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Fronted adverbials

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Fronted adverbials

​​In a nutshell

A fronted adverbial is a word or phrase which comes at the beginning of a sentence and adds more information. Fronted adverbials describe the verb they precede and can tell you when, where or how a verb happens. By the end of this summary you'll be able to spot fronted adverbials and include them in your own writing.

At the start of a sentence

Fronted adverbials come in front of the verb they describe at the very beginning of a sentence and they are always followed by a comma. 


After a while, Andrei got bored of playing badminton.

Types of fronted adverbials

Fronted adverbials give different sorts of information about the verbs they describe. They can inform how, when, where, how often, or about the possibility that something happens.


Some fronted adverbials tell you how the main verb of the sentence happened, happens, or will happen.

  • ​​Carefully, Jacob opened the present and looked inside.
  • Quick as a flash, Jack jumped over the fence and hid.
  • Bravely, Alexa stood up in front of the school and spoke.


These fronted adverbials tell you when something happened.

  • ​Tomorrow night, Klaus is going to the opera.
  • Later, Terry will be watching the match.
  • Before long, Mona was exhausted.


These fronted adverbials tell you where something happened.

  • Outside, the barbeque was lit and the party was starting.
  • Nearby, there is an excellent pub with great food.
  • Behind the shed, there was a variety of garden tools.


These fronted adverbials tell you how often something happened.

  • ​Occasionally, Solomon enjoys a relaxing bath.
  • Fortnightly, Rupee plays golf with her auntie.
  • Twice a year, I get a haircut.


These fronted adverbials tell you the possibility of something happening.

  • Without a doubt, her uncle and auntie will be at the party.
  • ​Perhaps, Janice didn't like him as much as she thought.
  • Definitely, there will be an interval halfway through the show.

Want to find out more? Check out these other lessons!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


  • Question: Are fronted adverbials always followed by a comma?

    Answer: Yes. Fronted adverbials are always followed by a comma.

  • Question: Do fronted adverbials always come at the start of a sentence?

    Answer: Yes. Fronted adverbials always come at the very beginning of a sentence.

  • Question: What is a fronted adverbial?

    Answer: A fronted adverbial is a word or phrase which comes at the beginning of a sentence and adds more information.



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