Adverbs of Place

What is an adverb of place? How and when do you use one? This blog will answer all of your questions, alongside a variety of examples!

What is an Adverb?

An adverb is a word that describes a verb, adjective or another adverb.

For example: He walked to school slowly.

In this example ‘slowly’ is the adverb as it describes how he walks (which is a verb).

What is an Adverb of Place?

An adverb of place is an adverb that tells you where something is and/or where something happens.

Some examples include in/out, inside/outside, around, about, between, next to, etc.

Usually, an adverb of time is placed after the main verb or after the clause that it modifies. Here are some examples:

She gazed around the room but couldn’t see the ghost.

Get inside.

She’s sitting next to her friend.

They went outside so they could play.

Here & There

The most common adverbs of place are here and there.

Let’s look at a few examples:

Come here.

Bring the glass here.

The cat is over here.

We use the adverb of place here when we’re talking about going to or being with the speaker.

So, in the first example the person is saying ‘come to me’. In the second sentence the speaker is asking for the glass to be brought to them/the speaker. And in the final example the speaker is saying that the cat is near them. 

Now, let’s look at a few examples for the adverb of place there.

Look over there.

The chairs are in there.

We use the adverb of place there when we’re talking about going away from or not being with the speaker. So, in the first example, the speaker is telling you to look into a specific location that is far away. In the final example, the speaker is telling you that the chairs are somewhere away from them, possibly in another room.

So, in conclusion: here shows us that the position is near the speaker while there shows us the position is further away from the speaker.

Unspecific Locations

When we refer to unspecific locations there are four adverbs of place that we use: nowhere, somewhere, anywhere and everywhere.

Nowhere

Put simply, nowhere means no place or a place where nobody lives.

The spider came out of nowhere.

In this sentence, the speaker didn’t see the place the where the spider was. Therefore, the spider was in no place before it suddenly arrived in front of the speaker.

David’s car broke down in the middle of nowhere.

In this sentence, David’s car has stopped working in a place where nobody lives (such as an empty countryside or a woodland.)  

Somewhere

There are two meanings to the adverb of place somewhere. The first is when we talk about someone going to a specific place, for example:

I need to find somewhere with a toilet.

So, the specificity here is the toilet. We know that the location must contain a toilet.

We also use somewhere when we talk about someone being at a specific place. For example:

Mort and Moira are currently somewhere hot on holiday.

In this sentence we know that Mort and Moira are in a hot place so that makes it specific.

We also use the adverb of place somewhere when we say something is close to an amount or number. Such as:

Ali is somewhere around 30 years old.

In this sentence, the speaker is saying they don’t know how old Ali is specifically, but they know she must be 30 or a few years older or younger.

Shelly said she’d arrive somewhere between 7pm and 8pm.

In this sentence, the speaker is saying Shelly will arrive at the party anytime within the hour 7-8pm.

Anywhere

Let’s break this word down too: any place. So, what anywhere means is: going to any place or being in any place. Let’s look at an example:

I could go anywhere I want.  

So, this sentence means: I could go to any place I want.

Is there anywhere we can get a good cup of coffee?

Here, the speaker is asking is there any place they can get a cup of coffee? They don’t know this place, that’s why they’re asking.

Everywhere

Like all the others, this adverb of place can also be broken down to: every place.

So, everywhere means you’re going to or at all places. Here’s an example:

I’ve looked everywhere and I can’t find my bag.

In this sentence, the speaker has looked in every place but can’t find their bag.  

There is one other meaning to the adverb of place everywhere. We use it to talk about things that are extremely common and found in all places. Here’s an example:

I keep seeing dogs everywhere.

Movement in a Particular Direction

Some adverbs of place talk about moving in a particular direction. For example: backwards, forwards, upwards and downwards.

Westwards

Let’s start with an example: The group continued westwards.

In the sentence westwards acts as an adverb of place because it’s telling us the direction the group is going in.

Note: If we were to use westward without the ‘s’ then it would be an adjective. For example: There’s a westward migration.

Movement & Location

Other types of adverbs of place refer to movement and location which means they tell us where somebody is, where somebody was or where somebody is going. Here are some examples:

Indoors / Outdoors

We decided to go indoors because it was raining.

It was such a beautiful day we spent it outdoors.

Note: When you remove the ‘s’ you are left with indoor and outdoor which are adjectives.

Abroad

Abroad means going to or being in a foreign country. For example:

We went abroad for a holiday.

My sister worked abroad.

Exercise

1. I’ve looked ________ and I can’t find it.

2. Come over __________.  

3. Is there __________ I can get a good cup of coffee in this town?

4. My watch must be _________ in the house.

5. There’s ______ for us to go.

6. The kids went __________ to watch a film.

7. Look over ______, you can see the mountains.

8. I worked _________ for about five years.

9. The army continued _______.

10.  Let’s go _______ and look at the birds.

Answers

1. everywhere

2. here

3. anywhere

4. somewhere

5. nowhere

6. indoors

7. there

8. abroad

9. westwards

10. outdoors

If you enjoyed this blog, why not book a free trial lesson today and talk about your English goals with an experienced and friendly English teacher. It’s never too late to reach your English goals!

This blog was written by Intrepid English teacher, Tom

You can find out more about Tom by visiting his Intrepid English Teacher Profile Page.

If you have any questions, or you would like to request a topic for a future blog, you can contact us using the chat box, or email us at Intrepid English.

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