VIEWPOINT AND COMMENTING ADVERBS

There are some adverbs and adverbial expressions which tell us about the speaker’s viewpoint or opinion about an action, or make some comment on the action.

Viewpoint

Frankly, I think he is a liar. (= this is my frank, honest opinion)
Theoretically, you should pay a fine. (= from a theoretical point of view but there may be another way of looking at the situation)

These adverbs are placed at the beginning of the sentence and are separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma.

Some common Viewpoint adverbs:

honestly, seriously, confidentially, personally, surprisingly, ideally, economically, officially, obviously, clearly, surely, undoubtedly.

Examples

  • Personally, I’d rather go by train.
  • Surprisingly, this car is cheaper than the smaller model.
  • Geographically, Britain is rather cut off from the rest of Europe.

Commenting

These are very similar to viewpoint adverbs, and often the same words, but they go in a different position – after the verb to be and before the main verb.

Examples

  • She is certainly the best person for the job.
  • You obviously enjoyed your meal.

Some common Commenting adverbs:

definitely, certainly, obviously, simply.


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