Sentences Using Time Expressions

word orderEnglish expressions of time (those that indicate a specific time period during which certain events occur) generally follow the main rules of syntax, which you can get acquainted with in our grammar handbook. However, time expressions have a couple of surprising peculiarities regarding word order you should be aware of.

1. If there is a need to put an emphasis on the time during something happens, you should place the time adverb at the end of the sentence.

e.g. Mom, I’ve already told you I will do this tomorrow!

However, if you just need to specify a time period without underlining its significance, you can put time adverbs at the beginning of the sentence as well.

e.g. Yesterday I felt rather bad, but today I’m okay.

2. Along with regular time expressions (like today, tomorrow, yesterday, last week, the day after, and so on) there also are adverbs of frequency, which are used to indicate how often an event or action takes place. These adverbs are often, always, usually, never, and so on.

3. Adverbs of frequency are usually used together with the main verb of a sentence.

e.g. I often ask myself whether I could do something to prevent what had happened that day?

e.g. If you go with him, know you can never return.

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