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Now, I've got a question being able to make the world spin around itself as it has never before!

When we've got more than one time or place adverb in the sentence, do we put them in descending order or in increasing order?

A. Time adverbs:

1.1. I was borne in the twenty-first century, in 2000, in winter, in the month of January, on Sunday, on the second of January, at five a.m. .

1.2. I was borne at five a.m., on the second of January, on Sunday, in the month of January, in winter, in 2000, in the twenty-first century.

B. Place adverbs:

2.1. I went to Germany, to Berlin, to the Street of Bricks, to my brother's house, to his room.

2.2. I went to my brother's room, to his house, to the Street of Bricks, to Berlin, to Germany.

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    An original question. Your examples all produce a machine-gun effect that you'd use for a breathless effect. Commented Mar 5, 2023 at 17:05
  • All of these examples seem to be rather unusual; why do you expect that there is some standard, established way of dealing with them? None of the formulations you offer is grammatically incorrect, so one should use whichever best achieve the rhetorical/literary effects one is trying to achieve in a particular case.
    – jsw29
    Commented Mar 5, 2023 at 17:43
  • borne, with an e, is very unusual (these days) in reference to the event at the end of being borne by one's mother, born much more usual. So one might write I was borne by my mother for 41 weeks and finally born after a 32-hour labour. Commented Mar 6, 2023 at 10:17
  • @jsw29 I wouldn't have expected the adjective-order rule for noun phrases, either. And neither would most people; it's always surprising. So, while as a syntactician I don't expect adverb placement rules to be simple (if there are any), it's possible that data might prove me wrong again. Commented Mar 6, 2023 at 16:55

1 Answer 1

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The only sensible solution here is to have the phrases modify each other, rather than to have them all modify the verb:

  1. I was born at five a.m. on the second of January, a Sunday, in the first year of the twenty-first century.
  2. I went to my brother's room in his house on the Street of Bricks in Berlin, Germany.

There are some quite pedantic types who will insist that the first year of the twenty-first century is 2001, not 2000. I recommend ignoring them.

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