The Royal Order of Adverbs

Yesterday we considered the order of priority when listing multiple adjectives. Did you know there is also a preferred order for multiple adverbs and adverbial phrases? No? Me neither. We learn something new every day together!

Here’s the Royal Order of Adverbs:

#1 = Manner (how?) Examples: quickly, with enthusiasm

#2 = Place (where?) Examples: downhole, around the corner

#3 = Frequency (how often?) Examples: daily, every week

#4 = Time (when?) Examples: before cementing, at noon

#5 = Purpose (why?) Examples: to prevent blowouts, to keep everyone up to date

Here is an example of a 1-2-3-4-5 construction:

 We have safety meetings religiously at the wellsite every morning at 8:00 a.m. to discuss any hot work needed for the tie-ins.

There is a little more flexibility in the Royal Order of Adverbs than there is in the Royal Order of Adjectives. For instance, shorter adverbs can precede longer adverbial phrases, regardless of the Royal Order. Sometimes the most important adverb or adverbial phrase comes at the beginning of the sentence, set off by a comma.

Example of a 1-1,–1-2-5:

Slowly and carefully, lower the thing-a-bobber gradually into the slot to lock it in place.

This will be my last Tip of the Day for 2010, so let me close with this Royal Order example:

Thankfully, I will be enjoying my vacation at home, sleeping in every day from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2 until well past 8:00 a.m. to rest up for what looks to be a hectic year in 2011.


Brain Teaser Question of the Day:

There are 14 punctuation marks in English grammar.

Can you name at least half of them?

Answer: Fourteen punctuation marks in English grammar:

Period .

Comma ,

Colon :

Semicolon :

Dash –

Hyphen –

Question mark ?

Apostrophe ‘

Exclamation point !

Quotation mark ”

Brackets [ ]

Parentheses ( )

Braces { }

Ellipses …


4 Responses to “The Royal Order of Adverbs”

  1. Placement of adjectives and adverbs « CyberText Newsletter Says:

    […] As a native English speaker, I didn’t realize there was an order in which adjectives and adverbs are used to describe things. But it seems there’s a ‘Royal Order of Adjectives’, as nicely described by Jeanne Purdue on her blog:, and also a ‘Royal Order of Adverbs’: […]

  2. Various useful websites related to writing | CyberText Newsletter Says:

    […] The royal order of adverbs: […]

  3. iiiii Says:

    I love it.

  4. Anjali Says:

    thanks..i liked your brief explanation 🙂

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