Adverbs : ‘Fronted Adverbials’

‘Fronting’ adverbs is a trick that teachers of English have been using for as long as I can remember. The trick relies upon the fact that an adverb can be placed almost anywhere in a sentence without seeming out of place.

The trick is most useful as a way to improve the style of a written piece. In the days when we had levels this construction would contribute to a pupil achieving Level 4 or above.


The beauty of it is that it works every trine, provided that the writer can correctly identify an adverb. As a bonus, the fronted adverb needs to be separated from the main clause by a comma and so ticks another box with regard to assessment.

So, then, simply identify the adverb in the sentence, move it to the front and put a comma then write down the rest of the sentence. ”Simples,” as Igor would say…

Paul walked quickly down the street.
Quickly, Paul walked down the street.

The trick also works with adverbial phrases – a group of words which fulfil the same function as an adverb


Sarah left her family behind with a heavy heart.
With a heavy heart, Sarah left her family behind.