I need to mention here that I've read in an educational book that we normally or perhaps always put an adjective before a noun. We do not say: A day beautiful, we say: a beautiful day.

I am curious as to whether it is possible to put an adjective after a noun and an adverb before a verb as an inversion.

She beautifully drives

A day beautiful is today

As my teacher once told me "Everything is possible in English - it's down to the speaker or writer!"

  • 2
    You might find it more helpful to post in our sister site English language learners.
    – Colin Fine
    Apr 24, 2014 at 16:18
  • ___ the ship ___ sailed ___ across ___. 'Slowly' may be put into any of the slots here. Apr 24, 2014 at 16:27
  • If you're interested in noun phrases where the adjective comes after the noun, then you might be interested in the topic of adjectives occurring postpositively. E.g. the only day suitable, years past, proof positive, the people present, the heir apparent (2002 CGEL, page 445).
    – F.E.
    Apr 24, 2014 at 21:05

2 Answers 2


In modern English, apart from a few special cases, adjectives always precede their nouns. If you say *a day beautiful, you will probably be understood, but it will be clear to any English speaker that you are not speaking normal grammatical English.

Adverbs are much freer in their placing. An adverb which modifies the meaning of a verb usually follows the predicate (the verb and its object: She drives beautifully or She drives the car beautifully) but many adverbs may be put in other positions in the sentence, especially adverbs of time (eg Tomorrow I shall go on holiday). But some adverbs may precede their verb (eg He quickly hid the book is grammatical, and to me suggests a greater urgency than He hid the book quickly. I don't think it is ever grammatical to put the adverb between the verb and its object, though (so not *She drives beautifully the car).

  • My impression, from looking at old books, is that this rule "never put anything except an indirect object between the verb and its direct object" is relatively new in English grammar. Apr 24, 2014 at 21:16

Everything is possible, but not everything follows the standard rules of English grammar. Some sentences my be grammatically correct, but not follow common usage:


"He runs rapidly."

not so common:

"He rapidly runs over the field."

  • Actually, neither of those are particularly common, since we're far more likely to use quickly rather than rapidly in such contexts. And the evidence from NGrams suggests that putting the adverb first has become increasingly common over the past century. So much so that he quickly ran to... is now the most common word order. Apr 24, 2014 at 16:32

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