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Adverbs of Place: Full List with Examples & Exercises

Adverbs of place tell us where something happens. This group includes adverbs of direction such as up and south, adverbs of movement and direction like upwards and forwards, and adverbs of location such as outside and behind. In this study guide, we will walk you through a range of adverbs of place with examples of how to use each of them. Let’s learn!

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What you will learn:


What are adverbs of place?

Adverbs of place give us information about where something happens. These include: above, down, everywhere, inside, forwards, out, uphill, etc. The various adverbs in this group give us the ability to explain the exact position (or movement) of an action. Most adverbs end in ‘-ly’, but adverbs of place do not.

1. Adverb or preposition?

Some adverbs of place also function as prepositions. For example, the adverb ‘down’ can be a preposition and an adverb. Its place in the sentence tells us if ‘down’ is functioning as a preposition or as an adverb. Remember that the adverb is placed after the verb and describes how it is done. Whereas the preposition is put before a noun and is not used to describe the verb. Compare these two example sentences:

Subject + main verb + adverb of place
e.g. She went inside.

Subject + main verb + preposition + noun (object)
e.g. She went inside the house.

Adverbs of place that are also prepositions include: around, behind, down, in, off, on, over, etc. These fall under the category of locational prepositions.

2. Anywhere, somewhere, elsewhere, everywhere

These adverbs express locations that are not definite. Although they appear quite similar, their meanings are different. ‘Everywhere’ suggests that something is in all places. ‘Anywhere’ is used in negative sentences and questions instead of ‘everywhere’. ‘Elsewhere’ means in another place, and ‘somewhere’ suggests that an object is in an unknown place. Compare the examples below:

AnywhereI can’t find it anywhere.Not in any place.
SomewhereI know I put it somewhere.In a place, but I don’t know where it is.
ElsewhereI’ll have to look elsewhere.In another place.
EverywhereI’ve looked everywhere.In all places.
 3. Indoors, outdoors, inside, outside

This group of adverbs allow us to describe the location of something in relation to a building. When we say something is ‘indoors’, we mean it is in the house, whereas we use ‘outdoors’ to describe something or someone that is not in the building.

The adverbs ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ function in a similar way. These adverbs can also suggest movement, e.g. “I’m going outside” means I’m moving from being in a building to being out of a building.

4. Adverbials of place

We use adverbials to talk about where something is. An adverbial of place is a phrase that functions in the same way as an adverb of place. It gives more information about the verb. Some examples are:

  • Becky was sitting in the garden.
  • She put the plate on the table.

Some common adverbs of place are used to form adverbial phrases. In these cases ‘there’ and ‘here’ become nouns. For example:

  • Over there.
  • Up here.


How do we use them?

1. Sentence position

We usually put adverbs of place at the end of a clause. They appear after the main verb.

Subject + main verb + adverb of place
e.g. The man walked backwards.

Note that the position of the adverb does not change in a negative sentence.

Subject + main verb + adverb of place
e.g. She didn’t walk away.

Adverbs of place can also occur after the object.

Subject + main verb + object + adverb of place
e.g. She didn’t find the book there.

An adverb of place cannot be put between a verb and its direct object. So we cannot say: She didn’t find there the book.

2. Modal verbs

With modal verbs, the adverb of place appears after the main verb or after the object:

Subject + modal + main verb + adverb of place
e.g. You mustn’t run away.

Subject + modal + main verb + object + adverb of place
e.g. You should put that book there.

3. Literary uses

Adverbs of place are used more flexibly in literary writing (stories) than in everyday English. This is to create drama and interest in the story.

In this type of writing, the adverb can appear at the start of the sentence:

Adverb of place + Subject + main verb

e.g. Inside, all was quiet.

e.g. Nearby, a dog barked loudly.

4. Word order with more than one adverb

In a sentence with adverbs of time and place, the adverb of place appears before the adverb of time:

    • I’m moving abroad soon.
    • I’m taking the dog out this morning.

Here’ and ‘there’
The adverbs ‘here’ and ‘there’ often appear at the start of a sentence.

Adverb of place + main verb + subject

  • Here comes the train!
  • There goes Tom.


46 Adverbs of place: A-Z list with examples

    The ball rolled about on the floor.
At the party, there were lots of kids running about.

    He put the book on the shelf above.
See the examples listed above.

Abroad (also Overseas)
    They have decided to move abroad.
Sue is planning to find a new job abroad.

    The river is too wide! How are we going to get across?
Just swim across!

    You run ahead and we’ll catch you up.
If you want to win the race, you need to stay ahead.

   The brake was off so the car just rolled along.
Run along! It’s time for bed.

Anywhere (American English: Anyplace)
    I can’t find that book anywhere.
Come in! You can sit anywhere you like!

Use somewhere in positive sentences and anywhere in negative sentences. These two adverbs have different meanings. Anywhere is usually used in a negative sentence to suggest that an object cannot be found, e.g. I can’t find my keys anywhere!

Around, Round
    Will you children please stop running around?!
If you’re free later, you’re welcome to come round.

    Joe, it’s time to put all the toys away.
Do you remember the date she went away (on holiday)?

   You ought to get back before its dark.
I think you should give it back.

    Cats don’t usually walk backwards!
Can you say the alphabet backwards?

   Oh no! I think I left the map behind!
After class, the teacher told me to stay behind.

   Please see the examples below.
I think she lives in the flat below.

   John waited, but the beautiful woman just walked by.
I just drove by to say “hello”.

    Please, sit down.
I enjoyed watching the sun go down.

    Business has really gone downhill recently.
The car sped downhill at 60mph.

    She heard the doorbell ring so she ran downstairs.
Be careful when you go downstairs.

East, West, North, South
    The man said he was travelling north.
We drove east via the A11.

Eastwards, Westwards, Northwards, Southwards
    We sailed northwards to the island.
We continued walking southwards towards the mountains. 

Adverbs of place ending in ‘ward’ or ‘wards’ suggest movement in a particular direction. This includes adverbs like eastwards and westwards, but also upwards, downwards, forwards and backwards. Note that ‘towards’ is always a preposition (never an adverb!) as it must be followed by a noun or pronoun – e.g. we cannot just say: She walked towards. We have to say: She walked towards me (object).

    I thought I had put the money in the cupboard, but I must have left it elsewhere.
She hoped she would find a better job elsewhere.

    Have you walked far?
She told the children not to go far from home.

    Michael stepped forward when they asked for volunteers.
He ran forwards to catch the ball.

    Where is Tony? Oh, here he comes!
I’m sure I left it here!

Homewards, Home
    They drove homewards through the forest.
We came home after the party.

    Sarah opened the front door and went in.
I’m staying in tonight.

    Has Sally gone indoors? Yes, because it’s started raining.
David folded up the chair and took it indoors.

    It’s getting cold now. I think we should go inside.
He realised the door was locked, and that he’d left his keys inside!

Left, Right
   You need to turn left at the traffic lights.
Look right and you’ll see me in the blue coat!

   Have we reached the top yet? No, but I think we must be near.
Keep your loved ones near.

    Does your aunt live nearby?
They couldn’t afford a house here, but are renting nearby.

    I’ve tried to find the key, but there is nowhere else to look.
I tried to find him, but he was nowhere to be seen.

    He slammed the door and drove off!
Come on then children. Off we go!

In some of the examples here, the combination of verb + adverb creates what is called a “phrasal verb”. For example, put away, sit down or leave behind. Here, the adverb changes (or extends) the meaning of the verb.

    We walked on for 3 more hours in the rain.
The car stopped, but the van in front of it drove on.

    Where are you going? Out!
He opened the window and looked out.                                                                            

    It was a lovely day, so they decided to have the party outside.
Please wait outside. The doctor will call you in shortly.

    Let’s have lunch outdoors today. It’s a really sunny day!
Pete used to work outdoors, but he’s got an office job now.

    She turned over and went back to sleep.
She was looking out of the window when I walked over.

    All the wood fell sideways off the lorry into the road!
The bed will only fit through the door sideways.

    I thought I put my phone on the table, but it must be somewhere else.
Shall we park the car somewhere on Queens Road?

    I have seen him there before.
    Do you think we will get there on time?

    The museum ticket inspector wouldn’t let us go through.
    We’re in the living room. Just come through!

   There were no other ships nearby when the Titanic went under.
   The bridge was too low for the lorry to drive under.

    The sun was already up.
    Is Peter still in bed? No, he is already up.

    My PT made be jog uphill for 5km!
    Water never flows uphill.

    Everyone looked upwards to see what the noise was.
    The rocket travelled upwards at great speed.

    Quick! Run upstairs and find your purse.
    Where is Mum? I think she’s gone upstairs.


Adverbs of Place: Exercises

Exercise 1
  1. Which one of the following pairs are adverbs of place?
    1. quickly and slowly
    2. above and below
    3. totally and utterly
    4. loudly and quietly
  2. Which one of these adverbs of place also indicates movement?
    1. here
    2. upwards
    3. anywhere
    4. on
  3. Which sentence shows the correct position for an adverb of place?
    1. He put the bin outside.
    2. Outside he put the bin.
    3. He put outside the bin.
    4. He outside put the bin.
  4. Which adverb of place is spelled incorrectly?
    1. indoors
    2. aboad.
    3. elsewhere
    4. upstairs
  5. Which of the following is an adverb of place?
    1. this
    2. which
    3. that
    4. there
Exercise 2

Match the adverb on the right with the phrase on the left:

  1. The car moved backwards and _____________.          a. down
  2. The ball bounced up and ___________.                      b. anywhere
  3. I can’t find my book _____________.                           c. forwards
  4. Is it near or ________?                                                d. nearby
  5. I think the park is ___________,                                   e. far
Exercise 3

Choose the best adverb to complete each sentence:

  1. I’m warning you! Don’t come _________!
    a. above      b. near    c. where
  2. The taxi is _______________.
    a. up       b. here    c. behind
  3. The bus moved ________________.
    a. anywhere     b. backwards     c. below
  4. The sun came ______________.
    a. up       b. down    c. inside
  5. I’ll meet you ______________.
    a. far       b. away     c. there
Exercise 4
  1. An adverb of place can appear at the beginning of a sentence, but only one of these examples is correct. Which one?
    1. Indoors it is.
    2. Here we go.
    3. Downstairs he lives.
    4. Near we are.
  2. Which of the following is not an adverb of place?
    1. upwards
    2. northwards
    3. towards
    4. forwards
  3. Which of these adverbs of place has a similar meaning to inside?
    a. upstairs     b. indoors     c. outside    d. abroad

Choose the best adverb to complete each sentence:

  1. _____________ have you been?
    a. Where     b. There     c. Here     d. Near
  2. Its time I was going. I need to get ______________.
    a. here     b. back    c. elsewhere    d. behind



Exercise 1

  1. b. above and below
  2. b. upwards
  3. a. He put the bin outside.
  4. b. abroad
  5. d. there

Exercise 2

  1. c. cforwards
  2. a. down
  3. b. anywhere
  4. e. far
  5. d. nearby

Exercise 3

  1. b. near
  2. b. here
  3. b. backwards
  4. a. up
  5. c. there

Exercise 4

  1. b. Here we go.
  2. c. towards
  3. b. indoors
  4. a. Where
  5. d. back
Click here to download this post via our mobile website!
Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

Written by Judith P.
— ESL Tutor
Written by Judith P.
— ESL Tutor