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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Dec 13th, 2007, 12:11 am
emile's Avatar
Sifu
 
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Default What do you call an adverb that...?

What do you call an adverb that goes at the front of a sentence to show point of view:

eg Unfortunately, my car broke down.
Basically, you don't have a chance...


There must be a grammar term for this.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Dec 13th, 2007, 03:25 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: What do you call an adverb that...?

A sentence adverbial - banal, but there it is.

However, to make it a bit more complicated .... Sentence adverbials may be :

Just an adverb - Frankly, he hasn't got a chance.
Prepositional phrases - In all frankness, he hasn't ... etc
Infinitive clauses - To put it frankly, he .....
-ing participle clauses - Frankly speaking ...
Past participle clauses - Put frankly, he .......
Finite verb clauses - If I may be frank, he ....

They may come in front, mid or end position. Consider also ...
He hasn't, frankly, got a chance.
He hasn't got a chance, quite frankly.

Front is probably most usual though.

A sentence adverbial differs from other adverbials in that they are often a comment on the proposition expressed - hence the commas which detach them from the rest of the sentence. Compare those above with the following, in which frankly is just an adverb of manner modifying the verb - He spoke about it very frankly.

OK, OK more than you wanted to know. But I thought a one-line answer was too easy

PS Examples from A Communicative Grammar of English, Leech and Svartvik (Longman)
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