English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

To me the expression

Let's simply share

seems wrong.

I've always thought the adverb should come after the verb. Is that correct?

share|improve this question

"Let's simply share" and "Let's share simply" have different meanings.

'Let's simply share" has the same meaning as "Let's just share". That is, let's share without any more fuss, or making too much of sharing.

"Let's share simply" has the meaning of sharing in a simple way, that is, to avoid complication which could arise if we were to attempt sharing like "You can have 20% of the cake, and I'll take 35.47%, and the rest will go to Jake." That's bound to bring some sort of trouble.

They have different meanings because the adverb has changed positions. Adverbs can go anywhere. For example:

Simply, let's share
Let's share simply.
Let's simply share.

Each of them means different things, and both of them are grammatically correct.

share|improve this answer
+1 for "That's bound to bring some sort of trouble." – RiMMER Sep 2 '11 at 11:35
Good answer. Sorry to be a grammar Nazi by correcting your final sentence... though this is the appropriate place I suppose. :P – Noldorin Sep 2 '11 at 16:19
Though adverbs are versatile, they certainly can't 'go anywhere'. And they don't all behave identically: John shuffled the cards slowly. / John slowly shuffled the cards. // John kicked the ball hard. / *John hard kicked the ball. See 'A Minimalist Account of the Distribution of Adverbs' _ Rhanghyeyun Kim >> It's good to distinguish adverbial usage ('I would speak frankly with him') from pragmatic marker usage ('I would, frankly, speak with him). – Edwin Ashworth Aug 18 '14 at 19:06

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.