There are many adverbs of place in English, such as above and ahead, behind and beneath, downstairs and downtown, for example. Many of them look quite similar to each other, which can be misleading. Besides, other adverbs can also be used as prepositions, such as around or behind, making it even more complicated. Today we show you how to use these adverbs, and we propose some examples and a list of the most used.
Adverbs of Place
What Are Adverbs of Place?
The adverbs of place serve to name the area or space in which the actions or events occur. They are generally used to answer the “Where” question.
They are usually placed after the principal verb or after the proposition that they modify in the sentence:
- He looked around, but he couldn’t find his keys.
- You’re going back to church.
Types of Adverbs of Place
Although the list of adverbs of place is somewhat extensive, it is essential that you know some:
They are used a lot and serve to indicate the position of something concerning the speaker.
- My book is here.
- Put it there. Ponlo allí.
Ending in –where
These adverbs are used to talk about the position of something without precisely specifying what that position is. The most common are: somewhere, anywhere, everywhere, and nowhere.
- Is there anywhere to park?
- She had nowhere to go.
Ending in –ward
These adverbs are used to express movement towards a specific direction:
- He took a step backward.
- We climbed upward for over two hours.
You must be careful to know how to differentiate some adverbs that can also function as prepositions in English. Let’s see some examples:
- Around: Is the teacher around? vs. I will travel around the world when I retire.
- Outside: Please leave the shoes outside the box vs. I need to eat outside more often.
- Behind: Peter is falling behind vs. The box is behind the door.
- Against: The Police Department fight against crime vs. Please, put the bed against the wall.
For each term, we see how the first sentence includes behind and around as adverbs, while in the second sentence, they function as a preposition.
To differentiate them, you must know if they are modifying the action or accompanying a name. For example:
- I will travel around the world when I retire.
In this sentence, around accompanies the noun “world.”
Most Common Adverbs of Place
In addition to the adverbs that we have already seen, the following are also widely used:
- Aside: I took her aside and gave her the gift.
- Abroad: I have been living abroad for 2 years.
- Away: Please go away and let him rest.
- Ahead: You go ahead and buy the tickets.
- Far: Your house is far from school?
- Back: They are not coming back home this Christmas.
- Indoors: It’s going to rain. Let’s go indoors.
- Close: Keep your kids close to you to prevent accidents.
- Downstairs: I ran downstairs to hug him.
- Upstairs: Mary is upstairs taking a nap.
- Nearby: You live nearby me.
- Outdoors: The weather is ideal for being outdoors all day.
- In front of: The bus stopped right in front of us.
- Beyond: I will love you beyond death.
- Under: Michael hid the letter under his pillow.
- Over here: There is a lot of waste over here.
- Up: I will go up and put the flag.
- Homeward: He was homeward when they met.
- Everywhere: Her pet goes with her everywhere.
- Forward: Please, move your car forward.