FR: Il leva machinalement la main - place de l'adverbe

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by JazzJC, Dec 25, 2010.

  1. JazzJC Member

    I've been studying the placement of the adverb and I don't understand when to put the verb at the end of the sentence or after the verb itself. For example, the sentence, "il leva machinalement la main", sounds odd to me because they put the adverb in the middle ( I would have said "Il leva la main machinalement")

    My professor told me that if it is a longer verb (like this one), it would go at the end of the phrase, and shorter ones (bien, mal), go after the auxiliary.

    Does anyone know of some more specific rules?

    Thank you
  2. Lacuzon

    Lacuzon Senior Member

    French - France

    As far as I'm concerned, long adverbs (not verbs) can stand before or after the verb whereas shorter ones usually stand before.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2010
  3. lamy08 Senior Member

    En anglais, de façon générale, les adverbes précèdent le verbe principal ou suivent le complément d'objet. En français, par contre, l'adverbe se place souvent entre le verbe et le COD :
    I wrote a letter quickly. = J'écrivis rapidement une lettre.

    Dans ce lien: on trouve l'adverbe avant ou après le COD:
    L'enfant demande poliment des explications.
    Elle fit tomber son mouchoir négligemment.

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