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Adverbs of Certainty

Posted by Manjusha

Filed in English Grammar

Adverbs of certainty express how certain or sure we feel about an action or event.

Common examples are: certainly, definitely, probably, undoubtedly, clearly, obviously etc.

  • He is undoubtedly a great leader.
  • There is clearly something wrong.
  • She is definitely taller than you.

Adverbs of certainty usually go in mid position. They are placed after auxiliary verbs and before other verbs. When there are two or more auxiliaries, the adverb goes after the first.

  • He is undoubtedly a great leader. (is/am/are/was/were + adverb)
  • She will probably come. (auxiliary verb + adverb + main verb)
  • It will certainly rain this evening. (auxiliary verb + adverb + main verb)
  • I certainly feel better today. (adverb + main verb)
  • You have definitely been working too hard. (first auxiliary + adverb + second auxiliary + other verb)

Perhaps and may be are exceptions to this rule. They usually go at the beginning of a clause.

  • Perhaps she will come.
  • May be you are right.

Sections in this article

Introduction To Adverbs
Formation of Adverbs
Adjectives or Adverbs - Confusing Cases
Adverbs of Certainty
Adverbs of Degree
Adverbs of Indefinite Frequency
Adverbs of Manner
Adverbs of Place
Adverbs of Time and Definite Frequency
Focusing Adverbs

See also
Adverbs: definition
Adverb clause
Adverb particle



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