Adverb or Preposition

Adverbs of place:

tell us WHERE an action occurs or something happens.

  • Adverbs of place are placed after the main verb or clause they modify.
  • Adverbs of place do not modify other adverbs or adjectives.

Here are some examples

  • We can’t find it anywhere.
  • Most people don’t walk backwards.
  • I left my tablet downstairs.
  • The store is far from my house.
  • The children are playing indoors today.
  • The movie is playing nearby so we can walk.
  • The cat is outside.

Adverb of place or Preposition?


  • An adverb of place modifies a verb and takes no object.
    • I sat down to watch a movie.
    • I turned around.
    • I have not been working and I am falling behind.

Special endings:

  • Some adverbs of place end in “WARDS” and they express MOVEMENT in a specific DIRECTION
    • Upwards: Up is the direction. The nurse asked her patient to move her heard upwards.
  • Some adverbs of place end in “WHERE” and they express LOCATION.
    • I can’t find the book anywhere and I know it must be somewhere.


  • TOWARDS is never an adverb. It takes an object.
  • We can say TOWARDS or TOWARD.
    • They walked towards or toward the dog because they thought it was cute and friendly.

A preposition takes an object.

    • I put your shoes behind the door.
    • I am wearing a belt around my neck.
    • The children ran down the stairs.

Note: You may recognize some of these!

about / above / abroad / anywhere / away
back / backwards (also backward) / behind / below
down / downstairs / elsewhere
east /west / south / north /
far / here / in / indoors / inside
near / nearby / off / on / out / outside / over
there / towards / under / up / upstairs / where

Try the adverbs quiz!

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