HomeQ&Aword order in English

word order in English

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I am looking for some information about the word order in a sentence in English. But I don't like the information found on the Internet. I would like to know some information or if you know some links. Thank you.

2815 views
updated FEB 7, 2011
edited by ian-hill
posted by nila45
It should be I don't like Doesn't is third person singular - BellaMargarita, SEP 12, 2009

8 Answers

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www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/word-order. wink

updated FEB 7, 2011
posted by ChamacoMalo
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Adjective order is not absolutely fixed but the general sequence is:

  1. Determiner - are words such as a, an , the, this, that.
  2. Opinion - ugly wonderful
  3. Size - big small huge
  4. Age - old new ancient
  5. Shape - round square flat
  6. Colour - red green
  7. Origin - Bolivia England
  8. Material - leather wool stone metal and then the Noun we are describing
updated OCT 10, 2009
edited by ian-hill
posted by ian-hill
Wonderful Ian - 00494d19, OCT 10, 2009
Gracias - ian-hill, OCT 10, 2009
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I've never seen anything except for general remarks contrasting how Spanish syntax is much more flexible than English syntax.

In English most of our declarative sentences are SVO or subject, verb, object (complement). (active voice)

John hit the ball.

Most interrogative questions are reversed, OVS.

What did John hit? (which can awkwardly be stated as John did hit what. If we wished to changed it back to a declaration. (SVO).

OVS is also used for passive voice.

The ball was hit by John.


Spanish, however, uses SVO, VSO,OVS, and with it's redundant object pronouns, also, SOV for declarative statements. Using the passive "se" it can even use the SVO order for stating things passively.

Juan envió la carta. (SVO)

Envió Juan la carta. ( VSO)

Lo envío Juan. (OVS)

La carta fue enviado por Juan. (passive) OVS

Se habla español aquí. (Spanish is spoken here, passive) OVS. or (one speaks Spanish, impersonal.) (SVO)

You can figure out the arrangement with the duplicative object pronouns. Suffice it to say that it's not the normal English pattern.

Maria lo pegó a Juan. (it's SOV or SVO depending on whether you consider the lo or Juan to be the object.)

Technically I think lo is the object and Juan is a clarifier, but a non-natives would probably say Juan is the object and the lo is just a duplication, but I think that's a language viewpoint difference)

Needless to say, Spanish is more flexible in it's syntax than English.

updated SEP 12, 2009
edited by 0074b507
posted by 0074b507
She is not asking about Spanish - BellaMargarita, SEP 12, 2009
You are right. Well, never mind. - nila45, SEP 12, 2009
"The ball was hit by John" is still SVO. The subject in that sentence is "the ball." - Jason_Bryant, SEP 12, 2009
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I think the "rules" presented there are only generalizations.

I bought it quickly is probably the best way to state it, but I quickly bought it wouldn't even raise an eyebrow.

The same with She carefully lit her cigarette. She lit her cigarette carefully would not raise any objections.

Phone the police immediately...

Immediately phone the police... (preferable) No difference to my ear.

There are many situations where the placement of the adverb might change the emphasis or meaning of the sentence, but, in general, we throw in adverbs wherever.

The only practical "rule" that I have seen is that you place it as close to the word that it modifies as is possible to avoid any doubt about which word it is modifying..

updated SEP 12, 2009
edited by 0074b507
posted by 0074b507
You see?. We obviously didn’t speak the same language. Now, it is better. - nila45, SEP 12, 2009
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Aha! I have just found something what I was looking for.

This is the link: http://www.mansioningles.com/gram31.htm

And this is the part of the information which I am most interested in.

Adverbios con objeto directos

Los adverbios no suelen colocarse entre el verbo y el objeto directo. El adverbio se coloca detrás del objeto directo o delante del verbo.

I bought it quickly.

Lo compré rápidamente.

She carefully lit her cigarette.

Ella encendió su cigarrillo cuidadosamente/con cuidado.

Pero, cuando el objeto directo es muy largo, se pone el adverbio delante.

Phone the police immediately and tell them everything you saw outside the bank.

Llama a la policía inmediatamente y diles todo lo que viste fuera del banco.

If you think, you can contribute with your ideas or explanations about this matter, I would like to know them.

updated SEP 12, 2009
edited by nila45
posted by nila45
0
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Generally, adverbs come after the verbs they modify

updated SEP 12, 2009
edited by BellaMargarita
posted by BellaMargarita
Some of them do, but not all. You can always "easily forget" things but you can only ever "remember things well." - Fredbong, SEP 12, 2009
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Well, the position of adverbs (manner, time, place, ...)

updated SEP 12, 2009
posted by nila45
0
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Is there anything specific that you would like to know?

updated SEP 12, 2009
posted by Jason_Bryant
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