Grammar Rules

Adverbs of Place

What is an adverb of place?

Adverbs that change or qualify the meaning of a sentence by telling us where things happen are defined as adverbs of place. Some instructors refer to these words or phrases as spatial adverbs. No matter what they are called, these adverbs always answer one important question: Where?

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These simple rules for adverbs of place will help you to use them the right way:
  • An adverb of place always talks about the location where the action of the verb is being carried out.
  • Adverbs of place are normally placed after a sentence’s object or main verb.
  • Adverbs of place can be directional. For example: Up, down, around, away, north, southeast
  • Adverbs of place can refer to distances. For example: Nearby, far away, miles apart
  • An adverb of place can indicate an object’s position in relation to another object. For example: Below, between, above, behind, through, around and so forth.
  • Many adverbs of place indicate movement in a particular direction and end in the letters “-ward or -wards”. For example: Toward, forward, backward, homeward, westward, eastwards onwards

Examples of Adverbs of Place

Each sentence contains an example of an adverb of place; the examples are italicized for easy identification. As you read these examples, you will notice that some of the adverbs of place contain more than one word. Put the cake there. After a long day at work, we headed homewards. Please bring that book here. My grandfather’s house is nearby.  

Adverbs of Place Exercises

The following exercises will help you to gain better understanding about how adverbs of place work. Choose the best answer to complete each sentence.
  1. Close the door when you go ___________.
    1. Out
    2. Westward
    3. Lightly
    4. Here
    Answer: A. Close the door when you go out.
  2. The cat is hiding ­­­­­­­­­­­­­_______________ the couch.
    1. On
    2. Underneath
    3. Somewhere
    4. There
    Answer: B. The cat is hiding underneath the couch.
  3. Will you be starting your plants ________________ or in a greenhouse?
    1. Round
    2. Home
    3. Outside
    4. Around
    Answer: C. Will you be starting your plants outside or in a greenhouse?
  4. The ship sailed ________________, encountering heavy weather along the way.
    1. Up
    2. Down
    3. Northwards
    4. Backwards
    Answer: C. The ship sailed northwards, encountering heavy weather along the way.
  5. When she saw me waiting, she ran ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­__________________ me.
    1. Around
    2. Towards
    3. Through
    4. Forward
    Answer: B. When she saw me waiting, she ran towards me.

Adverbs of Place List

As you read through the examples this adverbs of place list contains, think about how they denote location or movement. With some consideration, you are likely to come up with some additional terms on your own.