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  1. #1
    A Writer
    Guest

    Question about adverb placement

    In the understanding that an adverb should not break up a verb phrase, how would I put the following:

    "....her life would be <suddenly and irrevocably> transformed."

    "would be transformed" is the verb phrase -- so where is the correct placement of any adverb(s)?

    Sticking it at the end sounds clunky to me...



  2. #2
    Denise .
    Guest

    Re: Question about adverb placement

    Question. If it "would be" then how can it be sudden? How about just irrevocably transformed?

  3. #3
    Carol O
    Guest

    Re: Question about adverb placement

    I presume this is narrative and not dialogue? Even so, since it has a definite "voice" to it, splitting the verb works fine for me. (Especially since the "understanding" was never applicable to English and is generally ignored when useful to do so.)

  4. #4
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Question about adverb placement

    Although you haven't given enough context to really feel the rhythm of the sentence, putting the adverbs either before for after the verb phrase would seem less clunky to me that dropping them anywhere in the middle--and, as an editor, I'd move it to one of these positions, depending on what else was going on in the sentence.

  5. #5
    A Writer
    Guest

    Re: Question about adverb placement

    More context:

    (She)had no reason to expect that her safe, predictable life would be <suddenly> transformed into....(etc.)

    Yes, narrative -- as in, I'm working on a query.

    Thank you all for your input!


    Gary -- you really don't think it sounds clunky to say,

    "...had no reason to expect that her safe, predictable life would be transformed suddenly into...."

    ?

    I don't know why I'm obsessing about this today... :P

  6. #6
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Question about adverb placement

    Yes, the first one is clunky (and grammatically improper).

    Yes, the second one is better (although "suddenly would be transformed" is even better).

    At the outside, you could get away with putting the "suddenly" between "would" and "be." but between "be" and "transformed"? Nope.

  7. #7
    Weed Eater
    Guest

    Re: Question about adverb placement

    "...had no reason to expect that her cushy/plush/sheltered/comfortable/coddled life would be plunged/torn/thrown/driven/forced/pushed/shoved into..."

    You should be able to trash the need for an adverb by selecting a word or phrase that replaces "suddenly transformed" altogether.

  8. #8
    L Bea
    Guest

    Re: Question about adverb placement

    Wholeheartedly agree with Weed Eater. Replace the whole phrase with a strong verb as suggested. Suddenly is so overused...

  9. #9
    Carol O
    Guest

    Re: Question about adverb placement

    Ah! If it's in a query, you'll need to stick to the "rule", and a stronger verb would be even better.

  10. #10
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Question about adverb placement

    Hmmm. I thought the question was how best to present what she wrote. Not how to rewrite it in someone else's voice or book.

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