Answer to English Grammar Question 6838

Which adverbs express certainty?

From member: English4Today Teacher in USA

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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 certaintly.


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.

They go before the main verb but after the verb 'to be':

With other auxiliary verbs, these adverbs go between the auxiliary and the main verb:

Sometimes these adverbs can be placed at the beginning of the sentence:

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:


More on adverbs in the weeks to come!

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