Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by amarok18, Mar 9, 2012.
Is the sentence ! "my father usually is in the garden in the afternoon" wrong?
No, it's fine.
That's although what I thought. Yet, I heard that "usually" can't be before "is". So, I am slightly confused.
You're right, SwissPete's wrong. The correct word-order is: "my father is usually in the garden" or else "usually, my father is in the garden".
I think that's a bit sweeping. In this sentence, without any context, is usually definitely sounds more natural to me - but I'm not sure there is an iron law that usually can't be followed by is - e.g.:
How did you know he would be in the garden?
Well, he usually is
He usually is in the garden
It's probably a good rule of thumb not to put usually before am/are/is, but I don't think we should condemn all usually is sentences as ungrammatical. There is a difference of emphasis I can't quite put my finger on but it's almost as if usually is is used more to contradict a previous statement or insist on something, whereas is usually is used more as a neutral statement of fact.
I second Keith if I may .... The correct position, after "is" :
He is usually (never, always, frequently, seldom, sometimes, occasionally) late ...
Or, with some of these frequency adverbs :
Usually/Sometimes/Occasionally, he is .... (please note the comma)
Yes of course you may misadro... but based on what? This seems to be just an assertion, and there is already a whole catalogue of invented rules! Let the language breathe a little, I say, or at least give a reason why not.
Picked at random ... http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/grammar/adverbien1.htm
Says: "The position of adverbs of frequency is ... after a form of "to be" (am, is, are, was, were)"
You can let the language breathe if you are a native speaker, and you are speaking to family and/or friends ...
You cannot let the language "breathe" if you are a teacher of EFL .. otherwise .. you would be teaching .. chaos ... (just a joke .. if I may, again)
On second thoughts, "usually is" can be a normal construction if we want to emphasise the verb.
"I didn't expect to see your father in the garden," she said.
"My father usually is in the garden in the afternoon," he replied.
Separate names with a comma.