I have a doubt that is the following one:

I have two alternative sentence transformations of this sentence below and, I wonder if it is possible to write the adverb "sometimes" before the subject "the shopping" in the first sentence and, if its grammatically correct as a sentence that is transformed. On the other way round, I also would like to know if the second sentence is correct. Many thanks!

He sometimes does the shopping. (active voice)

Sentence transformed::

  • The shopping sometimes is done by him. (first option)

  • Sometimes, the shopping is done (by him). (second option)

  • You would normally say "THE SHOPPING IS SOMETIMES DONE BY HIM" rather than "THE SHOPPING SOMETIMES IS DONE BY HIM." You also wouldn't normally shout it. Why all the caps? May 13, 2016 at 9:25
  • The caps are to distinguish the sentences so that people who are reading me knows it :-) May 13, 2016 at 9:26
  • I, personally, am able to tell the difference between sentences even when they are normally capitalized, I suspect that most people are. May 13, 2016 at 9:29
  • Well, some people are not able to see it that is why i wrote it this way. I hope you can understand. Thanks. May 13, 2016 at 9:35
  • Anyway, I do not understand why the adverb cannot be placed after the subject. I do not see it bad at all. May 13, 2016 at 9:37

1 Answer 1


If you say "The shopping is sometimes done by him", it's a simple statement of fact. Let's say that there's a "him" and a "her" in this situation. Sometimes he does it, sometimes she does it. Simple.

However, if you say "The shopping sometimes is done by him" it moves the focus onto the word "is", which in turn implies that it has previously been suggested that he does not sometimes do the shopping, ie that he never does the shopping, and that this sentence is refuting that other implied statement. Eg

"He never does the shopping." "No, the shopping sometimes is done by him."

Although, in this example, people would tend to say

"No, he sometimes does do the shopping."

  • I said: "The shopping sometimes is done by him" May 13, 2016 at 9:54
  • Placing the adverb at the beginning, at the middle and, at the end makes sense. May 13, 2016 at 9:55
  • Sometimes, the shopping is done by him May 13, 2016 at 9:55
  • The shopping sometimes is done by him May 13, 2016 at 9:55
  • 1
    First sentence - "is sometimes is" - accidental second 'is'?
    – Lawrence
    Mar 11, 2017 at 22:54

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