Some of the most frequently asked questions that we get are about adverbs, often with a request for a complete list of adverbs. Now that is a pretty big request as there are hundreds and hundreds of adverbs in English! However, what I think we will do is, from time to time, post common adverbs with the category that they belong to as this seems to be a lot more useful for you than to just deliver a long list of words. So today I am going to have a look at adverbs of certainty.
ADVERBS OF CERTAINTY
These adverbs express how certain or sure we feel about an action or event.
Common adverbs of certainty include:
- certainly,definitely, probably, undoubtedly, surely
How to put them in a sentence
Adverbs of certainty are usually placed in the mid-position – after auxiliary verbs and before other verbs. If you have two or more auxiliaries, the adverb goes after the first one.
- Ghandi was undoubtedly a great influence on the peace movement.
- It will certainly rain this evening.
- I definitely need that report on my desk by tonight.
- Sharaz will probably be at the party tomorrow night.
- They have definitely been living in Turkey for ten years.
They go before the main verb but after the verb ‘to be’:
- He definitely left the house this morning.
- He is probably in the park.
With other auxiliary verbs, these adverbs go between the auxiliary and the main verb:
- He has certainly forgotten the meeting.
- He will probably remember tomorrow.
Sometimes these adverbs can be placed at the beginning of the sentence:
- Undoubtedly, Winston Churchill was a great politician.
BE CAREFUL! with surely. When it is placed at the beginning of the sentence, it means the speaker thinks something is true, but is looking for confirmation:
- Surely you’ve got a bicycle?
More on adverbs in the weeks to come!