Is it "walk quickly" or "quickly walk?"

What is the correct way to phrase the sentence:

Please walk quickly.

Please quickly walk.

Thank you.

  • But Andy T gives both a good answer and fine examples. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 11 '15 at 17:02

To do something quickly is to do something with speed. To quickly do something is (normally) to do something very soon.

Hence, for the instruction in your example, it must be Please walk quickly.

To extend the explanation with further examples, these two sentences have different meanings:

He put down his pen and walked quickly over to my desk.

He put down his pen and quickly walked over to my desk.

In the first sentence, his walking is at speed. The second sentence is ambiguous: it could mean that he started walking very soon after putting down his pen, or it could mean that the total duration of the walk was very short.

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  • Not necessarily. People generally don't put adverbs before verbs at the end of a sentence, no matter what they mean. That is, if these were the entire sentences, we would say "We will move quickly" and not "We will quickly move" even if we meant to do something really soon. – Peter Shor Nov 11 '15 at 17:23
  • @Peter Shor - I disagree. If I wanted to say "We will move soon" I would not say "We will move quickly", because the latter would be interpreted as "our movement will be at speed". – AndyT Nov 12 '15 at 9:23

They are both grammatically correct (technically), but "Please walk quickly" is by far more common.

This is backed up with ngram evidence here.

Snapshot of ngram showing phrase usage

Verb/adverb order is tricky, and fully of idiosyncracies. You might enjoy reading through the answers in this Stack Exchange question.

That's not to say that there aren't rules -- just that there are a lot of rules and, even then, many of them depend on what the reader wants to empahsize.

There are also lots of more details examples if you search for "adverb verb order" in your favorite search engine.

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According to Dictionary.com

quickly [kwik-lee]


1. with speed; rapidly; very soon.

It depends on how you use these words and what word you use. They are both considered grammatically correct. If you are using the word walk it is more common to use quickly after walk.

Here are some example sentences from Your Dictionary.com

~The sting of his cool hospitality was quickly replaced with awe as she turned back to the room.

~I quickly learned that each printed word stood for an object, an act, or a quality.

~The storm passed quickly, but the night remained warm.

~They marched very quickly, without resting, and halted only when the sun began to set.

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  • 1
    I like the direction that you are going with your answer, but the four examples your list from YourDictionary.com don't match the rules you list about first/third person. Can you take another look and reconsider? – Nonnal Nov 11 '15 at 16:44
  • @Nonnal I couldn't seem to find a rule. If you know of one please inform me. I took that part out otherwise. – anonymous Nov 11 '15 at 17:04

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