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What are the correct possibilities for word order in the following sentence? Is there any general rule for imperative sentences? (Like SVOMPT?)

  1. Please, check regularly the updated information about the meetings on the EBC website.
  2. Please, regularly check the updated information about the meetings on the EBC website.
  3. Please, check the updated information about the meetings on the EBC website regularly.

Something is telling me 1 isn't entirely correct, 2 maybe. I think 3 is correct, however I don't like the word regularly to be so far from the words check and information.

EDIT: attempt to summarize the answers:

  • #1 sounds awkward to most people except for Barrie
  • #2 seems to have least opponents
  • the comma should be omitted
  • new solution raised (from Hellion & Barrie England):

4) Please check regularly for updated information about the meetings on the EBC website.

Do you all think #4 is the best?

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3 Answers 3

In declarative sentences, adverbs of frequency are normally placed in middle position, that is, before the finite verb when there is no auxiliary verb. So, it would be We regularly check the updated information . . . There seems to be greater latitude in the placing of the adverb in imperative sentences such as these. Sentences 1 and 2 might both be found, but the pattern in 1 is probably more frequent. In sentence 3, regularly is separated from the verb it modifies by too many words to make for easy reading.

There is, by the way, no need for a comma after please.

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1  
We seem to disagree about 1. Evidently I am wrong when I say that "no native English speaker would say", but I still find it extremely awkward. –  Colin Fine Oct 21 '11 at 11:28
    
@Colin, I find extremelly interesting that you don't agree with each other. You are both from UK. I would expect more differences between US & UK. –  Tomas Oct 21 '11 at 12:15
2  
As a US English speaker, I would never say 1, and I would call it incorrect. –  Hellion Oct 21 '11 at 12:29
    
Another example that sounds even worse to me (a US speaker): "Please take carefully the box that is sitting on the table in the far side of the cellar and put it in the car." Here, I think the only place I could possibly put "carefully" is between "Please" and "take". –  Peter Shor Oct 21 '11 at 17:30
    
thank you all for the answers! I tried to summarize them in my question, please check for updates! :-)) (you need not to check regularly though :-)) –  Tomas Oct 21 '11 at 20:16

I don't do "correct", but I find 3 to be the most natural, 2 acceptable, and 1 something that no native English speaker would say.

Incidentally I find the comma after please rather awkward and foreign-sounding.

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This native speaker would! –  Barrie England Oct 21 '11 at 11:30
    
I would have said the same thing about #1. If the entire sentence was Please check regularly, the adverb placement wouldn't bug me, but in this case it is absolutely awkward-sounding to me, too. –  onomatomaniak Oct 21 '11 at 11:32
    
What if the adverb had been 'carefully'? Same? –  Barrie England Oct 21 '11 at 11:38
2  
Does any of us find 'Check regularly for updates' awkward? –  Barrie England Oct 21 '11 at 12:00
2  
I knew there had to be a reference somewhere. ‘Adjuncts . . . are not normally placed between the verb and the object . . . However, in the case of longer phrases or clauses acting as objects, adjuncts may sometimes occur before the object: “It was a bright room and I noticed immediately the door which opened on to the balcony”.’ (Carter and McCarthy, ‘Cambridge Grammar of English’) –  Barrie England Oct 21 '11 at 17:51

The main thing that bothers me about all three of the sentences is the implication that either 1) every time I check, the information will have been updated, or 2) I need to keep looking at the same "updated information" repeatedly so as not to forget it.

I think @Barrie made the correct suggestion in a comment when he put forth "Please check regularly for updates" as an option, which would cause the original sentence to become

Please check regularly for updated information about the meetings on the EBC website.

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Hellion, thanks, looks like possibility #4! –  Tomas Oct 21 '11 at 19:53
    
thank you all for the answers! I tried to summarize them in my question, please check for updates! :-)) (you need not to check regularly though :-)) –  Tomas Oct 21 '11 at 20:16

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