Adverbs of time tell us at what time (when) or for how long (duration) something happens or is the case. There is also a specific category of time adverbs that describe frequency, or how often something happens or is the case; however, their usage is a bit more complex, so we will examine those in a separate section.
Adverbs of time are most often placed at the end of a sentence. For example:
- “I’m going to the movies tomorrow.” (When are you going? Tomorrow.)
- “She left yesterday.” (When did she leave? Yesterday.)
- “We are eating now.” (When are we eating? Now.)
However, we can sometimes place adverbs of time at the beginning of the sentence to put an extra emphasis on the time or duration being described. They are usually offset by a comma if appearing at the beginning of the sentence, although this is not always necessary. For example:
- “Next year, I’m going to run for president.” (Emphasizes a point in time.)
- “Now, I have to start the whole project again from scratch.” (Emphasizes now in a sequence of events.)