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Which of the numbered positions is the best for the adverb "obviously" in the following sentence?

Jim is totally aware of the problem but [1] Jack [2] is [3] not [4].

For each of the numbered options you can find instances here or there. Some look kind of awkward, though.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Jim, choster, NVZ, Cascabel, Rory Alsop Jun 9 '17 at 21:56

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  • Option [3] is correct. – peerless Jun 7 '17 at 18:13
  • @peerless Why is it "correct"? – Cascabel Jun 7 '17 at 18:26
  • Most suitable... – peerless Jun 7 '17 at 18:27
  • Each depends on what you want to emphasize. For [4] to work, maybe you would need a comma after 'not,' or use 'obviously so.' Just ending 'not obviously' feels like something's missing. – Yosef Baskin Jun 8 '17 at 22:11
  • All four are valid in different contexts. – Rory Alsop Jun 9 '17 at 21:56
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It depends on the emphasis you want and how you want the sentence to read.

[2] and [4] stick out more to me, whereas [1] and [3] don't break up the sentence.

For example: "Jim is totally aware of the problem but Jack obviously is not." The obviously sticks out whereas "Jack is obviously not" doesn't interrupt the flow.

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there is no (linguistically) "best" placement. this is a stylistic/rhetorical issue. (With the caveat that you need commas in some placements, e.g. 2 and 4)

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