Adverbs of place

Adverbs of placeWhen saying that someone is not at home, in the office or other place where you are currently located, do we say a) ‚He’s not there at the moment‘ or b) ‚He’s not here at the moment‘?

The correct answer is b). ‚Here‘ means in this place or location, whereas ‚there‘ means the opposite – indicating that something is further away in a different location. Here and there are examples of adverbs of place.

Grammar point – adverbs of place

Adverbs of place describe where things are or happen, as well as movement. They answer the question ‚Where?‘ and don’t normally end in -ly. Usually, they are placed after the main verb or object, or at the end of a sentence/clause. They can go in the front of a sentence for emphasis; this is more common in written English. Sometimes they can be prepositions when they introduce a phrase that includes an object.

Below are some of the most common adverbs of place.

Above/Below Backwards/Forwards/Downwards/


Near by/ Far away
About Between Next
Ahead/Behind East/West/North/South On/Off
Around In/Out Over/Under


Inside/Outside Up/Down
Away Here/There Upstairs/Downstairs
Back Near/Far


  • Would you like to come over?
  • I put the book back on the shelf.
  • I walked upstairs to get something.
  • I looked everywhere for my cat and found him downstairs.
  • I couldn’t find my cat anywhere.
  • There are a lot of nice shops near by/nearby.
  • I moved backwards and lost my balance.
  • She drove off in a hurry towards the school.
  • At noon I headed out. However, I didn’t know whether I was heading North or East.

Note that ‚towards‘ is a preposition because it is always followed by a noun or pronoun.

  • She drove off in a hurry towards the school. (NOT She drove off in a hurry towards.)