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Word Order (Easy) – Where to Put Time Expressions in Your Sentences

Email_Ros_01.04.14

®Ros

A simple rule is that you can put time expressions such as “Tomorrow,” “Last week,” or “Two days ago” at the beginning of your sentence or at the end of your sentence.

Here are some correct examples:

1 Tomorrow we’ll have an important meeting.

Or:

We’ll have an important meeting tomorrow.

Not: We’ll tomorrow have an important meeting.

And not: We’ll have tomorrow an important meeting.

2 Last week I saw Jen with Enzo.

I saw Jen with Enzo last week.

3 Two days ago I made an appointment with my dentist.

I made an appointment with my dentist two days ago.

And not: I made two days ago an appointment with my dentist.

Please note: This rule doesn’t count for always, never, sometimes, usually and rarely. For the rule of these, have a look at this article.

So to recap:

Put time expressions at the beginning or at the end of your sentence.

Easy, isn’t it?

Please have a look at some more examples:

4 Early in the evening we went for a walk on the beach.

We went for a walk on the beach early in the evening.

5 Yesterday night Alexandra worked the night shift.

Alexandra worked the night shift yesterday night.

6 At a quarter to six the bell rang.

The bell rang at a quarter to six.

7 In the summer of 1995 Desiree wasn’t born yet.

Desiree wasn’t born yet in the summer of 1995.

So now try the quiz.

Quiz

You can do the quiz online here.

Put in the time expressions according to the instructions between brackets.

Example 1:

Mat worked all day (today, end).

Answer:

Mat worked all day today.

Example 2:

Farhad did his laundry (yesterday, beginning).

Answer:

Yesterday Farhad did his laundry.

1 Robin quit smoking (last year, beginning).

2 The stars are bright (tonight, beginning).

3 Mr Eastlander is out (this afternoon, end).

4 Spring starts early (this year, beginning).

5 The sun goes down (at five o’clock, end).

6 The birds build a nest (when it gets warm, end).

7 I need to remove the clothes from the line (before it gets dark, beginning).

8 She falls asleep on top of her book (when she feels tired, beginning).

9 The neighbours will start renovating their flat (in December, end).

10 The toast will be ready (in five minutes, beginning).

Did you like this quiz? Why not order some more?

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