probably vs. unfortunately, sadly etc. Hey everybody! I'm wondering: It has to be “I probably have the flu“ -“Probably I have the flu“ is wrong. Why is that? I'm thinking of “unfortunately“ for example, which can also stand at the beginning of a sentence. Where's the difference in both adverbs? Thank you for spending your time answering my question!
Nov 27, 2017 11:28 AM
Answers · 3
Hi Kristin, That's a great question. Adverbials like probably and unfortunately look similar, but they have different rules about where they can be used in a sentence. Normally they go after the verb (he spoke angrily) or after the object (she shut the door quietly) because adverbs tell us *how* the verb gets done. With adverbials of frequency, however (usually, never, always, etc.), we often put them in front of the verb (We usually went to the restaurant on Fridays). 'Probably' is an adverb that tells us about how certain we are, or if there is an obligation to do something. It has strict rules about where it can be used, and usually it works best between the subject (or subject + will, have, to be) and the verb/verb participle. 'I probably have the flu' or 'I've probably caught a cold', for example. 'Unfortunately' is what's called an 'evaluative' adverb: it tells us how good or bad something is. Evaluatives have a little more room to move around, but they usually go outside the main sentence (clause), at the beginning. 'Unfortunately, I'm allergic to shellfish', for example. I recommend checking out these two sites for more information: <>; <>; Best of luck with everything, Kristin! Let me know if you have any more questions. Julie
November 27, 2017
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