Adverb order

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Adverb order

#1  Postby Thommo » Feb 23, 2016 10:30 am

Out of idle curiousity, does anyone know if there's any technical restrictions or distinctions between the following phrases:-

- The new laptop will be imminently arriving.
- The new laptop will be arriving imminently.

or even
- The new laptop will imminently be arriving .

Thanks to anyone who knows the answer (I know the last is a split infinitive and that was unpopular in the mid 20th century already!)
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Re: Adverb order

#2  Postby Evolving » Feb 23, 2016 11:19 am

That's not a split infinitive. This is one:

The new laptop is about to imminently arrive.

Other than that, I would only ever use your second alternative, but I can't give you the theoretical reasoning for that.
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Re: Adverb order

#3  Postby jamest » Feb 23, 2016 11:25 am

Just speculating, but technically wouldn't you need to use 'is' with the adjective 'imminent', given its meaning? As in:

The new laptop's arrival is imminent.
Il messaggero non e importante.
Ora non e importante.
Il resultato futuro e importante.
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Re: Adverb order

#4  Postby Blackadder » Feb 23, 2016 11:32 am

An adverb expressing the manner (as in this case) of a verb is usually placed at the end of the clause.

You may find the following guide helpful

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/adverbs-and-adverb-phrases-position
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Re: Adverb order

#5  Postby Thommo » Feb 23, 2016 11:44 am

Evolving wrote:That's not a split infinitive. This is one:

The new laptop is about to imminently arrive.

Other than that, I would only ever use your second alternative, but I can't give you the theoretical reasoning for that.


Hmm, you're right. It's a split future perfect or something, I guess. :scratch:
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Re: Adverb order

#6  Postby laklak » Feb 23, 2016 6:49 pm

There is no good reason to blithely split infinitives!
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Re: Adverb order

#7  Postby scott1328 » Feb 23, 2016 7:21 pm

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Re: Adverb order

#8  Postby VazScep » Feb 23, 2016 7:31 pm

Posting based on my intuition and my rationalisation, which is never to be trusted, I'd say that the first modifies "arriving" when you want to modify "be arriving." In the first, it's like there is a special kind of "arrive" called "imminent arrive", when you want to say that the state of arrival is imminent.
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Re: Adverb order

#9  Postby LucidFlight » Feb 23, 2016 7:39 pm

As far as I know, there are no technical restrictions. I would say, however, that placing the adverb before the verb in this instance has the effect of putting emphasis on the adverb. It's not that the laptop is arriving, you know, imminently; no, it's imminently arriving, with a distinct air of imminence about it — more special than simply arriving imminently. At least, that's my take on it. Do with it what you will.

:thumbup:

Edit: damn it, VazScep. Stealing my ideas again! :P
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Re: Adverb order

#10  Postby Evolving » Feb 23, 2016 7:41 pm

I never ever split infinitives, because my training from earliest years has made it abhorrent to me; but I can't think of any satisfactory reason why it's OK to say, for instance, "in boldly going", but not "to boldly go".

The word "split" suggests that we are supposed to think of the infinitive as being "really" one word; but it's quite obviously two.
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Re: Adverb order

#11  Postby LucidFlight » Feb 23, 2016 7:47 pm

My understanding about the split infinitives issue is that it's a Latin thing, where you can't really do it. However, we speak and write modern English, so we shouldn't be such stick-in-the-muds about such things. That's the very short version of something I read somewhere, once. I may, of course, be completely wrong.

:)
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Re: Adverb order

#12  Postby Evolving » Feb 23, 2016 7:48 pm

Exactly: not a satisfactory reason!

In Latin (as in other European languages) the infinitive really is one word; but so what?
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Re: Adverb order

#13  Postby LucidFlight » Feb 23, 2016 7:56 pm

I think it was a hang-over from our Latin roots. That's about all I remember. If I have time, I'll see if I can dig up the source.
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Re: Adverb order

#14  Postby VazScep » Feb 23, 2016 8:08 pm

I go to Fowler's Modern English Usage for this shit, where he normally goes "look, Shakespeare and a bunch of other respected writers done it, so STFU."

If you want to talk about grammar, all I can say is Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo.
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Re: Adverb order

#15  Postby Evolving » Feb 23, 2016 8:29 pm

This has nothing to do with the thread topic, but I was watching (on iplayer) a programme about ancient Egypt in which the presenter, Prof. Joann Fletcher, visited a sumptuous Ptolemaic tomb and seemed to be talking about the "two moaners" or possibly "Monas". I then realised she meant the tomb-owners.

Later she seemed to be talking about two mockupants, but I was wise to her tricks by then.
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Re: Adverb order

#16  Postby LucidFlight » Feb 23, 2016 8:33 pm

Did she mention anything about four candles?
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Re: Adverb order

#17  Postby Evolving » Feb 23, 2016 8:40 pm

:smile:
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Re: Adverb order

#18  Postby Thommo » Feb 23, 2016 9:17 pm

scott1328 wrote:https://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/word-order/adverb-position


Thanks! Don't know how much the wiser I am though. I'm sure I've heard people say "he carefully drove the car between the bollards" and similar things too. :scratch:

And thanks to everyone else too, especially for the off topic comments, this thread was idle curiosity and quite suitable for tangents!
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Re: Adverb order

#19  Postby lofuji » Nov 11, 2016 6:58 am

Thommo wrote:Out of idle curiousity, does anyone know if there's any technical restrictions or distinctions between the following phrases:-

- The new laptop will be imminently arriving.
- The new laptop will be arriving imminently.

or even
- The new laptop will imminently be arriving .

This has nothing to do with the question, but it reminds me of the station announcements on the MTR here in Hong Kong: "The train to Central is arriving". It always grates on my ears, because a train has either arrived or it hasn't. The verb "arrive" is not capable of continuous action.
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Re: Adverb order

#20  Postby scott1328 » Nov 11, 2016 1:29 pm

lofuji wrote:
Thommo wrote:Out of idle curiousity, does anyone know if there's any technical restrictions or distinctions between the following phrases:-

- The new laptop will be imminently arriving.
- The new laptop will be arriving imminently.

or even
- The new laptop will imminently be arriving .

This has nothing to do with the question, but it reminds me of the station announcements on the MTR here in Hong Kong: "The train to Central is arriving". It always grates on my ears, because a train has either arrived or it hasn't. The verb "arrive" is not capable of continuous action.

Still sounds better than "The train is coming"
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