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Order of Words in a Sentence

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To understand the order of words in a sentence, let us consider two sentences, “Basic mathematics is easy to solve” and “Basic mathematics to solve is easy”. Both the sentences convey the same message, but when we follow the grammar, the first sentence will be the correct one. The mistake in the second sentence is the order in which it is constructed, thus following the correct order of words is important while constructing the sentence.

The study of the order of constituents of a language is word order typology. Some languages use a fixed order to convey the message whereas some languages are very flexible to use, this helps to change the order of the sentence depending on the usage of the words that is depending on the way of conveying the grammatical information. Let us learn more about word order in English sentences.


Sentence Order

The correlation between the orders is found in the different sub-domains. The primary orders include:

Constituent Order of Clause: It is defined in terms of the verb and it contains two arguments such as subject and object. Here the subject and object represent the nouns. We have probably six basic word orders, they are:

  1. SOV Form: Subject-Object-Verb, half of the languages situated in the world follow this pattern.

  2. SVO Form: Subject-Verb-Object, one-third of the languages situated in the world follow this pattern.

  3. VSO Form: Verb-Subject-Object, only a small number of languages follow this pattern.

  4. VOS Form: Verb-Object-Subject, is rarely used but more common than the OVS and OSV from.

  5. OVS Form: Object-Verb-Subject.

  6. OSV Form: Object-Subject-Verb, it is the rarest one.

  • Order of Modifiers: These include adjectives, demonstratives, etc.

  • Order of adverbs 

Types of the Order of Word in a Sentence:

While speaking normally we do follow a certain pattern and while asking questions or while enquiring we follow another pattern:

1. Standard Word Order: The standard word order is related to the constituent order of clause, thus the main word orders will be, SVO, SOV, and VSO.

SVO Order Sentence Examples: 

Dog

Eats

Meat

S

V

O


SOV Example: 

Dog

Meat

Eats

S

O

V


VSO Example:

Eats

Dog

Meat

V

S

O


2. Questions: We Follow a Different Order While Asking the Question,

Auxiliary verb or modal auxiliaries + Subject + Verb (ASV)

Can she sing?

If the ASV includes an object then the pattern will be

Auxiliary verb or modal auxiliaries +Subject +Verb + Object (ASVO)

Does she eat chicken?

Some of the Auxiliary verb or modal auxiliaries include:

Auxiliary Verbs:

Be

Do

Have

Is

do

have

am

did

had

been

does

has

was


having

being



are




Modal Auxiliaries are Never Changing Form:

Can

Could

Should

Will

must

would

Ought to

may

shall

might




10 Examples of Order Sentences:

  • He is cleaning the house.

  • She loves the cool breeze.

  • Every day she visits the temple.

  • She gave a presentation to her father.

  • She was watching a movie when I called.

  • The dog is eating the bones.

  • I like it a lot when it rains in the evening. 

  • The teacher punished me.

  • The Indian students are smart and naughty.

  • Suddenly, it started to rain.

By following the above 10 examples of order sentences the importance of the order of words should be clear by now.


Parts of the Sentence Order in English:

The majority of the sentence follows the SVO pattern, but still, we add some of the words such as indirect objections, prepositions, modifiers, and adverbs. 

1. Indirect Objects: These indirect objects are always added in between the verb and object thus the new pattern will be, SVIO.

Example: I fed the birds some seeds.

I

fed

birds

seeds

subject

verb

Indirect object

Direct object


2. Prepositional Phrases: They have a special position in sentences if we use the prepositions such as ‘to or for’ then the indirect objects act as a part of prepositional phrases.

Example: I fed some seeds to the birds.

3. Adverbs: These are used to modify adjectives, verbs, or other adverbs. It adds things like degree, time, and manner and these words end with ‘ly’. These are special because they can be used in more than one spot in the same sentence. Thus to have the correct sentence we should follow some rules such as:

  • While modifying an adverb or adjective, the adverb is placed before the word that should be modified. 

Example: I was extremely hungry.

  • While modifying a verb, an adverb should be added to the right side of the verb. 

Example: She ran quickly to the bus.

  • When the adverbs in the sentence are expressing the frequency of it, then the adverb is placed after the subject. 

Example: He always speaks fastly.

  • The adverbs that express the time are always added either at the beginning or end of the sentence.

Example: She wants to go to the movie right now.

Conclusion:

Thus we got to know that it is important to follow the pattern or order to have a meaningful sentence. To avoid mistakes while using the order of the sentences, we should follow some tricks or rules. While following the pattern we should write or speak the sentence in such a way that there should not be any confusion and the sentence should provide complete thought. Always place the subject first, a modifier such as an adverb should be present as close to the one that is getting modified. A simple trick to follow is always after completing the sentence, reread it in order to get the proper flow of the sentence.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the Order of a Word?

Ans: Writing the sentence in a correct means, the words that are used in the sentence should be arranged properly to provide the correct meaning. 

The standard word order that is followed usually are:

Subject + Verb + Object

2. Write the Order of Words in Sentence Examples.

Ans: She likes chocolate,

She

likes

chocolate

Subject

Verb

Object