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I struggle constantly or is it I constantly struggle with the usage of such words. I don't even what they are called in English grammar.

My question: how do I know whether I'm grammatically correct when using such words?

Examples: Is it

I certainly will complete the report

or

I will certainly complete the report

Is it

I struggle constantly with English

or

I constantly struggle with English

Is it

Am I grammatically correct?

or

Am I correct grammatically?

I hope you get the idea.

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    Surely you can surely place them wherever you surely want to.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 0:47
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    The only rule on the placement of such adverbs is the spurious rule about not splitting infinitives. For many years it was taught that putting an adverb, such as "quickly," in the middle of an infinitive, such as "to eat," to produce a split infinitive, such as "to quickly eat," was improper. But that old rule is bogus. Commented Apr 3, 2015 at 5:44

1 Answer 1

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"Certainly" is a sentence adverb, and sentence adverbs can go before or after the subject, before or after auxiliary verbs, or after a comma at the end of a clause. Different sorts of adverbs obey different rules, and no one knows just what the rules are. You'll find a useful summary of some things that are known in McCawley's book The Syntactic Phenomena of English.

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  • Thanks, that helps. Does this mean that I don't need to obsess over this? If the sentence "sounds" right, it is right. I will check the book too.
    – karlos
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 21:49
  • Adverbs can often go in different spots, so you don't need to worry about finding the one unique best place for an adverb. And because the sense of the sentence may allow several positions for an adverb, the rhythm of a passage may decide the best sounding adverb placement.
    – Greg Lee
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 3:22

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