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Adverbs of time

Adverbs of time tell us WHEN something happens. They are a reference to time. We usually put them at the end of a sentence, but they can also change position depending on whether the speaker wants to use emphasis. There are many, many adverbs of time, so to name a few such as, today, now, then, yesterday, tomorrow, tonight etc.

(1) Adverbs of time that detail WHEN something happened: 
  • Maria went to the supermarket yesterday.
  • Are you going out tonight?
  • Back then I was not very mature.
  • Today, we’re going for a nice walk.
  • What did they do yesterday?
  • I don’t feel like studying right now.
(2) Adverbs of time that detail how long something lasted or lasts:
  • How long have you been with the company? I’ve been here since 2007.
  • I haven’t seen her in two days. 
  • They’ve been studying for three weeks, 
  • How long did it take you? It took me six days. 

Essential English Grammar – A Friendly Approach

Lesson #30: Adverbs of time

Adverbs of time tell us WHEN something happens. Adverbs of time are a reference to time. We usually insert adverbs of time at the end or before the sentence. There are many, many adverbs of time.

Context
  • Hey Susana, are you going out tonight1?
  • I don’t think so, I’m still hungover2 from last night. What about tomorrow3 or Saturday4?
  • OK, it’s definitely possible. I’m sorry you’re so hungover. You really shouldn’t party so hard.
  • I know, I’m a sucker5 for the partying6. I wish I could be more responsible. It’s also very expensive. The other night I spent over eighty dollars.
  • Eighty dollars? On what exactly?
  • I had to catch a taxi7, drinks, everything…
  • I haven’t partied as hard as8 you since I was twenty-five.
  • I guess you’re just getting too old for it these days, aren’t you9?
  • I guess I am. I’ll10 catch you later.
  • Bye.
Analysis
  1. Tonight: an adverb of time.
  2. Hungover:  an adjective meaning still a little drunk or worn out for the previous night’s drinking.
  3. Tomorrow: an adverb of time.
  4. Saturday:  an adverb of time. Days of the week are always capitalised in English. Monday, Tuesday etc.
  5. To be a sucker: a colloquial way of saying that someone always end up in the same situation (good or bad).
  6. For the partying: partying functions as a noun/nominal object because it’s the object in the sentence. We can use gerund forms (verb + -ing) as nouns, either as subjects or objects in English. 
  7. Catch a taxi:  this is the general expression we use when catching a taxi.
  8. As hard as:  the construction ‘as + adjective (hard) + as’ is a comparative used in English to make two things equal. I.e., Sarah is as nice as me.
  9. I guess you’re… aren’t you:  this is construction in English called question tags.
  10. I’ll catch you later:  remember, we use the future simple (will) for instant/immediate, positive reactions. I.e., things that we’re going to do right in the moment.

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