You chose not to include a third option, which was the one that hit me first, and I included it here:

    [​IMG]

    But looky here!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Shadowstar
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    Shadowstar Member

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    I don't think it really matters which way you put it since both would be correct. I personally think the first one sounds better so I would probably use that. If there are different ways of putting something and all are correct, just use what sounds best. Or in dialouge whichever the character would most likely use.
     
  6. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks all, and lol @ Art.

    Seems from the charts that the order depends entirely on rhythm/sound.
    Seems from the charts that the order entirely depends on rhythm/sound.

    Yes, it annoys me there's no rules, heh. Once I'm in doubt of which order to use in a particular sentence, I can spend half a day swapping it back and forth, thinking both sound a little off.
     
  7. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hahaha, that was the best of the day!
     

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